Today on Blogcritics
Home » Culture and Society » Science and Technology » Global Warming Looking Rosy in the Rust Belt

Global Warming Looking Rosy in the Rust Belt

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

We in Northeast Ohio have what is officially know as a “moderate” climate, which used to mean you froze your nads off about one-third of the year and looked to the sky warily another third.

But things are looking up here on the North Coast: 2005 was the warmest year on record and we who got in on the ground floor property-wise look to reap beaucoup dividends as the formerly gloomy, frosty Rust Belt becomes a balmy haven of negligible winters and five-month long silky summers!

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by 30% over pre-industrial stable levels (270 parts per million) to date; but that increase is expected to reach 200% by the middle of the century. Bring on the greenhouse gasses brothers and sisters – easy street, here we come!

Of course not everyone is getting the rosy end of the global warming stick. Millions of acres of Canada’s verdant lodgepole pine forest land is “turning red in spasms of death,” as Doug Struck rather floridly put it a couple of day ago in the Washington Post. The rapacious mountain pine beetle, whose population has exploded with the warming climate, is killing trees at an alarming rate.

The government of (formerly) ice-bound Greenland, the world’s largest island, located on the Arctic Circle between Canada and Iceland, has introduced a hunting quota for polar bears for the first time, as global warming melts the ice cap on which the bears hunt, making it difficult for them to find food.

The South Pacific tropical paradise of Tuvalu, a flat island nation just six feet above sea level is, sadly, very likely a statistic. Experts predict that the sea level, on average, will rise between six inches and three feet over the next hundred years, and rising ocean salt water is already ruining pulaka gardens, the main crop, and eroding coconut trees.

And just yesterday, scientists using data from the joint NASA/German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), announced the Antarctic ice sheet decreased significantly from 2002 to 2005. The researchers found Antarctica’s ice sheet decreased by about 152 cubic kilometers of ice (36 cubic miles) annually between April 2002 and August 2005, equivalent to the amount of water the United States consumes in three months. The estimated mass loss raised the global sea level about 1.2 millimeters (0.05 inches) during the survey period.

Oh yeah, and a paper published in Science today predicts that by 2100 lakes and streams on one-fourth of the African continent could dry up due to higher temperatures.

So all that pretty well sucks for them.

Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) said yesterday, “Climate change is not just someone else’s concern but a very real threat to the lives and livelihood of people across the globe.”

But he doesn’t live in the new vacation land of Northeast Ohio.

Powered by

About Eric Olsen

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks for the link guys – so no one but the Dubliners is interested in global warming?!?

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com/ Christopher Rose

    You may not even be safe there, Eric. I’ve read some reports recently indicating that the seas might rise by over ten metres!

    Me, I’m down with the genius of Captain Beefheart: “I’m gonna grow fins and go back in the water again”.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Chris, if the sea rises 10 meters or so, that does in New York City, Long Island, New Joisey, Florida, and a good hunk of the east coast of the States. It might get rid of Tel Aviv and the coastal cities here (no great loss). But EO will be just fine where he is.

  • http://www.eclecticlibrarian.net/ Anna

    Some days I think it’s good to be living in a high desert. No flooding at 1500′ above sea level.

  • B

    People have this misconception that climates are stable. They are not. Climates constantly change, and sometimes quite rapidly. We saw this around the 14th century.
    Antarctica used to be tropical paradise.

    Carbon Dioxide levels are also not stable. Evidence suggests that they are currently historically low (if they were much lower, life on the planet would not be possible). An atmosphere that is richer in carbon dioxide aids plant growth significantly and generates agricultural abundance.

    Are we enhancing the effects of global warming? No doubt, but a biased media never pays any attention to the fact that the earth is not in homeostasis.

  • Eric Olsen

    well worth pointing out B, I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know things are looking a lot better around the old Rust Belt than elsewhere

  • scarface

    B
    thats so wrong. now u gonna say that the ozone hole i getting smaller, right a? wake up from your am dream man!!! the world is getiing shitier and shitier and your nation has a big part in it

  • B

    Scarface-
    I’d be glad to go through the hassle of citing my sources if I didn’t have two exams this week.
    Please intelligently show me where I am wrong. Otherwise, stop wasting space.

