Friday, January 16, 2009

Weather and Global Warming

What of the land into which our dreams will be planted? Abraham Maslow created a diagram to illustrate how needs work: Maslow's Pyramid. Basically it is that if we are supplied with the basics, we can move up the pyramid to satisfy ourselves. What if the basics are threatened? Even a culture that deems itself sophisticated will revert to primal needs without which man does not survive.

Will global warming lead to a new ice age? is an article from 2003 and a reminder that the extreme winter temperatures we have been seeing, weather patterns that seem unpredictable and at times surprisingly intense, all would be part of global climate change-- something that has been the pattern of earth. The kind of temperate world we grew up in, where mankind's culture has flourished, has not been the norm though earth's history.

There is glee among those who believe a possible new ice age would disprove global warming and hence make Al Gore look wrong. Amazing how some would cut off their noses to spite their faces. A new ice age, mini or not, would not be good news for humans living on this planet.

The problem we are facing today with weather shifts is that we don't know what to expect as mankind hasn't got a recorded history long enough to know. We also didn't have so many people that the surface of the earth has to support.

Sunday night I watched The Day After Tomorrow again. It's a good adventure story but also brings up what might be the result of what is called global warming because while earth's overall temperatures would be warmer, warmer temperatures everywhere are not the result. In fact, it has been surmised that global warming might have been the precursor to the earth's many ice ages.

To add to the questions of what lies ahead of our world physically, I watched History Channel on Sunday as it went into the prophecies of Nostradamus, the Mayans, the Masons, Judeo Christianity, and can't remember if there was anyone else but you get the drift. There are enough dire prophecies going around, that don't have to be scientific, to lead to movies like 2012 by Roland Emerich, who loves to make disaster films. Do films like these numb people to evaluating what might be happening? Politics definitely get in the way of preparing for what might be coming.

Disaster movies don't have to be based on reality (Volcano in LA?) but rather on possibility-- in some cases a slim thread. The thing is that life on the planet has changed many times and it could again. What happens to humans then? The lucky ones might die in the first disasters.

Yes, it is part of my dream thinking to consider what physical reality might lie ahead. Are we really facing global extremes in terms of the climate? If we are about to face gigantic physical problems on the earth, dreams will of necessity change.

I don't really believe the earth will end in 2012 Mayan calendar ending there or not. Still, it would be foolish to believe it will always go on as it is right now. Change will come. It always has. The question is what will it mean to our dreams?

21 comments:

Darlene said...

I have wondered about this, too. The Earth has gone through many evolutions and seems to be doing so again. Here I am in sunny Tucson with the highs in the upper 70's. It was 78* one day this week while the Northeast and Midwest were battling record cold weather.

I think we have been seeing a change in the climate for several years; more devastating hurricanes, tornadoes and floods.

What will mankind do? I think they may look to other planets to colonize. Or, perhaps, enclose themselves in giant bubbles interconnected by tubes. Science Fiction may have to come to the rescue.

Bumps Stump said...

The problem of global warming - if it exists at all - has not been universally accepted by the scientific community. It is more likely that in any given spot on the planet, temperature change has always and will always take place. We may, in fact, be seeing a lowering of temperatures in some specific place on the globe while at the same time experiencing global warming in some other spot.

Isn't the real question whether or not human activities are significantly impacting whatever change is happening?

Great blog.

Dixon

Greybeard said...

Amazing.
Eat your cake and still have it!

I agree with Bumps...
Even though Al and others try to insist there is "consensus" on this subject, there most certainly is not. Like trying to force folks to quit overeating or stop smoking, this simply is another way for one political group to control another.

How long before big bro has a camera in your bedroom?

Kay Dennison said...

I sort of chuckle at the global warming thing. Wasn't it back in the 70s that the big concern was global cooling? All I wanna know is which one it really is -- not that I'll be around for it. Today it's -9 (wind chill -23) and it sure feels like global cooling to me!

Rain said...

