Thursday, December 18, 2008

Let's not look at theories, let's look at facts...

Anybody else see that extremely high rate of growth (CO2 concentration is the atmosphere) that began in about the 20's? Anyone? Bueller?

What happened that would cause such an increase I wonder. Hmm..

Option A: It's the cows and their methane-filled bowels. They just started pooping more during the Depression. (You know that was a stressful time, even for cows.)

Option B: Al Gore was born and God wanted him to have a mission in life.

Option C: Hell (and the North and South Poles) stopped freezing over when the Democrats took power.

Option D: The world population exploded, cutting down more trees than ever before; the burning of fossil fuels increased; millions upon millions of combustible engines produced more fumes than a Grateful Dead concert.

I'm going with Option A, no I mean D. But don't take my word for it. How about a group of scientists from around the world.

On Feb. 2, 2007, the United Nations scientific panel studying climate change declared that the evidence of a warming trend is "unequivocal," and that human activity has "very likely" been the driving force in that change over the last 50 years. The last report by the group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in 2001, had found that humanity had "likely" played a role.


Ben and Christina said...

My dad adamently denies global warming, and I just have to laugh at him- but, really, it is not a laughing matter. And, even if you didn't believe in it, I think everyone can agree that we do need to take better care of our planet-from recycling, to finding better fuel then oil, to everything else. It is really sad how we treat our world...

Lula O said...

Are you the only Democrat in your family Christina? I'm waiting for you to post on how you balance the political discussions at family gatherings.
Mine are always fun..:0)

Jen said...

I am a skeptic of Global Warming. I don't know much about it--no scientist here, but I have heard and tried to educate myself on both sides debated. I just don't think it's all that it's cracked up to be.

Lula O said...

Maybe you should look at the graph a little closer then. That data is not made up Jen. It's the truth. And the thing is, this shouldn't be a liberal or conservative issue. It should be a human race issue.

There's no getting around it when you look at the actual data. We humans are one of the contributor's to the greenhouse effect.

So the question should be, is there anything we can do to lesson the effects? Nobody seems to know exactly, as predicting the future is sometimes hard. But are we, as a world population willing to risk it? Personally, I would rather err on the side of caution.

I didn't realize breathing better air, or drinking clean water, driving fuel efficient vehicles or preventing acid rain was a 'liberal' issue only. I didn't realize these ideas were so extreme. If that's the case then call me that all you want.

I hope the dirty water tastes good.

Jen said...

I don't recall using the word "liberal" in my comment nor making any reference to a political party. Just references to hearing both sides of the issue from scientists, that's all.

Ann C. said...

I am confused about your certainty on the causations and implications of the factual graph. You conclude that global warming caused by human activity is the truth. But in science there are very few final conclusions. Even the sacred UN reports to which you referred uses language such as "very likely". That does not sound like an conclusive truth.

Besides, aren't scientists supposed to be skeptical and continually question and test their hypotheses? The graph you provided shows an increase in CO2 over the last fifty years. And no doubt there has been a slight average temperature increase during the last decade. But how does your factual graph square with the scientific conclusions in the 1970s that there would be catastrophic global cooling?

So, have you spent much time studying the scientists who disagree with the UN scientists? May I recommend "The Great Swindle" which has some previews at

Lula O said...

Ah, a worthy adversary.
Hi Ann C.
First thing's first. I never concluded that human activity caused global warming. I said we humans are one of the contributors, and that's what the graph showed. Facts. The industral age has caused an increase in CO2. I've read current levels in the atmosphere are at 60% and at it's current rate of growth are predicted to be to 80% by 2050.

The majority of mainstream scientists from around the world, including the UN bunch, have said that the increase in CO2 could be distorting and accelerating the natural process that is 'the Greenhouse Effect'.

This increase in trapped infrared radiation could be one reason why the global avg temp is up by 0.6 degrees during the 20th Century alone, not the last decade.

I said, So the question should be, is there anything we can do to lesson the effects? Nobody seems to know exactly, as predicting the future is sometimes hard. But are we, as a world population willing to risk it? Personally, I would rather err on the side of caution.

So, I agree that scientists should be skeptical, ask questions and continually test new hypothesis. That is the scientific method after all. You look at your data, and draw conclusions from what you know. The majority that I've read concur. That we should be taking precautions just in case. There are some that don't. I'll look at that website.

Like I said, I personally think it's not worth the risk of doing nothing, of just sitting back and saying, it's just a natural thing and there's nothing we can do about it.

Our planet will be better off if we try to decrease our pollution. I guess I don't understand why some can't see the greater good here. Why this is a political issue.

Do you think this planet will last forever?

Lula O said...

And Jen, I said liberal because ideas on global warming tend to divide along party lines. Why? I just don't know. It doesn't make sense to me.

Lula O said...

I just listened to a little Rush while I was cleaning my kitchen - I like to listen to crap while cleaning up the crap in my sink. He was on a global warming rant.
How the smog magically goes away when the weather clears it. That it's not human - automobile caused.