  • http://www.eclecticlibrarian.net/ Anna

    B is right, and I heard about it on NPR (so much for all of the media being biased). However, that isn’t a free pass to pollution and general disregard of the environment. We need to be putting our brains to work on ways to adapt to the natural environmental changes as well as reducing the impact humans have on the environment.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    B is right on some details, but draws wrong conclusions. For example, Antarctica used to be warmer because at one time it was not at the pole. Continental drift over millions of years moved it from warmer latitudes to its current location. Antarctica certainly was not anything close to a “tropical paradise” in the 14th century as B attempts to imply (without committing to an outright lie) by a clever juxtaposition of unrelated facts.

    More importantly, climate scientists who are raising the alarm today are well aware of the many fluctuations in Earth’s past climate. Nobody is arguing from the idea of homeostasic climate stability. That is a straw figure B has chosen to defeat for the sole purpose of making one side of the argument look better than it really is.

    The cause for concern right now is not merely a change in climate. That happens all the time. Scientists worry now because the human effect on the climate may be driving climate change in a direction that will have dire consequences for us humans, the very same species who might be able to mitigate those problems by changing our daily habits.

    Attempting to downplay the importance of that concern, in order to justify blithely continuing actions with the potential for globally destructive effects, is nothing but a convenient intellectual dishonesty on B’s part, even if B fails to consciously realize just how dishonest it is.

  • ttrek

    “Attempting to downplay the importance of that concern, in order to justify blithely continuing actions with the potential for globally destructive effects, is nothing but a convenient intellectual dishonesty on B’s part, even if B fails to consciously realize just how dishonest it is.”

    Ironically, so is supporting those who would have us believe the earth is in imminent danger and that the human race is the major cause of it all.

    It is not. And never has been. However, the way it is NOW might change. There is NOTHING that can be done to stop the climate from changing… it does that on its own.

    This planet is billions of years old. And somehow I don’t think us self-important bipeds really understand just how miniscule an effect we will have on it in our lifetimes.

    No offense, but I’m not buying into the propaganda. I do my bit, recycle and pollute as little as is possible to do, but I will not be held responsible for something that isn’t even based in true fact anyway.

    And don’t get me started on the mythical melting glaciers. Some are and some aren’t.

    Flynn 19

  • nanny_govt_sucks

    Why was my post removed?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    This planet is billions of years old. And somehow I don’t think us self-important bipeds really understand just how miniscule an effect we will have on it in our lifetimes.

    Some of us do, because we’ve seen the data on the amount of ‘greenhouse gasses’ produced by major volcanoes in comparison to what humans produce.

    Dave

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Another straw figure argument, ttrek. Life on Earth is not in danger. Human life, however, may suffer a significant loss in quality and quantity if sea levels rise anywhere near as much as some climate models predict.

    Our actions might prevent this human suffering, if we choose correctly, or make the suffering worse, if we choose poorly. That is the point. Blather about how many billions of years old the world is will not change that point, and is nothing more than a distraction from the topic at hand.

    Bringing up volcanic eruptions is another feeble attempt to distract from the crucial point. Volcanic eruptions may in fact have a larger effect on climate than human actions can have. That’s entirely irrelevant. The relevant fact is that we can choose to make the human caused part of the climate equation larger or smaller than it currently is.

    Even that tiny part of the equation which is entirely within our control may make the difference between life and death for many millions of human beings. This remains true even if we lack the power to extinguish all living things on Earth (as some extremists in the environmentalist movement claim we’re close to doing).

    No responsible scientist says all life on Earth is in danger of extinction from human activity. Many thousands of responsible scientists say human life could be severely affected by human activity’s cumulative effect on the pattern of climate change.

  • RedTard

    The question is whether the immediate costs of cutting down industrial production or making it less efficeient by adding additional steps to control carbon emissions outweigh the long term effects on the environment. Throw in the fact that we may be running out of oil anyway and the picture only gets cloudier.

    I’m not sold on the idea that we should stifle current production to save a potential few degrees over the next century. I think reaching peak oil capacity and the subsequent switchover to electric vehicles (better batteries will be discovered)will be a foolproof method to reduce emissions without international organizations bullying our industry.

