We have all heard the cries of doom.
The oceans are going to rise and destroy mankind! The animals that we are used to in our local environment are all going to die. The tornados will cause mass destruction. Hurricanes will destroy our coastlines.
These have been going on for a LONG TIME now.
One of the biggest fear mongers was Jim Hansen. In 1988, he was looking out on Broadway in New York City and observing the Hudson River. Here is his prediction as remembered by the reporter beside him:
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Interesting post over at “Is It Getting Warmer?“. It is a discussion of scientists and their thirst for getting too involved in politics.
It is an unfortunate turn of events that most big scientific discussions (such as global warming, in this case) turn into political discussions. This could include other things such as abortion, stem cell research, and the teaching of evolution in the classroom. All of these things have a strong scientific discussion which implies that there is a truth somewhere. However, in these cases, the truth is not clear cut and the science is probably not solid. In most of these cases, there is some level of gray in the conversation and much of what is discussed as fact is simply hypothesis.
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As I write this, George W. Bush is only a few days away from the end of his 8 year Presidency. Earlier, I had graded Mr. Bush on a variety of major factors but I felt that I left off a huge number of things that he and his administration did or did not do. This list is the result of trying to be more inclusive. Many items on this list are actions by the Mr. Bush and his administration and some of them are inactions.
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I am a big fan of the music of Sheryl Crow. I have all of her CDs and have bought each one (no, I didn’t “borrow” someone else’s MP3 files). I have enjoyed her music over the years but, to be honest, her first CD was probably her best and she could be accused of coasting since then – a couple good songs per CD with so-so songs after that.
I have listened to Ms. Crow’s latest CD several times. It is titled “Detours”. It is an apt title since it is a detour from her usual high quality work! I feel like the Democratic Party, Al Gore, and Laurie David have been injected into my brain via my ears! To think that I spent $15 for a CD of political propaganda.
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My last post on this subject was about rock stars not spending enough time on today’s problems but instead they are spending time on a theoretical problem for the future – global warming.
I realize that some stars like Bono have done a great job of trying to use his status to create awareness of issues that he cares about. That is awesome! More big personalities should do this.
So here are some small facts:
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- More than 25 million people have died of AIDS since 1981. Africa has 12 million AIDS orphans. (source)
- Every year 15 million children die of hunger. (source)
- Up to 2.7M people die of malaria every year (source) which is incredibly preventable. (source and source)
- More than 70% of all cancer deaths occur in low and middle income countries, where limited or no resources are available for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease. (source)
The party is over. There were thousands of people in attendance and hundreds of people playing musical instruments. Supposedly, there were millions of people watching the show on TV but who really knows the correct number.
There was a lot of controversy, ranging from trash pickup to the lack of reality for the 90% reduction pledge. There was also some good music played so I am sure there will be a CD put out for the greatest hits (which will use more energy in creating).
Overall, I have a hard time with all of this attention. Yes, there does seem to be some validity to the argument that Earth is getting warmer but the science doesn’t seem to be conclusive that it is being caused by humans (check out Is It Getting Warmer for a bunch of articles on both sides of the subject – for and against).
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