The whole time I was thinking...I bet he didn't even graduate from high school. He is such an ass.
Seriously, WHO listens to this guy???

Ben and Christina said...

I am not the only Dem in my family-but definitley the most outspoken Dem. I have concluded (based on such comments as what he wrote earlier on my sister's blog) that many of my outspoken Rep. family are simply ignorant (I am NOT saying rep. in general are, but people who say comments like my brother-in-law- I certainly believe are). Mostly, I don't talk politics with my family because they aren't very good at listening to sides which disagree with them. I was probably more like that earlier, but now I at least try to listen to what others have to say (unless they start calling me a Nazi) and having intelligent discussion, and my family tends to make things personal which really annoys me. But, growing up, we NEVER talked politics- EVER. I honestly didn't know what party my parents belonged to until a couple of years ago.

I do think it strange global warming has become a liberal or conservative issue instead of a human issue- all of us can certainly do more to help the environment, whether or not one believes in global warming. Where I live you actually have to pay extra to recycle, so very few people even recycle- we are the only ones on the street which do-I guess they can't afford the extra $3.75 a month...I don't know if it has anything to do with the fact I live in a VERY Repbulican area- Jen, I need you to comment on this-do you think if one is a Rep. they are less likely to recycle then Libs? I don't know, just an interesting observation I have noticed in this neck of the woods.

Jen said...

Lula, you tend to make inferences about my opinions quite often and then I have to go on a defensive rant. I can see your side of the issue, but I think that you fail to even try to see my side of things. I could be wrong, but that's just the way it seems to me. I've tried to change my tone to allow for more level-headed conversations, but it doesn't seem to make much of a difference.

I personally think that the reason why global warming tends to be a cons/lib issue is because there are more scientists on the left therefore they take greater cause to push forth the issue. I know plenty of republicans that recycle and who care for the environment. I personally use to be a HUGE consumer of bottled water. I now have a few nice water bottles that I fill up and take with me. As I mentioned before, I also grew up in a home with solar panels on the roof to conserve energy. I turn off lights in my house and I have the thermostat at reasonable settings to conserve energy. I recognize the energy crisis. I just think that global warming is blown out of porportion, not because it may or may not be true, but because I don't understand the universe as a whole and I don't know what natural cycles it goes through and quite possibly if these cycles are necessary to the system as a whole. To me it's not a global warming issue, it's a general environment issue. We should take care of our land. I can't stand litter and cigarette buts at intersections drive me crazy. So, Lula, please ask for greater clarification before making assumptions on my opinions or ideas on certain issues without putting words in my mouth. I will try to do the same for you.

Christina, I really don't have an answer for you. There are a lot of conservatives on my street who recycle. I also know lots of liberals who don't recycle. I would imagine that there is more recycling going on in states like California and cities like Boulder, but I don't think that republicans, as a whole are anti-recycling. At least, I'm not. Did I mention that I live close to a land fill.......

Ben and Christina said...

I do NOT envy you living close to a land fill! That can't be fun when you drive by...

Yeah, I hope that everybody is concerned about the environment. I can honestly say that we are nowhere near where Eurpeans are when it comes to conservation- and I hope we get closer to them in the future. They recycyle EVERYTHING, make excellent use of public transportation, take incredibly short showers (in fact, when I lived in Germany I had to turn off the shower as I shampooed my hair and then turn it on again when I was ready to rinse). Unfortunatley, some people still don't get it, though, and waste, waste, waste- and that really is sad to me.

Lula O said...

Now calm down girlie girl. Didn't mean to make inferences about your opinions Jen, and I wasn't calling you anti-environment. But just because I believe we, as humans are making our situation worse, doesn't make me an extremist either. It makes me concerned.

I'm sorry if you are a skeptic of global warming because you think all scientists who follow that path are mostly from the left. I don't find that to be true at all. That isn't supposed to happen in the science field, in that it's data should be unbiased, ethical, and not follow a specific idealogical agenda.

What bothers me so much about Rush is even though he says he's "no expert", he spouts off like he is, and that convinces people (for some this is the only place they get this kind of information) of things that are just crazy talk. Like today he said, what we do has no effect on the smog. We don't cause it, he said.

So, in essence, drive all you want, forget carpooling, forget fuel efficient vehicles, because it will be there no matter what we do.

Crazy talk.

Didn't mean to offend. I will concede that both sides need to come together, and I just hope we can all agree that some reasonable steps need to be taken. I'm happy that we're all recyclers. That's a good start!!

okbushmans said...

WOW! I did expect some response to my SPF post, but not this!
Just a few of my simple observations. I live in one of the most conservative and Republican states, Oklahoma. (The only state that every county voted for McCain, from what I've heard). And considering we are the home of natural gas and oil, you can guess who my neighbors are. HOWEVER, I am surprised at how many recycling bins I see (which one is outside our house, thank you!). We love our lakes, and have many parks, and yes, people drive fuel efficient cars. I always thought it was a rep/dem issue, but Oklahoma has proved me wrong.

