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Post Info TOPIC: Somethin' Happening Here?


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Somethin' Happening Here?
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Food for thought

Reese Halter is a visiting research scientist and distinguished conservation biologist from California Lutheran University. His latest book is “The Insatiable Bark Beetle.”

 

Climate change dropped further from the world headlines in 2011 compared with the previous year even though a vicious one-in-100-year drought in Texas has entered its second year; epic fires in New Mexico; 70 percent of Mexico is enveloped by its worst drought in 70 years; Australia faced epic flooding, costing taxpayers in excess of $5 billion in infrastructure costs; and plants are so confused in their bio-rhythmic cycles that the white petals of snow drops, normally a spring flower, are now unfurling in the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.

Clearly, nature is showing climatologists, ecologists, physiologists and oceanographers that the web of life is being dismantled by rising greenhouse gases. Humans are exceptional problem solvers, so why have the media chosen not to focus on positive solutions? After all, Americans have the highest concentration of brainpower in our colleges compared with any other nation on the globe.

For those who do not believe that anything is going on: Walk, ride or fly anywhere across New Mexico or western North America, and you’ll see vast amounts of dead trees. In the past 40 years across the West, temperatures have risen, on average, in excess of 1.8 degrees. Although this number appears to be small, it has effectively removed nature’s ecological cold curtain enabling mountain pine beetles an opportunity to speed up their life cycle, invade and decimate high elevation pine forests across the continent.

Instead of absorbing CO2, billions of beetle-killed trees across the West are decaying and stoking the ever-rising pool of greenhouse gases. Death rates of whitebark and limber pines across the western U.S. are as high as 90 percent; the sentinels of the high country have become the tsunami sirens of global warming, showing scientists that a warming world is irrevocably altering the landscape across the entire mountainous region of western North America.

It’s not just the forests that are disappearing, but rather immense amounts of ice that reflect incoming solar radiation. One hundred billion tons of ice melted from Greenland during the blistering-warm summer of 2010. This year alone, 50 percent of Canada’s millennia-old Arctic ice shelves along the coast of Elsmere Island vanished.

And far worse, the Southern Ocean, which occupies 22 percent of the total ocean on the globe, absorbing 40 percent of Earth’s CO2, is acidifying so quickly (as a byproduct of absorbing rising CO2) that by 2030 the sea water will be corrosive to crustaceans, dissolving shells that the animals are making. This amplification will reverberate all the way up the food chain to whales.

Data from the Global Carbon Project showed the carbon emissions from our planet had increased 5.9 percent between 2009-2010; that’s the largest jump in any year since the Industrial Revolution.

The $17 trillion Albertan oil sands must spend carbon energy and precious fresh water to separate the gooey, toxic oil from the sand. Moreover, by burning this petroleum, humans will knowingly raise atmospheric CO2 levels by an astounding 150 ppm. Earth will be uninhabitable.

If Australia, with its $10 trillion coke-coal industry, can ratify a carbon tax, then surely we in America can set a low-carbon standard that China and India will follow.

We are running out of time to combat rising CO2 emissions: Earth’s forests are dying.

It’s time to embrace innovation and the co-founder of the London School of Economics, George Bernard Shaw’s, dictum: “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

 



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And one volcano gets a little excited and negates in a few days whatever legislative changes may or may not have accomplished over the previous 10 years. I've got a science background but just don't buy into the climate chicken little theory. Sorry Steve.

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Winter eats heat the way darkness swallows light. The terrors of failed power and frozen stems are stymied with fire, smoke and white ash.

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We should care because if the volcanoes don't get too excited, my grandchildren will have a chance to enjoy what we have. The sun will eventually burn out, but it doesn't mean we should not try and sustain the earth while we are here.

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I hope I'm proven wrong, but at this point I think the human population resembles the beetles in your story.  We will mindlessly consume the planet's resources until a disaster occurs.

IMO, even if you don't believe that humans are causing climate change, it makes sense to only take what you reasonably need based on the fact that there are way too many of us eating our way across the planet.  Climate change may only be a symptom of overpopulation and wanton consumption combined.  People seem to wait for a catastrophe before changing behavior so like Robert (although for different reasons) I am skeptical of legislation on this topic.

Still, getting away from the theoretical (my wife would be proud wink) , I am encouraged by what PCT has accomplished with the preservation of this fishery.  In a small way it shows the good that can happen when concerned citizens pull together and overconsumption is regulated by law and peer pressure.



