Extremely uneducated commentary here, but anyway here is a good overview of the effects of climate change on a state close to my heart - Washington - and some of the reasons behind it:
Food for Thought
Photograph by Marcio Jose Sanchez, AP
The planet keeps getting hotter, new data showed this week. Especially in America, where 2012 was the warmest year ever recorded, by far. Every few years, the U.S. federal government engages hundreds of experts to assess the impacts of climate change, now and in the future.
From agriculture (pictured) to infrastructure to how humans consume energy, the National Climate Assessment Development Advisory Committee spotlights how a warming world may bring widespread disruption.
Farmers will see declines in some crops, while others will reap increased yields.
Won't more atmospheric carbon mean longer growing seasons? Not quite. Over the next several decades, the yield of virtually every crop in California's fertile Central Valley, from corn to wheat to rice and cotton, will drop by up to 30 percent, researchers expect. (Read about "The Carbon Bathtub" in National Geographic magazine.)
Lackluster pollination, driven by declines in bees due partly to the changing climate, is one reason. Government scientists also expect the warmer climate to shorten the length of the frosting season necessary for many crops to grow in the spring.
Aside from yields, climate change will also affect food processing, storage, and transportation—industries that require an increasing amount of expensive water and energy as global demand rises—leading to higher food prices.
Published January 16, 2013
Photograph by Long Yudan, Imaginechina/AP
More energy demand, higher prices, more climate change.
The worldwide trend is stunning. Since 1970, global demand for heating has decreased, while demand for cooling has shot up. Higher temperatures over the next decade, mixed with a growing global population, will continue to increase energy demand, accelerating the loop of emissions that cause climate change that cause more emissions.
Rain, meanwhile, is projected to drop up to 40 percent in some places. Less water, a key ingredient in power production, will constrain energy generation systems. What's more, government analysts anticipate that a higher projected chance of flooding in certain areas will risk inundating power generators and disrupting transmission routes.
Published January 16, 2013
A Sinking Feeling
Photograph by Julio Cortez, AP
Aging transportation infrastructures won't mix well with extreme weather.
Large storms and extreme weather have already shown their might. The impact on transportation infrastructure won't be pretty, on par with superstorm Sandy's destruction in 2012. But scientists expect similar scenarios to increase in regions that will become more vulnerable to changing weather.
Several states, including Vermont, Tennessee, Iowa, and Missouri, have already experienced severe weather that damaged roads, bridges, and railroad tracks. Some engineers worry that heavy demands on aging infrastructure can create unreliable routes for the transport of vital commodities like food, fuel, and water.
Published January 16, 2013
Photograph by Susan Montoya Bryan, AP
Droughts will become more common virtually everywhere.
The world has a finite amount of water, and new demands, especially from a growing population, will stretch that supply. Watersheds in the southwestern U.S., including the Rockies and the Rio Grande (pictures), will encounter supply problems as the runoff that replenishes them declines. Perhaps worse, longer droughts in formerly fertile regions will mean less certainty for farmers and water-dependent industries. (Learn about Rocky Mountain National Park.)
Published January 16, 2013
Increase in Cases
Photograph by Liu Yang, Imaginechina/AP
Cases of allergies and asthma will continue to rise.
Prepare yourself for dirtier air (pictured). Climate change is expected to increase atmospheric ozone—widely known to lead to decreased lung function—up to ten parts per billion. Cases of asthma are expected to jump by up to 10 percent in urban areas such as New York City. Longer pollen seasons will lead to more air-based allergies, scientists say, and with increasing carbon dioxide, the pollen count could nearly double from 2000 levels. (Read about pollen in National Geographic magazine.)
Published January 16, 2013
At Water’s Edge
Photograph by Craig Ruttle, AP
Cities could become more dangerous than suburban areas.
Cities have become more attractive since 2000, owing mainly to the proximity of major conveniences. But there's a big downside. Natural disasters wrought by climate change—such as increased hurricanes and more severe storms—mean that any disruption could impact millions of people's lives. Only some cities have devised plans to deal with these events. Shutting down New York City's subway system and issuing advance evacuation orders to some parts of New York and New Jersey in advance of superstorm Sandy is thought to have saved thousands of homes and lives. (Learn about weather in this video from National Geographic.)
Published January 16, 2013
Photograph by Paul Nicklen
Published January 16, 2013
The planet has been getting warmer for the last 10,000 years.... nothing on the scale of a human lifetime is anything but noise in this trend.
