Thursday, October 15, 2009
Today is BAD--Blog Action Day. An unfortunate acronym but here's my 2 cents.
I've been trying for a year or so to read enough about climate change to have a shot at a slightly well-informed opinion on this subject. It's taken me that long to figure out that the subject is way too complex for me to have a truly well-informed opinion so instead I have a list of thoughts-questions, interesting people who have unconventional opinions on climate change, and a couple of fascinating historical weather events.
1. The subject would be easier to talk about if we could forget about whether or not humans caused the situation. Of course, our actions (like when the first humans dug up some trees and planted a garden) are causes but there are other factors so why waste time blaming or denying?
2. I believe what I read (in the IPCC report, for example) about the trends and likely causes of our current global warming (deforestation, burning fossil fuels, too many cattle on the planet, etc), but I have no faith that humans have the ability to stop or reverse the trend. With a massive, massive effort we could maybe slow it down but that's it. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't change our ways.
3. Every country should be looking for fossil fuel alternatives b/c fossil fuels are running out, they're dirty, and we have to be international hypocrites (and total ass-kissers) to keep the Saudi oil flowing into our oversized cars. I still don't like nuclear power plants even though I know we have 80 or so plants in this country and France gets about 80% of its electricity from nuclear energy. Have we been lucky or is it really possible to keep them safe from angry evil-doers of all stripes and human error?
4. Our two biggest problems are overpopulation and dwindling supplies of water. If I wanted to be, you know, part of the solution, instead of buying a Prius I should lobby on behalf of reducing population growth or increasing research on how in the hell we're going to have enough water in the future.
Interesting people with unconventional opinions on climate change:
Interesting weather and geological events:
Mount Tamboro and the Poverty Summer of 1816
The cooling of 535-536 AD (leading to widespread famine, drought, and plague): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_weather_events_of_535–536
Next book I'll read about all this stuff:
The Long Summer: How Climate Changed Civilization (Paperback)
by Brian Fagan
Posted by Pam J. at 11:35 PM