Saturday, June 25, 2011

Weathering a Climate of Ignorance

Too often we... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. - John F. Kennedy
This article caught my attention recently, and seems to have real merit in its suggestions. After all, there should be more ways than one to skin this particular cat.

It is always fascinating -and frustrating- in trying to communicate with folks who have decided that an issue is already settled, or that it can't be settled, or is a matter only of opinion, or -well, you probably get the idea of what I'm talking about. And, if you don't, you just may not be interested, at least, not yet.

From Wikipedia, the following excerpts:

• Climatology (from Greek κλίμα, klima, "region, zone"; and -λογία, -logia) is the study of climate, scientifically defined as weather conditions averaged over a period of time, and is a branch of the atmospheric sciences.

• History: The earliest person to hypothesize the concept of climate change may have been the medieval Chinese scientist Shen Kuo (1031–95). Shen Kuo theorized that climates naturally shifted over an enormous span of time, after observing petrified bamboos found underground near Yanzhou (modern day Yan'an, Shaanxi province), a dry climate area unsuitable for the growth of bamboo.
Early climate researchers include Edmund Halley, who published a map of the trade winds in 1686, after a voyage to the southern hemisphere. Benjamin Franklin, in the 18th century, was the first to map the course of the Gulf Stream for use in sending mail overseas from the United States to Europe. Francis Galton invented the term anticyclone. Helmut Landsberg led to statistical analysis being used in climatology, which led to its evolution into a physical sciences.

Now I know I'm treading on thin ice, whenever TMI happens [too much information]
And, I know that popular sound bytes are often preferred, but sometimes that is just not possible, so I'm wading into this a little deeper;

Remember the distinction about astrology and astronomy? Here's a hint; one is a theory requiring belief without proof, and the other is one of the oldest sciences, which depends upon systematic truths that are proven.

Again, those risky excerpts:

Astrology is a system of divination founded on the notion that the relative positions of celestial bodies are signs of or—more controversially among astrologers—causes of destiny, personality, human affairs, and natural events. The primary astrological bodies are the sun, moon, and planets; although astrology is commonly characterized as "reading the stars", the stars (other than the sun) actually play a minor role. The main focus is on the placement of the seven planets relative to each other and to the signs of the zodiac, though the system does allow reference to fixed stars, asteroids, comets, and various mathematical points of interest as well. As a craft, astrology is a combination of basic astronomy, numerology, and mysticism. In its modern form, it is a classic example of pseudoscience.

Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects (such as stars, planets, comets, nebulae, star clusters and galaxies) and phenomena that originate outside the Earth's atmosphere (such as the cosmic background radiation). It is concerned with the evolution, physics, chemistry, meteorology, and motion of celestial objects, as well as the formation and development of the universe.

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. - John F. Kennedy
It remains amazing to me, in this time of scientific know-how and our dependency upon it every day, that there are still those in denial of 'global warming' by any definition. But there are. And there are corporations and individuals who see this very idea as a threat to their profitability in the future, so much so that they actually pay consultants to question and undermine the actual science that we should consider valuable to us and our descendants! Imagine that if you can.

It might be interesting for folks to see the importance of The Economics and Social Benefits of NOAA Data and Products at this website.

Or, review the NCDC Frequently Asked Questions at this website to see for yourself.

The NOAA National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) is one of the world's premier centers for archiving, processing, and researching climate data. As such, NCDC fields hundreds of questions regarding the data: how it is processed, how it can be accessed, and what it means. If you have a question about NCDC, climate data, or climatology, an answer may reside in our "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQs) below. If not, please feel free to contact us. We're adding questions to this site all the time.

• Global Climate Change Questions
• The Greenhouse Effect
• Climate Change Data
• Climate Definitions
• Briefings on Climate Change

If the information found at the above references is still insufficient to convince one that there are newly discovered truths around that we ought to know, accept and act upon, then these words are truly wasted.

It might almost remind of the old Bill Cosby joke, where THE LORD says to Noah, 'How long can you tread water?'
Funny, if not so sad?
Even if you aren't convinced Global Warming is real, here are 10 things you could do to fight it, just in case:

1. Recycle & buy minimally packed goods as much as possible

2. Wash cloths in cold or warm water, not hot.

3. Install low-flow shower heads to use less water.

4. Run the dishwasher only when full and don't use heat to dry dishes.

5. Replace standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.

6. Plug air leaks in windows and doors to increase energy efficiency.

7. Replace old appliances with energy-efficient ones.

8. Walk, bike, carpool or use public transit whenever possible.

9. Adjust your thermostat -lower in winter, higher in summer.

10. Share these simple steps with friends & family and increase awareness!

Notice that -even if global warming doesn't exist- these steps will save you money!
Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. - John F. Kennedy