Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Global Warming - Fact or Fiction?

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Is Global Warming Something We Should Be Concerned About? What If It Is In Fact Underway?

Mountain House--The #1 Backpacking Food. Global Warming.

The United States government tells us that there is no proof that global warming is taking place and that the issue requires more study. President Bush has refused to endorse the Kyoto Treaty saying that compliance would "cost us billions".

The Damn Naked Blogger says that "I don't know how much compliance would cost but with the cost of hurricanes Katrina and Rita approaching the two hundred billion dollar mark noncompliance certainly seems have it's own risk of
high costs. I wonder how much it would cost to restore New York City if it were under 18 feet of salt water?"

While additional scientific research may be necessary to prove beyond a doubt that global warming is taking place common sense suggests that we had better not take the issue lightly. Rather freakish weather patterns have developed over the past few years and at least some of it could be caused by global warming.

The hurricane season of 2005 is a prime example. There were a record number of named storms and several storms were of unusual intensity. Take Katrina for example. Katrina went from a category 1 to a category 5 storm in less than 24 hours. This was some pretty amazing powerful intensifying within a very short time period. Could global warming be the cause?

The well paid weather men at the National Weather Center say no, global warming hasn't a thing to do with it. They cite the long term patterns of fairly mild storm seasons followed by several years of higher intensity storm seasons as being a normal condition of weather cycle patterns. They say that we are now in a time period in the long term cycle where we should expect to experience stronger storms.

Maybe so. However, we do know for certain that the water temperature in the Gulf of Mexico was a degree or so above normal levels all through the 2005 hurricane season. We also know that while a one degree temperature change nay not sound like much it in fact supplied Katrina and the other Gulf storms with a powerful shot of additional energy. That is why the storms intensified so rapidly once they entered Gulf waters. Could global warming be at work here?

We also know that the polar ice packs are receding at an alarming rate. How do we know? From NASA photos taken from satellites for one. And from on going scientific studies from a few concerned scientists for another. And from plain old observation, as unscientific as it may be. I recently saw a TV program about the possibility of global warming taking place that documented huge chunks of glacier ice falling into the sea from I believe Greenland. Of course, ice falls into the ocean all of the time but this glacier is melting away at record rates and is involved in a disappearing act. Could this be caused by global warming? Seems to be a reasonable assumption to me.

What do you think?

Here is the deal, folks. We are in, as the TV weather men experts state, a period of time where long term weather cycles suggest that we will experience stronger more intense storm activity than normal. Normal being in the past 50 years or so. However true that may be, it does not in my view preclude the strong possibility that we are also in a period of global warming. One does not exclude the other.

If in fact we are in a long term cycle of stronger storm activity AND in a period of global warming we are in for some terrifying storms and altered weather patterns for many years to come. That is a possibility that none of the TV talking heads and well dressed TV weather men have even mentioned. Maybe they fear they will scare the hell out of everyone if they start forecasting 300-350 kilometer an hour hurricanes rolling into Florida at the rate of three or four a year for the next 15 to 20 years.

One thing is certain, at least to me, though I am far from being a climate expert. The changes in sea levels that continued global warming will bring are going to be disastrous. One recent study, I wish I could remember where I saw it, forecasts an increase in ocean levels of up to eighteen feet. Folks if that wouldn't be a disaster on an epic scale for anyone living near any coastline or in a low lying area anywhere in the world I don't what would be. In fact it would be a disaster for most of the human race as hundreds of millions of people would be displaced. What would they do and where would they go?

To date most US government officials haven't taken the matter very seriously except to have a committee meeting or two at which time the committee members probably agreed to have lunch together at an expensive Washington establishment. At tax payer expense, of course. Perhaps as New York and other great American cities slip into watery chaos the government will pay more attention and launch a special commission to study the matter further.

Global warming may not have been proven but if it is in fact taking place as many folks think it is just from good old fashioned personal observation we, and I mean all of us on this planet, are in for a period of pain and forced relocations, food shortages, outbreaks of diseases, and general misery such that the world has never seen. Ferocious hurricanes, thunderstorms, and tornadoes are only part of the story.

Worldwide weather patterns will be altered. Floods will take place in desert regions and rain will stop falling in what used to be productive farming areas. Global warming may not be proven but can we afford to ignore the possibility that it may be underway when the effects will be so disastrous for the entire planet?

While I realize that these fine days we probably have the most worthless and corrupt group of self serving rascals in United States history strutting around Washington, global warming is an issue that, if global warming is really underway, will deeply impact everyone. Even Congressmen and Congresswomen and the President himself. Surely they will start to pay attention should the waters in Washington, D.C. gradually reach levels somewhat above the knees.

Why not write or call the rascals in Washington and at least express some concern over the global warming issue? If global warming is in process the effects will likely become more severe within a very short time frame. Once natural processes reach a critical point they tend to accelerate. While it is probably already too late to completely reverse the process of global warming careful emergency preparedness planning now could save a lot of lives and property in the near future. Is anyone out there paying attention?


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