We will adapt. If you really relieve in GW, then buy coastline in Northern Alaska and prepare to build beach resorts there.... become a zilloinaire (since trillion dollar bills will just buy coffee by then, you have to aim higher!)
I lived through Katrina and realize that no THING and no PLACE means anything compared to human life, the resilience of life, and the futility of man pretending he is but a poor caretaker of a creation he does not understand. Mankind is a lot less than that. True science teaches humility. Elitist science strips out all the mistakes and pretends discovery is a straight line.... there is NO "law" in science that is anything but a rough approximation of reality. Look at Newton's laws, which stood the test of time far longer and stricter than any test faced by "global warming" theory.... yet Relativity (Special and General) and Quantum Mechanics both demonstrated the fallacy of believing science deserves great faith and devotion. ....science "facts" are approximate measurements and speculation, not dogma. Science enthusiasts who mistake science as the path to truth, have never learned the most important lesson Nature teaches us: absolute truth is beyond us, we can at best just practice flawed faith.
Gore is the Elmer Gantry of Global Warming Religion. And a religion it is as evidenced by the fanaticism of its followers, most of whom never took a science course after 8th grade. Left wing politics masquerading as "Science", with a big S.
Meteorologists have a big role to play in educating the public about climate change. Visit 50yearforecast.org to encourage your local meteorologist to connect the dots between extreme weather and climate change.
With the air pollution from burning wood for just one night equivalent to the air pollution from driving a car for an entire year, it is rather obvious that urban residents who burn wood to heat their homes and charcoal to cook their meals are making an inordinate and unwelcome contribution to air pollution and should be assessed a stiff monetary pollution penalty.
With wood smoke now proven to increase mortality rates and shorten life spans especially in men, why is wood and charcoal smoke pollution applauded and approved by the EPA and our public health departments?
Maybe, just maybe it is time for the EPA and public health departments to climb out of their caves and enter the modern world and provide urban residents with air that doesn't kill older adults and is safe for our children to breathe.
Last year, Australia added two colors to their temperature maps when
temperatures in their hot dry regions went over 110 and up to 127
degrees F. If our own American southwest --Texas, Arizona, New Mexico
and some of the states north of these -- do the same, we will have some
unexpected problems with our transportation systems -- highways and
Many, if not most of our roads and rails were built in the 60s thru 80s when our temperature standards were different. Highways and rails expand as they heat and if the heat goes above the upper limit they were built for, -- highways buckle and rails "kink" and travel on them is dangerous to impossible. If this is as severe as some think, it will disrupt our east-west transportation and commerce patterns.
Rebuilding a large part of our transportation
system to withstand such heat will have an immense cost which we can ill
afford. Why? The Congressional Budget Office says that from 2000 to
2008, the President and Congress spent down an over $5 trillion surplus
and spent up an over S5 trillion deficit while voting to increase the
national deficit ceiling 7 times. And they promised an additional bunch
of trillions of dollars in future spending. Our economy had a melt
down in 2008 and created not just a huge US recession but it was a world
wide recession. The economies of the world wobbled and many almost
Our current president copied past presidents: when the economic engine of a nation falters, add enough money to get it working again. And that spending has been successful in taking us out of what was almost the worst depression of all time.
The upshot of all this economic game playing is that we are on the edge of being broke, even if they do increase the debt limit. Replacing underbuilt highways and railways is just one of the huge climate related expenses coming up ... which we are not preparing for.
Other huge expenses to look at are: will an increase of 2 or 3 feet in sea level (see Nat Geo, 6/2010, Melt Zone and read about cryoconite, and estimate melting as the temperature gets even warmer)--does this mean that we will have millions of homeless as people have to leave shore properties and cities and move inland? How are we preparing for this? Will the predicted increase of violent storms lead to greatly increased storm surges, and what will this mean for the nations coastal cities and all the commerce which they currently handle? Will the increased heat in the Great Plains and the emptying of the Ogallala Aquifer mean almost no fresh water for people and agriculture for the breadbasket and beef ranges of America? Wikipedia says some say in 25 years, the aquifer will be seriously depleted -- tho this was estimated before we seriously started discussing global climate change.
And these are just some of the problems we are facing. For more, go to http://www.globalchange.gov/what-we-do/assessment ,a report out a couple weeks ago which i expect will shift the US conversation about climate change. The European report, http://www.europeanclimate.org/ came out in 2011. And i expect a Nat Geo Special Issue or three on these, on their implications, and on what we can do as people.