My personal belief is you should take care of the earth whether it is because of global cooling (70's), overwhelming garbage dumps (80's), greenhouse effect (90's) or Global Warming (00's). And Ann C, thank you for pointing out that almost nothing in science is definite, and should always be questioned. I am just glad to see more questioning being done, because that is what scientists should do!

Question: Would you go as far as buying carbon credits to remove your 'human imprint' on the earth? Is that our next responsibility? Just curious.

okbushmans said...

P.S. Are there any other charts, possibly ones that show cycles over longer periods of time? I'd also love to see if Oxygen, and Nitrogen have also increased, because they make up more of the 'air' than CO2 does. Do they have an effect? Why just CO2?

Jen said...

Thank you Lula, I think it's important that we get on the same page and understand where the other person is coming from, even if we don't agree. I don't know if you are an "extremist" or not, but I do think that "extremists" on BOTH sides of the isle, regardless of the issue, are hard to take seriously. In this specific instance, I have a hard time taking environmental extremists seriously because I think that emotions can get in the way of common sense and the message can get tainted. Also, I just think, right or wrong, there are more scientists on the left. I don't know why that is. Is it possible that generally speaking scientists aren't as religious and there tend to be more on the right that are religious than the left? This is just a question that I've thought about and haven't really researched, just trying to make sense of things in my own head. What do you think?

Another thought regarding recycling, I think it's more of an education issue than the idea or possibility of the right rebelling against the left. Low income areas tend to be liberal but I don't really see recycling bins out there either. But that's probably because their reasons for being on the left are not based on environmental issues. These are just non-educated guesses. Who really knows?

Bryce and Mandy said...

Jen, did your family buy the house with the solar panels already on them or did your family install them? Just curious...

Jen said...

My parents are the original owners of the house and lived in the house for at least 10 years before they had them installed. We actually have a newspaper clipping with an article about the solar panels installed on our very house and my mom is in the photo standing on a ladder next to the panels on the roof. It was really new and innovative when she did it and so she got some attention for her efforts. The technology is definitely outdated, but my mom says that she still notices a difference in her electrical/heating bills.

Jen said...

by-the-way the landfill doesn't stink. Seriously you wouldn't even know it's there.

Lula O said...

Christina, I find what you say about Europe interesting. Our large land mass does often play catchup in these kind of areas. Perhaps we'll learn sooner than later from our older counterparts.

Currently, I think recycling occurs more in certain areas than other's depending on - where you live in the US (it occurs more in the highly populace areas like the East), your level of education, and your background. I would only give liberals a slight edge, in that more of them have seen Al Gore's movie...

Bushman, you're going to have to do your own little research paper on that sort of cyclic data, although I'm sure it exists somewhere.
As far as gases go, oxygen and nitrogen, only in the forms of nitrous oxide and ozone, along with methane, water vapor and CO2 are considered greenhouse gases in that they help absorb and trap heat - infrared radiation from being reflected back into the atmosphere.

All those gases occur naturally, otherwise we'd be a constant temp of like 50 degrees. It's when they are produced in abundance that they overdo their jobs.

Lula O said...

A word in defense of scientists.

Having worked for two pretty famous aquatic ecologists for almost two decades, and having been around and worked with many other people in related fields, I must say that the theory that most are more liberal, and that this somehow affects their work is flawed and just not true.

Having worked around all these people for so long you'd think I'd know their political or religious idealogies. I do not. I have no idea because it was never discussed.

Don't you know - Science is the THING. Research. Publishing. Making the next great discovery. Not politics. The scientific community is a pretty self-absorbed, nerdy bunch. Honestly, they could care less about political or religious idealogies. It had nothing to do with what they do.

Published results have to be backed up by facts, data, research, because it will in turn be tested and tested again by everybody else within their line of work.

So to assume that more scientists are democrats and that this somehow taints their data, we'll, that doesn't make any sense.

It's just not true.

Jen said...

I wasn't saying that it taints their data, I was just saying that it seems, to me, no facts, there there are more on the left and possibly that's because less of them believe in God. I really have no idea, but becuase more of them are on the left that's why, i think, there is a greater push from the left in science. I don't believe that their data is tainted. I have HIGH respect for scientits, where would we be without them? I worked with scientists at Gambro BCT/Navigant Technologies and the headway they made in the blood banking industry to make transfused blood much safer was amazing. The blood banking industry is the MOST reguladed industry--rightfully so, blood contains so much disease that can harm others if it's not properly looked at and then transfused. One of my best friends is an AMAZING scientist. She was on scholarship at John's Hopkins and also went to Oxford while working on her PhD. Her mother died of breast cancer along with her Aunt and her father almost died of cancer. She is on a mission to find a cure! She is sooooo smart and so fascinating to talk with.

And I definitely agree that they do more than politics and especially politicans. Quite frankly I wish we could just get rid of all the corrupt politicians and live on our own. What good can they really do if they truly don't have the best interest of the country at heart.