Insomnia Log

This is what keeps me awake at night???

Who needs sleep? (well you’re never gonna get it)
Who needs sleep? (tell me what’s that for)
Who needs sleep? (be happy with what you’re getting,
There’s a guy who’s been awake since the second world war)

-- words and music by Steven Page & Ed Robertson

Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States

Everything you need to know about me can be found in my posts

Thursday, April 06, 2006

In the Global Hot Seat

In an editorial opinion today, Jay Ambrose attacked those who warn against global warming. (I prefer the term "climate change," which portends drastic and long-term changes. "Global warming" sounds too much like the weather is just going to get nicer.) And attack is the word for his essay -- those who urge action are hyperventilating alarmists, lapsing into stupidity, name-calling, and Bush-bashing leftists. On the other hand, Mr. Ambrose, who clearly never hyperventilated in his life, bashes nobody, does not resort to name-calling, and has said nothing stupid himself, assures us that the stated rates of warming are wrong, ice caps aren't melting, hurricanes are not getting more intense, and that we will adjust and find solutions to whatever moderate rate of increase actually happens.

So, what is the truth? Check out what the EPA has to say on the topic.
  • We know for a fact that the earth has warmed by about a degree over the past hundred years.

  • The rate of temperature increase has increased during that time.

  • Glaciers have been melting, snow cover has decreased, and below ground temperature has increased.

  • Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased to levels unseen in historical times. This is largely due to human activities.

  • It is a known fact that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere tend to cause increased temperatures.
So, what don't we know for sure? Well, we can only model how fast the earth's temperature will rise in the future. And we can only make educated guesses on the local impacts this may have.

Let's give the climate-change-deniers the benefit of the doubt for a moment. Suppose there really is no consensus among scientists. Maybe there's only a 5% chance that the climate will change in a drastic and negative way. Shouldn't we still do everything we can to prevent that or lessen its impact? I'm guessing Jay Ambrose buys insurance. Consider the things we do to lessen global warming an insurance policy. Surely we can afford that.

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