Do you guys still seriously believe in anthropogenic global warming? Do you think it is merely a coincidence that global warming alarmism folds in nicely with anti-capitalism?
The worst part of this lunacy is the utter arrogance behind it. Do you really claim to understand the earth as a whole well enough to make policy decisions that create poverty and hunger? Should I trust meteorologists who can't even predict tomorrow's weather with the omniscience required to understand the globe as a whole?
God holds his earth in his hands and he is the only one who can truly claim to understand it. He also put precious minerals and hydrocarbons in it for us to extract and use in our mandate to subdue the earth. Should we do it as good stewards? Of course. But to buy into this global warming fad which makes a few elite politicians rich and the rest of the world poor is arrogant and foolish.
It's been fricken cold this winter in North Dakota. I'm freezing my butt off here and am looking forward to global change if that means heating up.
I'm sure your difference in temperature measurement doesn't consider the source. The sun's supply of heat plays a much greater role than what occurs on our planet in form of ambient gas. The heat source intensity, whether it be from the miniscule: difference in speed of rotation of our planet, or tilting in degrees, or intensity of the sun, or differences in distance to the sun is not being considered because you have no way to measure it.
Vinland was once covered with grape vines. Elephants were in Siberia. Oh, by the way, the polar bears are still enjoying their lives swimming along the deep blue sea of the Hudson Bay except now they're back on the ice because its winter.
National Geographic - I love your magazine. Please keep reporting on events as observations not impressive opinions.
@Karl Quick What on earth is "elitist" science - good grief, your rhetoric is dripping with ignorance.I hate to break it to you, but if 97 percent of the scientific community is acknowledging a possible threat due to the evidence they've reviewed, that's not "elitist" - that is what's known as a majority.
Go spring for a dictionary and take a rudimentary math class.
@John C. Just like capitalism is a religion followed by fanatic followers.
@Roiikka-Ta P Globetrotter - If you ask anyone claiming they are registered as "the party of personal responsibility" (the absurd GOP) they'll start babbling that your suggestion of behaving responsibly toward this is socialism while they refer to themselves as experts on any given subject . . . i.e., the economy, foreign affairs, science, you name it,and there are some obviously ignorant nitwits out there who have got a sound-bite for it - usually involving some sort of accusation that you are conspiring against them and you're a socialist. AND that YOU are the one who is ill-informed.
Beyond ridiculous, banal, and trite. Obviously the ill-kempt GOP base has no sense of decency, no sense of shame, and apparently no sense of self-awareness either.
Isn't that right, Karl.
@Roiikka-Ta Globetrotter Arrest Republicans.
@Roiikka-Ta Globetrotter - Carbon tax, w/ proceeds spent to promote low-carbon alternatives: conservation and energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, etc. It's the quickest, fairest, most viable economy-wide approach I've seen proposed.
We will also need an international agreement to coordinate the approach on a global scale, so it will be important for the U.S. to make a serious effort to lead by example, and to participate in a global treaty.
@Tom Gillilan Have you seen the studies that burning dung in the 3rd world creates vastly more particulate pollution than anything we do in more "modern" civilizations?
Instead of aiding the 3rd world with wood and dung stoves, we should be selling them propane stoves and teaching them how to frac for natural gas.... unless the real reason for foreign aid is to give the 3rd world enough rope to hang themselves. ...kind of like giving free abortions to minorities, dope to dope addicts, and just enough weapons to Libya and Syria to ensure that the society is totally destroyed by never-ending violence.
@Jon Sheldon - Most of the educated world believes in AGW, Jon, in no small part because a wide consensus of the scientists who study the climate have established a causal correlation between human greenhouse gas emissions and the undeniable warming of the planet over the last century.
And yes; global warming is a challenge to capitalism, understood as "free enterprise", because global warming is a classic case of the Tragedy of the Commons: freedom in a commons brings ruin to all. The atmosphere is a classic commons - no one "owns" it, but we all use it. And we cannot go on allowing anyone the freedom to dump whatever gases they want into the atmosphere or we'll all fry.
By the way; claiming to know what god thinks is truly, unseemly arrogant
@Jon Sheldon to buy into the belief of a "god" is foolish!
Yes, I still believe the Earth rotates around the Sun. The greenhouse effect is as real today as it was a billion years ago. Greenhouse gases like CO2 still can drive lasers very efficiently. The sun still heats the Earth from deep inside its protective greenhouse atmosphere so that heat then leaves into space slowly with a lot of back radiating along the way so that nights and days are moderate (and wind is moderate) instead of like the moon where days are much hotter than any day on Earth and nights are way beyond freezing.
