Thursday, April 20, 2006

Let me see, where do I start?

How about with this?

First, we have the consensus among the climate science community about global warming and the impact of human activity vis a vis the burning of fossil fuels. Hell, I'll even toss in the Pentagon Report compiled in '03 that warned of the dire consequences of global warming to US national security. This is probably the report that got Shrub talking about warming as a problem instead of a theory like evolution - after someone read it to him niiiiice and sloooooow.

Second, we have a relatively newer area of enquiry among climate scientists that has to do with global dimming. This has only tangential impact on warming inasmuch as the dimming, and therefore slight cooling effect, results from the particulate matter released in the burning of fossil fuels, especially from high altitude burning - ie from jet contrails. The tangential impact the reduction of particulate matter has is that it appears to ameliorate, even if very slightly, the warming effect of the greenhouse gases. But we are reducing the particulate matter, overall, faster than we are reducing the greenhouse gases. So there is a body of scientific opinion forming that says we will be accelerating the warming as we reduce the particulates. Some of that opinion (this part is disputed ground) says that we could potentially speed up the warming process significantly enough to raise the temperature as much as a few more degrees than presently predicted over the next decade, leading to greater catastrophe than previously postulated. Considering that warming from greenhouse gases was itself once fairly disputatious it's not difficult to imagine that the expanded effect from dimming could become widely accepted as well. Read up at the link above and you'll follow along better. By the way, Michael Crichton isn't a climate scientist.

Third, we have the Harper government, The Steves, cancelling 15 greenhouse gas reduction related programs and radically reducing the funding for all other global warming related federal government programs. They do this without putting other programs in place and without even a coherent plan to do so. They even go so far as to order a federally employed climate scientist who has written a science fiction novel, a goddamn novel, about fictionalized consequences of global warming, to not speak publicly about his novel, entitled appropriately enough, "Hotter Than Hell". If they could I'm sure they'd ban sales and rentals of "The Day After Tomorrow" too.

Now I'm sure the apologists for The Steves will be along telling me all the things about the Kyoto Protocol they think I don't know.

I'm not talking about Kyoto. That's the map.

I'm talking about global warming, greenhouse gases and the effect human activity is having on the planet. That's the territory.

Smart people don't confuse the map with the territory.

Evidently we don't have any smart people in our government of Steves, for Steves and by Steves.

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