Tuesday, June 27, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

Nerdboy and I were talking about global warming a few days ago. Nerdboy, I must mention, is a lot more socialist than I. But he German, so I can’t fault him for basically acting out what is natural to him…;-). Nevertheless, Nerdboy and I have many fascinating discussions, because we are able to argue our sides without calling names (except perhaps “socialist” and “neo-con” but those are more badges of honor than insults).

Anyways, Nerdboy and I are pretty much in agreement about this whole global-warming thing. His basic take on it, if I remember correctly, is that Gore is right in his film. Pretty much everything that he says will happen, will happen: “a flooded New York City, an inundated Florida, more and nastier hurricanes, worsening droughts, retreating glaciers and disappearing ice sheets.”

However, what is up to debate is the inevitability of it all. Gore claims “that the world is getting hotter and it is a manmade catastrophe-in-the-making caused by the burning of fossil fuels.” I don’t even want to debate the factualness of that argument. I have heard so many contradictory arguments, and I am not a scientist. However, one thing I do know, and Nerdboy so eloquently pointed out: the world is constantly changing. And he took the example of the history of the Grand Canyon:

Wetter climates brought upon by ice ages starting 2 million years ago greatly increased excavation of the Grand Canyon, which was nearly as deep as it is now by 1.2 million years ago. Also about 2 million years ago volcanic activity started to deposit ash and lava over the area. At least 13 large lava flows dammed the Colorado River, forming huge lakes that were up to 2000 feet (600 m) deep and 100 miles (160 km) long. [...]

Then the base level and course of the Colorado River (or its ancestral equivalent) changed 5.3 million years ago when the Gulf of California opened and lowered the river's base level (its lowest point). This increased the rate of erosion and cut nearly all of the Grand Canyon's current depth by 1.2 million years ago. The terraced walls of the canyon were created by differential erosion. (bold, my emphasis)

Climates have always changed the face of the Earth. Like I previously stated, I am not going to debate whether or not humans have an impact on climate changes, but instead wanted to point out that perhaps instead of trying to think that we can prevent the flooding of New York, we should accept that it WILL eventually happen.

This led me to an amusing thought. The image of Gore with his ingenious “I care about the world, not just America” platform positioning him nicely for the next presidential elections (I bet Michael Moore is more than a little annoyed the he has been replaced as official Democrat Party Documentary Director) makes me wonder, if in the age of the supercontinent Pangaea some Paleolithic early invertebrate politician was trying to convince the other invertebrates to stop eating algae and cross over to an alternative algae, otherwise the noxious waste caused by their secretions was going to cause the Supercontinent to break up into many little continents.

I bet they wished they had elected him now. He might have been able to stop the upcoming horrors of the continental drift, the formation of our modern day continents, not to mention the Grand Canyon.

Fools they were, ignoring the inconvenient, or shall I say, inevitable truth.


Blogger MQ said...

I actually want to see this film. But I'll have to drive in my Escort and leave the Durango at home should I run into some extremists.

"I bet Michael Moore is more than a little annoyed the he has been replaced as official Democrat Party Documentary Director)"


1:08 AM  
Blogger Blaez said...

Watch the movie "Day After Tomorrow" and thier was another "made for TV" movie on ABC or NBC I didn't get to see, thats about the weather and its destroying facts, and the fact that we did it to ourselves... And people were ignoring the scientists saying shit was gettin bad and they wouldn't listen...

anyways, I am scared. No movie scared me as badly as "Day After Tomorrow".

2:14 AM  
Blogger bee said...

That movie is on my "to see" list.

2:25 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

I just saw Al Gore on Larry King last week. I have to admit that I was skeptical before watching, assuming I would laugh him off, but I came away wanting to see the film as well. I know that some of what he says is true...I believe that the earth is changing...I mean, it's a little hard not to believe that...although I do take it all with a grain of salt. :)

4:12 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

The thing that I keep thinking about is that, even if all this is inevitable, even if our SUVs cause temps to rise enough in 100 yrs or so that icebergs melt and we have floods, how can anyone predict what life will be like for humans in 100 years, 200 years, even 50 years? I can't get Michael Crichton's point out of my head: back in 1900, people wondered how we'd possibly survive 100 years with all that horse dung everywhere. They couldn't even foresee the car; what are we not foreseeing? Maybe in 100 years we'll live on Mars, or underwater, or something else I can't even imagine. Or maybe the price of oil will just drive us to alternative fuels, and in 50 years we won't even use oil anymore, slowing the CO2, etc. Remember when a Walkman cost like $100? Now Discmans are $10; my guess is that the hybrid car technology will keep getting cheaper and perhaps one day just become the standard. There are so many variables that we can't even begin to imagine that could affect this whole Global Warming Thing, but people seem to act like we're still going to be driving Ford Explorers in the year 2200, like people thought we'd still be riding horses today! The answer to Global Warming is progress forward, not all these doomsday solutions that put us backwards.

And I thought Day After Tomorrow was hilarious! I loved the speech in front of an obvious Cheney lookalike who was naturally not "enlightened", and then the massive floods start the same day? HA! What a bunch of bull...

2:15 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Or maybe we'll all be driving the Hy-Wire, a car that runs on seawater. You have to watch this video:

2:50 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

If I never saw what any of the scientists said - I'd still be able to tell you that Al Gore is full of hot air and maybe it's the idiocies raining from his mouth that are causing global warming. The very fact that he's predicting all these calamities to come to fruition in the next 10 years should really have everyone laughing at the man.

When I was a kid - we were all told in the best tradition of "let's scare 'em" that the world was getting COLDER - we were headed for the equivalent of a nuclear winter. Pollution was going to kill us all by the year 2000. (back then it was 40 years in the future - even THEY didn't predict closer than that). Plus the world would be so over populated that there wouldn't be enough food to eat or clean water to drink.

Not one single item on that agenda came through.

The bottom line is - there is always someone out there twisting "facts" and very earnestly trying to scare us. The real fact is - and climatologists will agree - we don't know what's going on with the climate - period.

It could get warmer or it could get colder. The earth itself goes through these changes even if there are no humans living on it and geological time is far different than human time.

Should humans work on making less pollution and cleaner fuels - of course. Will the world come crashing down within 10 years... maybe by nuclear bomb. When you extend the scale out to geologic proportions - Sarah is quite right to call to our attention that things change over many years.

As for Day After Tomorrow - sorry, but that's the stupidest movie I ever tried to watch. It follows very closely behind Independence Day as being laughably idiotic. I love a good movie - but it has to make at least some logical sense for me to be willing to suspend disbelief.

12:29 AM  

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