Thursday, February 10, 2005

My best friend -- who happens to be a kooky right-winger -- recently emailed, "Quite frankly, I am more concerned about what I perceive as global freezing." Hah hah, it's his usual cute line that he utters anytime the Northeast is hit with a period of cold, snowy weather.

My response:
Laugh, but again it's obvious you are WOEFULLY uninformed re this subject. I hesitate to even try to learn you realizing you'll probably half listen, if at that. I'll give it a shot but I have extremely low expectations.

Don't think of it as "global warming" per se, but rather climate change due to pollutants building up in the atmosphere. Yes, overall a warming trend is the result, but it's not a straight line, linear phenomena. Along the way on this trend, the result will be more volatile weather conditions, with periods of severe cold, severe snow, severe rain, but more often than not dramatically warmer conditions. It's because of this increase in hot-and-cold type patterns that allows for the right-wingers to snidely pop-off during a cold bout, "hey, it don't feel like global warming to me!"

Why should this greater degree of disparity happen? Well, for one, what the less-informed often don't know is the extent to which ocean currents play into our weather pattern. However, before I discuss this, can you tell me where you, or other right-wingers, think the pollutants go? Do they just rise and disappear into outer space (wouldn't that be nice!)? Do our fast-disappearing trees engulf them? (My bet is you haven't thought about it, or more likely, choose not to). Newsflash: the pollutants rise and build-up in the atmosphere, forming an increasingly dense layer of insulation, if you will, trapping more and more sunlight. The resulting warming causes the Arctic ice to melt (well documented, by NASA amongst others) which then causes changes to ocean currents. The Gulfstream and the like drive weather patterns and as it changes so also does our weather. (If you doubt this, go to any encyclopedia and look up "weather").

The bottom line is the process is extremely complicated and all inter-connected. The problem with the right-wingers, as usual, is they take a very simplistic, black-and-white view of the issue -- and when it doesn't conform to their simplistic view, they offer up simple-minded, snide remarks. Despite what GW Inc. will have many believe, there is a TON of evidence out there proving that climate change is real and is due to human activity. Yet, as I said at the start, you'll likely choose to doubt all of this (why live with guilt, right?), toss it out as liberal bunk before doing one bit of research on your own, and instead choose to live in your own private Idaho, creating "facts" that suit your lifestyle. It's called living in denial.

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