If you've read up on this, graybeard, you know it's not trying to have it both ways. It's that warming of the globe might change the ocean currents and they could impact climate in different ways. So if the Atlantic current stops or doesn't transfer air like it usually does, likewise what we call the Japanese current out here, then climate is impacted. There are some who have acted as though if we just recycled, the problem would be solved, but anybody who has read much about it knows it's not that simple. Maybe man has impacted it and maybe not. Maybe it's all the sun and solar storms. Our ancestors might've had a good idea with worshiping the sun *s* The problem with the Bush administration is they were not open to exploring what is happening and then what do we do about it? It's all dollars.

btw just out of curiosity and because it's an expertise of yours, is there anything airlines could do about the problem of geese in engines? Could they put up better guards or is this just part of the risk of flying? Out here I watch the huge flocks as they take off and realize how easily this last incident could happen to any airliner as things stand as so many are built where there are rivers and such flocks.

Rain said...

as for cameras in bedrooms, some couples do that for themselves :)

Darlene said...

I have to add one thing after Bunps
Stump and Greybeard's comments.

Actually, the term the Scientists use for Global Warming is CLIMATE CHANGE. (I am not shouting, but this is the only way I know to emphasize a point on the comment page.) Almost ALL scientists agree that there is definitely climate change. How else to explain the Polar Ice Caps melting? And CO2 is measurable both from autos and factories and in the air. Facts are stubborn things.

Greybeard said...

No Darlene, respectfully, they changed to the term "Climate Change" when it began to be obvious "Global Warming" might soon be an embarrassment to them.
It's all manure.

And rain, I know all about the catastrophe shown in "Day After Tomorrow", and know some so-called "experts" fear changing ocean currents. But until this Winter they also were fear-mongering about sea levels rising and engulfing coastal cities because of sea-ice melt, and we now know how that prediction went, don't we?!!
More manure.

Climate change or Global warming... whatever you want to call it...
As I said before and as you indicated by once again to returning to your old comfortable habit of slamming GWB...
This is one political group's way of controlling another...
Manure has its place in the world.
I don't want it forced down my throat.

Rain said...

Yes each political group does that and as for GW, the lack of respect for him, the disgust in everything he says, I don't even touch the tip of that ice berg with what I put in here because I want to keep things as positive as I can. To say his name can only be done with a lip curl for me. I have zero respect for him and his latest speech about how he kept us safe while skipping over the fact that he ignored the warnings that bin Laden would attack and did nothing before 9/11. You can ask why? I think a lot, who aren't caught up in protecting his legacy, would ask that. After that attack, and then our going into Iraq and blowing our wad, bin Laden didn't have to attack us again. We did it to ourselves and it's GW who led the way.

I don't just blame him though but also those republicans who supported him because they didn't want to hear anything that made them doubt what he told them-- that we could have it all for nothing. Our whole economic system is built on paper and you will blame Obama who wasn't even there but it's Bush and his supporters, leaders like Greenspan who built a false economic sense of security which might just be what is happening now with climate.

It is possible that what is coming climatically, he couldn't have changed, but he hasn't tried to prepare anyone for it. He has been like the fable of the grasshopper and the ant-- dancing and bragging and ignoring what is outside.

Very much I hope that the scientists are wrong about global warming. That would be great with me, but for now nobody knows. You are listening to one set of scientists but there is another set who see it otherwise.

I used global warming here deliberately because it is the correct term and the only reason it's better to say global climate change is so many people cannot think in a complicated way. If it says warm, to them it must mean hotter. It's why, when Gore used, it, I thought he made a mistake.

For now we don't know what is coming and maybe nothing but if you look at history, it's obvious there have been extreme changes in climate. Today that would be disastrous for where many people live.

You think Bush will care if it is? That man is oblivious to his own actions. From what I can tell he always has been. No matter how ill I have thought of him, and as you said, I have thought poorly all along, he's been worse. I do the best I can to not think of him at all, which is why I write about him so rarely here, and will be only too glad when he's back in Texas where he can brag and nobody listens except his faithful followers who will fund his library of deception.

Greybeard said...

Hate.

Rain said...

I think you can disrespect someone completely without hating them. I hope I do not hate him as that would give him more power than I would want him to have. He's the kind of person that if I knew him in my personal life, I'd just plain cut the relationship to a wave at a distance. I do not wish him poorly. I just wish him gone. What he has cost this country is a lot and time will tell if we can recover from it but he didn't do it alone. That's why I won't defend Obama no matter what he does. When he does something I see as really bad, I will speak up about it. This business of one party right or wrong I don't believe is right. Time will tell on Obama. He's not in yet.