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When you read and research anything pertaining to global warming generally speaking the vast majority of educated scientist with no financial interest all agree that we have a major problem on our hands. This group includes the highly respected non-biased Union of Concerned Scientist which is a group of some of the brightest minds on the planet.I absolutely agree with Steve, by the way is probably the most educated person I have ever met...bar none! When Steve introduced himself to me online and asked to be involved with our PCT group he sent me an application of sorts which included his educational background, this man has more phd's md's dvd's and xyz's than anyone I've ever met. My basic belief is siding with the folks who really know their science and its those folks (at least the majority) that support the global warming theory.



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Greg Bonovich
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I almost forgot to mention the real root cause of all of our problems when it really comes down to the nuts and bolts( global warming;starvation;resource depletion; wars; crime;environmental issues; ect;ect;ect) and that is over population. Address that one issue and fix it then everything else will fix itself, but unfortunately nobody seems to want to touch it .And one of the key reasons why? RELIGION. OK so I just opened pandora's box...nuff said. Let the hate mail beginsmile



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Greg Bonovich
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Greg,

I hope you don't get hate mail from religious people.  That would be like....ironic.

Also, I always knew there was something wrong with Steve.  He's too smart for his own good! wink



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Not believing in global warming is like believing the sky isn't blue. Those are some scary facts to even think about. We are truely our worst enemy.


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I'm not that smartbiggrin. I have too much life experience for my own good and I like to throw things out there to see how others view the world, hopefully without stirring things up too much. I learn a lot from the responses, especially that there are a lot of intelligent people on this forum with often better reasoned or more relevant views than mine.  Most humbling and much appreciated....



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Address: Putah Creek Trout, 1520 East  Covell Blvd, Suite 5, #331, Davis CA 95616

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Rossflyguy wrote:

Not believing in global warming is like believing the sky isn't blue. Those are some scary facts to even think about. We are truely our worst enemy.


 

I had a philosophy or logic class (don't remember which) that we spent the better part of a week arguing if in fact the sky was blue. Awesome class by the way. There are a ton of arguments pointing to "human" cause for global warming...ahem "climate change" and just as many counter points to those same arguments. Notice they don't refer to it as global warming any more? I've spent more than a couple hours reading on the subject since Steves original post and it left me with the same feeling as before.....the sky is white.

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Winter eats heat the way darkness swallows light. The terrors of failed power and frozen stems are stymied with fire, smoke and white ash.

Cedarville, Mi



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Im not saying that we are the cause of global warming. I believe its a natural thing but I do believe that we are quickening the process. My gf also just told me the sky isn't blue and that its just a reflection of the ocean. She also has her Masters in science...stupid smart people.

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Moving on to "statistically signifigant".

Two wonderful books....How to lie with statistics and Plato's alagory of the cave.

Now I wonder if the sky is less "blue" in Kansas?

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Winter eats heat the way darkness swallows light. The terrors of failed power and frozen stems are stymied with fire, smoke and white ash.

Cedarville, Mi



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Lets disregard all talk of man made climate change and change tack. Some people will never be convinced its real. But ask them this question and you'll usually get the answer you're looking for.

Should we as a people stop dumping the by products of our consumption into our rivers, oceans and atmosphere? Shouldn't we clean up after ourselves?

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I'll take this opportunity to throw in my two sense and agree with Bob. To put it politely we should cease to mess out own nests.

Paul

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It's not called global warming anymore it's called climate change. The reason being is that different climates in different zones are changing differently. Some are getting hotter some are getting cooler but they are definitely changing and mankind almost certainly has some percentage of influence on it. Many in the science community claim that there is no definitive proof as to what percentage we have changed the climate. However almost all of them agree that we do play into the equation. There are many factors that influence climate change including ocean currents, volcanoes, and even cosmic influences such as sun flares. If you deny that humans have some influence on climate change, I challenge you to stand in the middle of a huge black top parking lot in the middle of the summer and just feel the difference between that and standing and a green pasture. Not to mention all the furnaces, water heaters, cars, bonfires, factories, airliners, air conditioners, fireplaces, and methane from cattle and pig farms, Etc. All it takes is a little bit of critical thinking, we don't even need scientists to tell us these facts. However, after saying all that I still believe that the human influence on climate change is very small maybe 5%. Scientific and archaeological evidence suggests that the Earth has gone through major and significant climate changes way before humans were producing any of these things. Just saying.

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As far as the insects eating up all the vegetation and what not, who are we to say that that's also not a natural cycle to recycle and rebirth forests? The human mind is very powerful but also very limited in the fact that we can only associate things with other things that we have known in the past. For instance I challenge you to think of a color that you haven't seen before.

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