Sunday, August 05, 2007

Global Warming Complications

I have a couple of articles I would like to share with you. We are told that the debate is over about global warming--that it is an undisputed fact. We are told that it is man's fault and that in order to save the planet, we must cut back on carbon emissions. We are told lots of things, but the truth is that the debate is not over. The touted solutions may, in fact, be making things worse. And there are things that have been accepted as truth that have been found to be questionable at best, false at worst.

First is an opinion piece from Fox News called "Junk Science: How Now Brown Cow?" by Steven Milloy. It seems that particles in the air called "aerosols" (soot and sulfates from fossil fuel combustion, and dust from volcanic eruptions), long believed to be a cooling agent, may in fact be warming the atmosphere. The article says:

Based on data collected by unmanned aerial vehicles over the Indian Ocean, researchers from the University of California, San Diego and NASA reported not only that aerosols warmed temperatures, but they also increased atmospheric heating by 50 percent. This warming, they say, may be sufficient to account for the retreat of the Himalayan glaciers.
Mr. Milloy cites sources in his article and discusses some other findings. He concludes by saying:

If manmade global climate change is something worth fretting over — and it’s not at all clear that it is — the aerosol study opens up the possibility for an entirely new hypothesis for global warming with aerosols as the culprit. Yet up to now, the “consensus” crowd has portrayed aerosols in the opposite light as cooling agents.

When so-called “consensus” can be that far off, it would seem that there’s plenty of room for serious debate.
The second article you should read is on the American Conservative Union, but was originally printed in Rolling Stone, not exactly a bastion of conservative thought. The article is "Ethanol Scam: Ethanol Hurts the Environment And Is One of America's Biggest Political Boondoggles" by Jeff Goodell. In this article, Mr. Goodell discusses the difficulties with trying to produce ethanol--from the heavy use of fossil fuels to do so to the problem of using corn for ethanol instead of food. It's an intelligent article that everyone ought to read.

The point of my pointing out these two articles is that we need to seriously look at what we do and don't do when it comes to the environment, and that blindly following politicians looking to grab power and/or money is not the best way to go about it.

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