Rain said...

And bumps stump, it is worth questioning if we are impacting it but whether we are or not, we need to pay attention, be alert. We know mankind can impact weather and the land; the only question is can we do it globally.

Paul said...

Earth is a planet that had a beginning and will have an end.How it will end is the question. Will mankind terminate life as we know it or will it be environmentally terminated or will a meteor do it? As for Nostrodamus, the Mayans,New Age nutters and the rest let them prognosticate ad nauseum.Its what they do.

Rain said...

I don't see them as nutters, Paul, but they do have an agenda (and that includes Christians) which speaks of an end of the world and humans needing to be prepared each in their own way. I studied Christian end of the world concepts many years ago when I was into that and there are a lot of books out on it, more recently a very popular fictional series-- Left Behind. Back then mostly non-fiction or rather speculation where they looked at Biblical prophecies and tried to update them for today.

It's human nature to wonder about it. Physical life changes (our aging is one reminder of it). As you said, it will end someday. We all believe that. The question is only when and how.

mandt said...

I don't know what took us so long, having read your comments for a few years over at Bums, but here we are very much enjoying your posts. Good work! peace MandT & Bodhi Dog

Ingineer66 said...

First off the polar Ice caps are not melting. The Arctic Ice sheet is shrinking but the Antarctic Ice sheet is getting thicker. It is a natural cycle and the earth has been doing this for thousands of years.
It seems to be a political ploy to me. Take money from the producers and give it to the non-producers. If greenhouse gasses truly were a threat to humanity the thing to do would be to immediately build 200 nuclear power plants in the US and use the electricity to remove carbon from the atmosphere. The Kyoto protocol and all the other feel good posturing will do nothing to affect the global climate. The US taxpayer funded system does more environmental good for the world than the rest of the world combined. But if we keep chopping the legs off the centipede eventually when we tell it to jump it will be no longer able to do so. It seems that many loud mouths on the left in this country would like to see the US reduced to a third world country, instead of trying to use our economic power to lift up the rest of the world to a better standard.

Rain said...

What you believe about this depends on which experts to whom you listen: Thin Ice. You listen to right wing sources and you get one thing. Left wing and another. What I believe is it needs to be looked at fairly and forget your fear it might cost you something which is what the right plays on and concentrate on what if it's happening-- whatever anybody does-- what do we do to prepare for it? I guess you live in an area you consider it won't be a concern but what if everybody who is impacted moves in? The point here is that nobody knows for sure and that includes right wing radio hosts and bloggers. You can find a slew of experts on either side of this

Darlene said...

Excuse me, Ingineer66, but where are you going to put all that toxic waste from 200 nuclear power plants. Why not utilize the sun and wind; no residue and it's free?

Greybeard said...

Ahh, Darlene...
Free?
Hardly.

Rain said...

No source of power is really free... maybe our own work but even that has a cost. It's just which cost do we want to pay. Even the big solar farms, I have wondered will they impact the climate around them like pavement does? Birds can be killed by the windmills. It's just balancing it. Some is helped when we conserve what we can.

The point of this piece though was that this might be just nature's way and we just have a lot more people living here now. What do we do if that happens to be the case? Are we ready? Can we get ready?

One thing they pointed out in the movie was something that has been seen. Dinosaurs quick frozen with food in their stomachs undigested. We know so little about this earth and we really do just perch on it. Those who think we have control are kidding themselves. We can though impact local climate and it's enough reason to exercise better judgment. What China is doing with the pollution it's throwing out is hurting its own people and maybe the climate. But who's going to stop them?

Ingineer66 said...

Darlene, my comment was some what tongue in cheek. But my point was that if it really was a problem then really do something about it, instead of just whining and posturing. And Rain is correct people protest and sue to stop the wind turbines because they kill birds and they are noisy. And I have been told that current solar panel technology is not that carbon friendly in that it takes a considerable amount of fossil fuel to make a solar panel. So like Rain said there is no free lunch. We could also build a bunch of dams and make "free" electricity from them but in the current environmental climate a major new dam has less chance than a new nuke plant in the US.