you sitting down?
probably should. Ready? Ok…)
the solution for global warming is…
Go get yourself a cool washcloth. You’re going to need it. And
then get comfortable in your chair. Make sure you are positioned
in a way that won’t allow you to fall too easily. Ready? Ok…)
the solution for global warming is…
shit you not.
I think the use of the swear in this case was amazingly appropriate
and justified. I mean come on… more air conditioning?
Yup. Here we go…)
global warming is out of control. You’ve heard that. And, as you
have undoubtedly been told, that’s bad.
President Obama’s science advisor has acknowledged that one solution
being looked at, falling under a broader category
called geoengineering, is artificially cooling down the
to give a more well known term to artificially cooling down we
would say… you’ve got it now… air conditioning for all
of the outdoors. Hey… don’t blame me… I told you to sit down.
There is no word in the article I linked to about whether or not
John Holdren also advised Obama not to trade his cupcake for the
celery sticks during recess, but I kind of would like to think
he got that one right.)
guess I really shouldn’t be too surprised. The simple truth of
the matter is… and I am being 100% serious about this… we don’t
know what to do. No one does. All anyone can do is guess. And
in all honesty, Holdren’s comments aren’t too hideous on the surface.
He notes that the option is being considered, and that in his
mind… and I would like to add, in his mind quite correctly at
that… no thought should be casually tossed away.
I have a problem with all of this stuff. And here’s why…
think that as a whole people are often too quick to act. Someone
spots a cause… everyone agrees that the cause matters… and so
a group decides that something has to be done because we can’t
just allow the night to fall while doing nothing. The problem
is that while doing nothing overall is not the answer in virtually
all of these crisis scenarios, momentarily doing nothing while
looking over options and considering ramifications of actions
usually does less damage than the initial something that was rushed
I don’t think alot of do-gooders look before they leap. They simply
have good intentions… translate good intentions as the absolute
equivalent of positive steps… and, well, then they jump. And years
later we’re left with a mess to clean up. Often not the original
mess… a different mess… but no less of a mess and often significantly
more expensive and more dangerous.
any of you remember the artificial reef of tires off the coast
of Florida? No? Ok…
in 1972, approximately two million… that’s 2,000,000… two MILLION…
two million tires were dumped off the coast of Florida. Intentions
were good. See… those used tires caused an amazing hassle, and
potential environmental concern, when disposed of on land. Someone
decided the fish would love them.
plus years later it turns out the fish have less
use for used tires than we do. In fact, it seems that they
hate them. And… go figure… the tires are actually bad for the
water and marine life. And to top it all off… many tires have
broken loose and floated away from the dump site, causing all
sorts of other headaches.
that isn’t it for tires folks. You’ve heard about
the playgrounds… right?
a great quote from Jack Sobel I want you to keep in mind as we
leave the tires but not the issue of looking and leaping. Seriously…
awesome thought… “I believe that people who were behind the artificial
tire reef promotions actually were well-intentioned and thought
they were doing the right thing. In hindsight, we now realize
that we made a mistake.”
good stuff there. And now… Bill Nye… fiberglass…
was watching a show called Stuff Happens the other day.
Bill Nye was on it. And basically, during an episode he shows
how certain things can be associated with each other. How this
leads to that… how one thing can cause another… and, long story
short, that when you do one thing, other stuff happens.
this particular day I was watching as he was taking a look at
fiberglass has a long and diverse history, one of the chapters
in the fiberglass book would have to be how fiberglass insulation
was there when asbestos fears were realized and acted upon. My
time line may be off… but asbestos out and fiberglass in works
as a general train of thought.
so why was fiberglass on Bill Nye’s show? Because… there is a
danger involving fiberglass when it comes to fires and formaldehyde.
You know… dangers beyond the general concerns about fiberglass
and all the inhalation risks that exist to begin with when you
are handling, and breathing near fine strands of shredded glass.
a nightmare to work with, but a godsend compared to the alternative…
yeah… fiberglass wasn’t so god sent after all.
let’s see if I can bring all of this together.)
Sobel so eloquently points out, even the best of intentions aren’t
necessarily the best things to do. And as Nye shows, the solution
to one problem quite often creates another problem.
simple concepts… and both ideas I have been preaching since before
I began this web site.
I’ve said before… over and over and over again, and will continue
to say… I will never tell you we aren’t treating the planet horrendously.
One look at the trash tossed from cars by the side of the road
near my house is more than enough evidence of that for me.
efforts to be more friendly to the environment will find me a
sympathetic listener, and often an active participant in helping
the cause. Car pooling… I like it. Recycling… sure. More efficient
forms of energy production… I’m listening.
as much as people want to jump all over the extinction of some
species of wildlife and global warming with alarm bells and sirens
and fast action… well… look…
had species face extinction for pretty much as long as the planet
has been around. And, what a coincidence, we’ve had even more
erratic climate changes on the planet over its history than those
of the past dozen years (and then some).
doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do something to try prevent these losses.
I just think we should give some consideration to the general
notion that it wasn’t car fumes and all sorts of other horrible
things that caused an extinction or thirty to occur three thousand
years ago. To quote Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park: “The
lack of humility before nature that’s being displayed here, uh...
staggers me.” (And Goldblum fires off several other quotes that
would work here in a similar fashion.)
a look at those tires again. Artificial reefs were made of them
in several locations. All of them have failed, and failed miserably.
recent years… mercury is back. It’s in those great light bulbs
that take ten minutes to warm up. Are we 100% certain about the
safety of that mercury? Because every time I see it asked, I see
people waving off the claim saying things like (my words): “No…
no… small, small, insignificant amounts… and as long as it’s handled
properly…” And (I’m sure you’re stunned by this), I use those
light bulbs. And you know what? In my research and experience
handling them, limited thought it may be to a global scale of
use, they seem to drop and fall and break way more often than
regular light bulbs.
get back to John Holdren. Because the ending here is just that
I want to know. Is the answer to the damage done to the environment
with actions like air conditioning our homes really creating
a giant artificial air conditioner? (And I ask that without making
a joke about kids doing their part to save the planet by leaving
the windows open in a house with the air conditioning on. Although
a “windows open for the planet day” in August of 2011 or such
would be almost as funny to hear about as duct tape to help fight
off a chemical attack.)
need to keep in mind that doing something is not necessarily better
than doing nothing. In fact, some of the things being done may
turn out to be things that need to be undone. Every action has
a reaction… and I don’t hear enough people asking questions about
how they plan to handle the reactions when nature decides to respond.
if you don’t believe me… then quick… do you have those mercury-bulbs
in your house? Ok… and how do you dispose of them? No… I mean
it… what places accept them for disposal? You did know they needed
to be disposed of in a special way… right?
there’s one thing I do know for absolute certain, it’s that you
can never underestimate incompetence. (Well… I mean, you can underestimate
it, but you should never assume someone isn’t capable of it.)
For every one of us that does actually give a damn and is willing
to take the time to learn what they can do AND how to do it… there’s
five or so people that didn’t know the mercury bulbs shouldn’t
be placed in regular trash, or, just tossed them in the regular
trash because they couldn’t be bothered to find out where to bring
them in their local community.
annoys me that people seem to think that the supposedly correct
things to do today couldn’t possibly be the wrong things to do.
And in the end, that’s why Holdren is 100% right…
should just be dismissed.
by not dismissing it, there is a responsibility involved to not
just consider it, but to really think about it before doing it.