    Even if we are determined to slow carbon emissions it is in our national interest to avoid treaties like Kyoto. Under Kyoto we would have to pay third world dictators with nonexistent economies in order to fund the credits needed to grow our own. I enjoy living in one of the few nations on the planet that can still claim a shred of sovereignty and doesn’t have to bend over and take it from every unelected UN bureacrat and NGO.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Does nobody here have anything but straw figures to bring out? Of course it makes no sense to make industrial production less efficient. Reducing carbon emissions is much better achieved by making industrial production more efficient.

    Unless of course you are using the very limited definition of “efficient” employed by most economists, who are the very ones responsible for creating a system of deliberate miscalculations that reward inefficiency. Wasteful methods of production are made artificially more profitable in the short term if you force future generations to pay the true cost of cleaning up the waste products. The actual cost of production can be understood and properly calculated, but today’s economists and corporations avoid doing this because it’s easier to steal profits at the expense of future generations. That’s the only way they can possibly define current production methods as “more efficient” than the alternatives that use up less energy and produce less carbon dioxide.

    Nobody sane has ever argued for the Kyoto protocol as a complete solution to global climate change. It has always been considered a first step, and not the end goal, by everyone who takes the time to understand it properly.

  • Eric Olsen

    it seems to me it takes an enormous amount of effort to deny that human activity has/is contributing to global warming, which in turn also contributes to more extreme weather and changes in patterns besides the general warming – it seems pretty clear we need a concerted effort to develop alternative energy sources since ultimately burning things is not sustainable

  • RedTard

    “Unless of course you are using the very limited definition of “efficient” employed by most economists,”

    You’ve got me there. I use the common definition. If you want to make up your own environmentally friendly one then of course I can’t argue with your numbers. If reducing emissions were more efficient it would already have been done and there would be nothing to discuss.

    Also, that’s not really a straw figure, but I can’t stop you from using your word-of-the-day to describe all arguments you don’t agree with.

    As for the cost of cleanup, trees and plankton do a great job and they work for less than minimum wage.

  • Dave Nalle

    The trees in my yard are discussing going on strike for a ‘living wage’. I hear them whispering about it all the time. It drives me a bit mad…

    Dave

  • Eric Olsen

    maybe bring in Treebeard as a consultant

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Redtard, your argument was and is a straw figure because it’s an argument nobody is actually defending. Nodoby wants to make production methods less efficient. Thus it’s quite easy to “win” the argument by claiming you oppose inefficient production methods.

    The saddest part is that you have been conned into defending inefficient production methods without even recognizing that fact.

    A coherent definition of efficiency would not be my own private definition. It would be dictated by the real and immutable laws of physics and biology, rather than conveniently tweaked to benefit the short term interests of the propertied classes the way it is now.

  • Eric Olsen

    it seems to me the typically unstated rationale for favoring the short term over the medium or long is the assumption that the continued rapid development of technology will solve whatever problems appear in the future. There is some truth to this, I think, but a concerted effort has to be constatntly put into developing that technology and I don’t think we are doing enough of that now

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    True, Eric. Our problems won’t be solved by a wholesale retreat into primitivism, as too many environmentalists advocate. Nor can we solve our problems by continuing to rely on the same technologies we have today. We also cannot afford a blind faith in the power of markets to find the necessary technologies.

    Free markets are indeed powerful tools for efficiently allocating resources. This misleads many, like our friend RedTard here, to believe they can trust markets to efficiently allocate every resource. That faith is misplaced because any market is efficient at allocating only the specific resources being traded on that market.

    The Kyoto treaty is a move toward attempting to solve the carbon dioxide pollution problem by creating a market where the privilege to produce carbon emissions can be traded. As such it is deeply flawed, in more ways than RedTard realizes, but it actually does try to solve the problem in a way that should appeal to his and others’ blind faith in the godlike power of markets.

    I suspect the real solutions to global climate change, and many other problems, will not be found until we realize markets are not the best tool for every job. They are powerful servants when used appropriately, but terrible masters when allowed to govern areas of human civilization where they don’t belong.

    The same can be said of economists.

  • Eric Olsen

    and part of the reason for that, Victor, is that markets don’t always compare like with like

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    maybe bring in Treebeard as a consultant

    I was thinking of outsourcing my trees to a consortium of low wage Macedonian dryads I just heard about.

    Dave

  • Eric Olsen

    one must be careful to always specify of which Macedonia one speaks