Monday, November 07, 2005

Greenhouse gases doubling by 2030

I linked the article from Yahoo! in the title, but the main reason this caught my eye is because I had the opportunity to discuss global warming with a geologist last week.

Don't ask me how we got on any of the subjects that we discussed, but this guy seemed to be an expert in everything. Especially if it had to do with energy because we were drilling for natural gas at the time. I say we because I just happened to be in the proximity of the drill at the time. I was actually taking photos and they were drilling.

We went to check out the operation because it was an interesting story and these Texas natural gas drillers were pretty nice fellows. They were drilling down 2,995 feet through the New Albany shale so they could see if it yield some decent natural gas. After we walked around and talked with the money man, the geologist that was on the scene struck up a conversation with us and soon it turned to the weather and oil and all of that good stuff. They were in the energy business so it made sense.

Anyway, the geologist brought a good point about global warming. He said that global warming isn't the worst thing that could be happening to the world. Global cooling is much worse. He mentioned that the Earth has gone through several ice ages and of course those ice ages warmed up into the types of climates we have now in the world. He also stated that he didn't believe that the people and governments who were concerned about global warming were taking into account the earth's natural cycles of warming and cooling. Which makes total sense.

And when it comes down to it, we don't have any record or any way of telling how warm or cool it got when the ice ages were present or when the warming trends prevailed. Our weather records only go back maybe 125 years or so and honestly I'm not sure if I believe that we can rationally prove that the current weather patterns we are seeing now are in fact due to "global warming." We don't have nearly enough data to support the theories. And who knows how reliable weather records from 1890 are.

I'm not saying that air pollution and CO2 gases aren't hurting the environment, but all of the information we are going on most likely isn't based on rock solid facts so much as it's based on the scientists' best educated theory. Because honestly you can't just pick out a few spots in the world and say, "Yep, it's a lot warmer here today than it was this day 10 years ago." Maybe it was just hot today and there was a cold front that day 10 years ago. Maybe there was a bit of a cooling trend on those days for a couple of years in a row. Anything can happen.

I can remember when here in Western Kentucky we used to get decent snows every year. I remember being able to be swallowed up in snow drifts. Now it's hit and miss. That doesn't mean that global warming has caused this, it just means that the weather patterns didn't line up to give us any good snows for a while. I also remember when we used to have some good flooding about every year during the summer. Now we are in 4 or 5 year drought and if not for the hurricanes that brought some rain up here, we would have lost nearly half of the rain we had this summer and would have cost me some cash.

I did see a documentary on China a few months ago about how terrible the air is over there. Especially in Hong Kong. Their air is so bad that it crosses the Pacific Ocean and makes our air bad on the west coast of the United States. They even followed around a young family who had to weigh the pros and cons of moving to Hong Kong.

On the one hand, if they moved there they could make enough money in about 7 years that they could move to the country and have a nice life. But on the other hand, they had to consider how much damage 7 years in Hong Kong would do to them with the terrible air pollution. That's rough.

But that's what happens when you burn coal for 70 percent of your energy and have zero air pollution laws.


Piccu said...

It's that damn George Bush's fault.

Travis said...

It's interesting that he said global cooling should be more of ac concern. Much of the problems with global cooling come from volcanic eruption relasing gasses into the stratosphere that reflect the sun's energy.

China is a big problem right now though. And that's why it sickens me when we have enviornmental whackos going off on the US. The US does more to protect/help the environment than almost any other country in the world. But we're always considered the bad guy because we have the best economy/best military/best country.

Self-loathers tick me off.

BRATCH said...

He didn't say that it was more of a concern, he simply stated that global cooling would be a worse situation. Although he did say that if it ever came to the point where the polar ice caps began to expand, there wouldn't be much we could do to stop it.

Besides we have no control over any aspect of the weather. We can't exactly stop the volcanos from erupting and if we went back to riding horses primarily for transportation, there are no guarantees that it would help anything. We are control freaks, but we can't Maw Nature.

In fact, all of the enviromental concerns we have are mainly for our health. Air pollution is worse on humans more than anything. We have about as much control over the weather and temperature as we do over the volcanos.

As much energy as we consume and as much pollution as we pump into the air, it'll be a while before the earth goes up in a fiery inferno of global warming.

Travis said...

Share that point of view with the Sierra Club or Greenpeace. They seem to think we're capable of destroying the earth at a rate God would envy.

My only point was that the earth does more to polute itself (volcano's erupting, forest fires, etc) than humanity does. That does not mean we don't have the responsibility to do things as environmentally friendly as possible, I think we should and do, but it should be within reason. I/E if a person wants to own an SUV, let him. If a person wants to use disposable diapers, let him. If a person wants to dump oil into a river, let...hold it. We've reached what's unreasonable.

my_merlin77 said...

The US may be doing a fair amount to correct pollution as compared to other countries, but we are certainly contributing more pollution than the average country as well. I don't think it is evening out.

I agree with what your geologist friend had to say for the most part. And, I agree that people should be allowed to make choices to a point; however, there needs to be a line somewhere as was hinted. I think the line may come way before we get to the point you mentioned.

I mean should my family or I suffer from environmental damage that someone else created?

I don't know where the line is. I don't know what the contribution of nature vs human pollution is. We have a responsibility though

Piccu said...

We are the caretakers of everything on earth, I too believe we have a responsibility, but we should have thought of that before it got this far along.

Whether any of this stuff is actually factual, (and you have battling theories from both sides) we won't have to worry about it, it is our future generations that have to deal with the consequences. So that makes me feel better.