Thursday, December 06, 2007

Global Warming

I have been sort of thinking about this post for some time. Actually since the time of my last post. It seems that my posting has become so few and far between that I am missing lots of opportunities to post items of interest to me.


Global warming or global climate change.

The basis of my comments here are from a conversation some weeks back with a young man that I am friends with at my job. He is . . . a right-winger. He is a devoted listener of Rush and Glenn Beck.

I try not to be a knee-jerk party line towing anything. (I am a registered Democrat, but I tend to be a moderate on most issues.)

My friend sat down at lunch one day and asked my opinion on 'global warming.' I wasn't sure from his comments whether he believes it is happening and not man-made, or doesn't believe it is happening. (Actually based on the weather in Cleveland this week, I am expecting talk of an ice age any minute.) He quoted some things that I know he heard on Rush's show. One they were spun, and second at least one of the things I have heard come out of Rush's mouth when I have been listening to see what he has to say. (Listening to Rush generally gives me a headache if I listen for more than a few minutes at a time.)

After the discussion, it made me realize several things:
1. Apparently while science is open for discussion, the preponderance of current evidence seem to no longer hold any water if you subscribe to the Rush Limbaugh/George W. Bush/NeoCon agenda party line. ( I sort of knew this from listening to the President on the occasions that I can actually take listening to him for longer than 10 minutes. He's another one that gives me a headache, and I, regretfully, voted for the moron the second time.)
2. Disagreement with anything this Administration espouses is deemed to make you at least moderately un-American.

What the conversation really got me thinking about was not my feelings on the current environmental situation. I have a pretty clear understanding on this, which I don't feel the need to discuss at this exact moment. But how we reached a point where science, or the discounting of science, has become a political issue. I would think that we can show what happens every time we throw a segment of the ecological balance out. As an example: In Ohio over the last 220-230 years we have hunted the majority of the predators out of the state. Actually hunted is probably not really all encompassing, after all we have developed the land that they lived on, and we have driven them before us. The results of removing the predatory portion of the ecological chain has caused a huge increase in the number of deer. In fact the deer are so prevalent that the Ohio, like Pennsylvania and other states, is in danger of becoming overcrowded with deer. (Actually some parts of the state are over populated as it is .)

Okay, I feel a need to address my opinion on Global Climate Change. I really don't want to, but for where this is going I feel it is necessary. I believe that the climate of the planet is changing. I believe that to a certain extent this is a natural process. The planet heats up and cools down as it wobbles it's way through axial adjustments. I also believe, unlike Rush and my I think my friend, that the planet is warming at an unnatural rapid pace. I have heard Rush say he doesn't believe that man has the ability to affect the climate on the planet because G-d created the planet and he controls it. I will agree with this statement. I do believe that if Hashem decided today that global warming was not going to be possible, then the planet would not get any warmer. I also believe that the planet was left in our care by Hashem, and at a very least, as a species we have done nothing but destroy the planet. (This is to a large extent getting away from what I wanted to talk about but there it is.) During the conversation, I told my friend that with the speed with which we are destroying the amazon, and old growth forest in North American that we are creating a measurable increase in carbon emitted gases. (This also doesn't include the fact that by increasing the number of cows, we have increased the number of cow flatulence and there by the amount of methane. Sorry but that was one of the stranger 'global warming' stories I have heard recently.) As such, getting back on the deforestation that is occurring, I believe we are not only capable of increasing the amount of carbon gases that are not being processed through the ecological system, we have thrown the entire system out of balance.

I really don't think that is that hard to comprehend. I also think that by actively denying what is obvious isn't the answer. We, as a species, have proved to be rather rotten stewards of the planet and I am not surprised that it is coming back to bit us on the posterior.

In my mind, the question isn't if global warming is happening, we have been having an effect on our environment for at least a couple of hundred years, so it is entirely likely global warming is not only happening, but why is it happening and what can we do to stop or reverse the process. I would say that stopping or for that matter reversing the process may be to much to ask of ourselves at this moment, I would settle for trying to slow the process. After all, the process is a natural one at it's basic level, and despite our arrogance as a species, we are just one more species on the planet. The dinosaurs disappeared from the planet when they had overstayed their welcome and a global climate change occurred that they could not adapt to, it is entirely possible that we will do the same. The only difference is, is that as a species we are very adaptable. (I on the other hand am probably not very adaptable.)

Sorry for the length, but as I said this 'rant' was rumbling around in my head for quite sometime.

Have a Happy Hanukah, and a wonderful Shabbat. I will be back next week for sure as Wife's schooling for the semester is coming to an end and she will not be needing me as much in the future.

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