Falling Awake

Just Darts Since 2009

Some global warming updates

You know how you always hear that the US makes up X% of the planet, and uses Y% of its resources?

Here’s a new twist:

Human greed takes lion’s share of solar energy

HUMANS are just one of the millions of species on Earth, but we use up almost a quarter of the sun’s energy captured by plants – the most of any species.

The human dominance of this natural resource is affecting other species, reducing the amount of energy available to them by almost 10 per cent, scientists report.

Researchers said the findings showed humans were using “a remarkable share” of the earth’s plant productivity “to meet the needs and wants of one species”.

They also warned that the increased use of biofuels – such as ethanol and canola – should be viewed cautiously, given the potential for further pressure on ecosystems.

[H]umans used 24 per cent of the energy that was captured by plants. More than half of this was due to the harvesting of crops or other plants.

(But… we planted those crops!)

So let me see…  No power from oil or coal (global warming!), no hydroelectric power (the poor fish!), no nuclear power (Three Mile Island!), no wind power (the windmills block the view from the Kennedy compound!).  And now no solar power?  What’s left?  Hamsters in wheels?

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Al Gore, the great thinker profiled by Time magazine, had an opinion piece in the New York Times (reg. req.) in advance of his Live Earth concert.  He talks about–surprise–the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere.

As a direct result [of our carbon dioxide emissions], many scientists are now warning that we are moving closer to several “tipping points” that could — within 10 years — make it impossible for us to avoid irretrievable damage to the planet’s habitability for human civilization.

It’s funny how calamity is always ten years away.  I seem to recall we had until 1995 to save the planet, but I guess we squeaked through somehow.  I wish they’d tell us what we did to pull that one off.  Maybe we could do it again.

I’ll make Al Gore a bet.  Ten years from today, we’ll see how the Earth is doing.  If it’s been given another five to ten year reprieve, he’ll pay me whatever his electric bill is that month.  If disaster is one year away or less, I’ll give him whatever I owe for electricity.  Anything else is a push.

He also had this to say:

Consider this tale of two planets. Earth and Venus are almost exactly the same size, and have almost exactly the same amount of carbon. The difference is that most of the carbon on Earth is in the ground — having been deposited there by various forms of life over the last 600 million years — and most of the carbon on Venus is in the atmosphere.

As a result, while the average temperature on Earth is a pleasant 59 degrees, the average temperature on Venus is 867 degrees. True, Venus is closer to the Sun than we are, but the fault is not in our star; Venus is three times hotter on average than Mercury, which is right next to the Sun. It’s the carbon dioxide.

Yes, Mr. Gore, it’s the carbon dioxide.  Along with all the other gasses present in Venus’s atmosphere.  Along with the fact that Mercury has no atmosphere.  As a result, the lowest temparture on Mercury is -292 degrees Fahrenheit, which kind of skews its average temperature a bit.  Is Gore suggesting that we combat global warming by stripping Earth of its atmosphere?  Why else would he bring up Mercury?  Not to mislead the ignorant, surely?

And by the way, Mr. Gore, are you saying that 59 degrees is the “correct” temperature?  You call it “pleasant,” but I like it a little warmer than that.  My preferred temperature is 68 degrees.

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Why is idea of global warming so alarming to environmentalists?

This doesn’t seem so bad:

Researchers: Greenland really was green!

Ice-covered Greenland really was green a half-million or so years ago, covered with forests in a climate much like that of Sweden and eastern Canada today.

The researchers, led by Eske Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, say the findings are the first direct proof that there was forest in southern Greenland.

Included were genetic traces of butterflies, moths, flies and beetles, they report in Friday’s edition of the journal Science.

Greenland was discovered by Vikings sailing from Iceland about 1,000 years ago. While it had an ice cap then, the climate was relatively mild and they were able to establish colonies in coastal areas. Those colonies later vanished as the climate cooled.

But the new research shows it hasn’t always been so cold there.

I’d guess environmentalists would answer: “But you see, that was in the past.  The future is so uncertain!”  And they have the gall to call themselves progressives!

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