Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Here is the bottom-line on climate change: It's not up to a vote.

It won't matter if Fox news puts out every questionable study and ignores the ones it doesn't like which say change is coming. It won't matter if your senator ridicules it. It won't matter if you don't like it. It is happening or it is not.

Thomas Friedman put out a good take with some suggestions [Global Weirding]. It won't convince naysayers, who are trying to make this one more political issue to nail Obama or who don't want to reduce carbon usage; but if you are not a naysayer, there are reasons to give the whole issue some serious consideration.

The leadership in our country has become so fractionalized that it cannot function on any level unless Republican legislators run things. If they run things, they will do what benefits themselves, big corporations, and convince anybody they can (maybe even themselves) that it's the noblest, most patriotic choice and half the country will cheer. It won't change global climate no matter how much hot air they put out.

If Republican Congress people can't run things, they pout and demand nothing be done even about something as serious as the question of global climate change. They will try to obfuscate and distract from very real questions like about ocean temperatures rising and what that means to the ocean streams and currents. Keep in mind that weather is very related to the ocean moving air around. When that is disrupted or changed, what will that mean for humans? If you don't know, shouldn't you research it?

I guess Republican leaders think they won't be here to see the consequences if they are wrong. Wouldn't you think they'd at least want to know for future generations (assuming the shift takes awhile) but they apparently don't. They smell blood on the water and like typical sharks they only worry about their next meal. They will deny anything science might say to interfere, and they will block unbiased funding that could find out.

If you have watched the film, Day After Tomorrow, you know one of the main theories of global climate change-- necessarily dramatized and rushed for film purposes-- is weather extremes, brought on by ocean temperature changes, which could include mini-ice ages... which won't seem like mini-anything if you happen to live where they happen.

Right-left, up-down, it is ALL theories right now. Science can look at the past, speculate on the future based on geologic evidence or history (like other times of rising CO2 levels, but there isn't really anything like what we have going today to look at. Even if there was, they cannot be sure how it would impact the future or even today. They can make educated guesses.

Another bottom-line: earth is a dynamic planet with the potential for huge shifts that, based on geologic evidence, can come very fast. If you don't understand that, try watching How the Earth was Made. Mankind lives on this planet with many other creatures, many others only fossilized evidence they ever existed because of other catastrophic shifts. We don't control it. Some might try to tell you we do, but we do not. That doesn't mean we can't impact it.

For those who believe in a god who tweaks things every now and again to get the bad guys or reward the good, they don't care about science and what it can tell them. They believe their god will either fix it or destroy it sometimes based on whims. They are jake with that.

For those who believe in a god but don't believe he/she/it will fix anything, for those who don't believe in a god, there is reason to do research on what is happening and try to stay away from studies like the one done by [Peabody Energy Corp's] (think coal). Some university results will be as suspect depending on who is paying for that particular study. What we need is more science that is not funded by some financial interest. There is very little of that out there at least in our country.

What we can do is look for hard statistics regarding say the time on earth when so many people either disappeared or had to migrate elsewhere [like the Anasazi] and follow up with a variety of opinions on what those statistics could mean for today:

The question of whether mankind is impacting climate should be off the table as of course human activity is a factor considering the numbers we are talking about around the world-- numbers that are growing on an exponentially increasing pattern (short some major plague or a continental level natural disaster). The question is how much of this is human impacted and what can we really do about it. If the seas warm, have less temperature differential in their depths, or turn less salty, what does that mean for food sources and climate on land?

Yes, it might be that whatever is coming would come anyway. Might be something outside our control will send it all another way like a super volcano (we won't like that either). Can humans change it at this point? Well we can't impact something like solar activity which is a factor in air temperature on earth. So why care?

I think we should care in order to prepare ourselves for possible change (wise anyway), to do our part in living responsibly (wise anyway). That might involve moving. It might involve having a rotating supply of food that can be used if emergencies (like winters that don't end) should happen. If I lived year round in a location that might end up below sea level (which isn't as high as some would suggest), I'd give serious consideration to moving inland a bit, but then I'd have that option. Not everyone does.

Generally, I tend to say avoid blogs for hard science (including mine) but [Skeptical Science] seemed good to me with its facts and analysis as well as dissenting comments. Here are a couple of good examples:

It is to your advantage to know what's coming, and if you base your conclusions on politics, not liking Al Gore, or thinking carbon credits make no sense (it didn't to me either), you won't get the most accurate information. It takes work, and media won't do it for you. My thinking is be prepared as best you can for you individually. This isn't something to fret over but to research, then do what is possible and responsible.


Paul said...

Climate Change has been caused by rowdy Pagans-NOT! Seriously the weather and the earth have been in constant change since this planet was created. Humanity could do certain things to not produce man-made damage to the world, but usually the pocket book or the political stripe determines what actually gets done.

donna said...

Paul, that doesn't mean you have to contribute to it or be a victim of the corporations or politicians, which I believe is Rain's point.

We just had the fourth warmest January worldwide on record. Let the naysayers deny that if they dare.


Darlene said...

AS long as you have the ignorant fighting progress at every turn you will have trouble making changes.

I think the media ought to be more responsible and report the facts that scientists can prove. As long as the media cheer lead the idiots the scientists will be fighting an uphill battle.

Kay Dennison said...

As I look forward (with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek) to yet another blizzard tomorrow, I wonder about global warming. Our weather seems to be getting cooler here in the heart of it all.

Rain said...

Watch Day After tomorrow again sometime, Kay and you will see what global warming might mean to some areas. It's more about the oceans than the air... and whether it's man caused or more likely a natural cycle, the earth could be in for quite a ride. Then again it might all balance and go on as it's been. Man really has a short history here in comparison to other species.

In Oregon, it's been warmer than usual but it is more than a short term thing as we see birds we don't see, they migrate before it's usual and some trees are dying. I think that's pretty natural for evolution and the earth but it's mankind who has to worry about itself. I hear those say well the earth will always be here. It's us we worry about, not the earth. I am just suggesting keep track of the studies and looking at the possibilities and then being prapered as much as we can. Nobody knows for sure.

We saw a horrible movie last night-- Knowing. I would not recommend it to anybody but the gist of it was that the sun with a huge solar flare would take out the earth's population by one big blast. My husband, the scientist says it can't be that much but not a good thought. Solar storms to impact us but not to that extreme. Do NOT watch that film :)

Paul said...

Donna I have never owned a car in my life. I drink water only. And I don't litter. I am open-minded about climate change and I know that the buck usually is at the bottom of a lot of our problems. Most people will support efforts to be environment friendly - as long as it doesn't impact their pocket books. Let's be candid here. The belly (keeping it full) often determines the level of one's involvement in debates about issues like climate change. The Liberals and Conservatives have their agendas for dealing with climate change. It's an old canard to blame corporations for everything that is going wrong. They bear a responsibility for a lot of negative things, but not all of them. Just today I saw a tv piece about PETA taking a high school to task for having a donkey basketball game! Talk about wingnuts-there are enough all over the political spectrum.

Annotated Margins said...

Humans have a very short history on this planet, and I fear it will be the shortest of all things that ever happened here. Some of the problem, I think, stems from mislabeling the problem in the beginning, calling it "global warming" instead of "climate shifting." But it's all about the money. We don't want to save ourselves or others unless we get to keep the cash.

Paul said...

AM did you ever hear the old adage, "You can't take it with you." Some folks think that you can. And by the way species end-it's part of nature's plan...