Let me guess, Jon, you think the moon landing was staged. How can man defy the planet he was put into and land outside of it safely and return!! Man cannot have that much power or knowledge!! Of course, maybe you also don't believe a heavy and very large airplane can actually take off the ground and fly through the air. If God intended man to fly he surely would have given him wings is what many skeptics say.
Now, God might talk to me just as he apparently spoke to you when he told you to subdue the earth. He told me to take care of it so that many generations of children likewise will be able to enjoy its fruits and not to let those like Jon who have failed to understand his messages destroy it.
Meteorologists where I live are right most of the time. When they say it is going to be much colder tonight because a front is moving in, it usually is. When they say it will rain a lot (or rain sunshine), it almost always does. When they say a hurricane has a chance of coming close or hitting, it almost always does.
When scientists warned that their theories predicted that nuclear fission could be done carefully to yield lots of energy or it could be done to lead to uncontrolled chain reactions of unbelievable potency, they were right and even built the first such devices.
When scientists said that their theories would enable them to put a satellite into space around the earth to measure it in amazing new ways and that they could put a man on the moon, these were similarly correct and later achieved.
When scientists were warning about the ozone layer, we took action and turned back the tide by regulating CFCs. It worked.
Scientists were right about communicating through space unbelievable distances, about the atom, about radiation, about cells, diseases, cures, and DNA, about spectacular states of matter and effect, .. the list is very long.
These were scientific results thought to be fake and myths and totally unbelieved my most people who were not experts and didn't understand the theories and research at the time, yet the predictions proved true and accurate.
Yet, with increasing evidence every year across thousands of new advanced papers in climate science (a "fad" now for several decades straight and running), and without even knowing basics about radiative transfer physics or the math that explains why we are in trouble, you chose to ignore these scientists because apparently you think they are anti-capitalist -- this time around. I thought almost all scientists were anti-capitalists socialists. Oh, but wait, this time around there is this guy called Gore, a politician you probably greatly dislike because he ran for President as a Democrat and you dislike Democrats (am I right?), who has been pushing awareness of these unprecedented changes to the planet (even while making some mistakes in his understanding) and making a lot of money.
So that's it then. Since Gore got there first, you decided to join the ranks of the millions of unbelievers in science who say something just can't be .. until eventually they (or their hurt great grand kids) just can't deny it any longer. "Honey, sweatie, Gore got me so angry back in the day, that I just couldn't do what was right for you and for your sister. Sorry. Great Gramps apologizes dearly."
Fortunately, (if you guys overcome your mental issues) we can take action ahead of time so that the costs are not astronomical to a large part of the world's population. As economists confirm, the costs to ignore the warnings will be higher than to take precautions today. .. um... DUH
@Jon Sheldon - do you actually believe the PR of the fossil fuel industry spouted by a few discredited scientists and home made websites more than you believe the national scientific academies of every industrialized nation in the world? Wow. If any scientist could disprove AGW, they could demand 100 million dollars from Exxon to release their findings, and Exxon would gladly pay. Why hasn't this happened?
How is AGW related to anti-capitalism? It seems that there is plenty
of good ole American technology that is really underutilized: solar
hot water panels, geothermal systems, biofuels (made right here), are a
few examples. What is anti-capitalist are the fossil-fuel subsidies
that the profit record-breaking oil and coal industries get every year.
Free market, right? Use our capitalist market to buy and use sustainable energy technology. Oh, but our fossil fuel companies keep any subsidy money for their profits.
The fossil fuel companies (Exxonmobil, Koch Industries, etc..) are also undemocratic: using their profits to buy influence in the U.S. Congress and in the American public by using biased and false statements to confuse the details, facts, and solutions to the issue.
Arrogance? The climate scientists know more about the Earth's climate systems than anyone from a fossil fuel company. They understand carbon-based fuels, how to find it, and how to get it to make money. Claiming that they know that AGW does not exist is arrogance, yet they are quite successful in conveying this message and have people listen to it. That is arrogance. Meteorologists focus on weather forecasting. They are not studying the broader, large-scale climate system. Weather is inherently chaotic.
The Earth is a planet freely orbiting its star, Sol. The precious metals and the majority of other elements are the result of nuclear fusion from previous stars. Hydrocarbons are the result of decayed plant / animal life that lived millions of years ago. Under anaerobic conditions, heat, and pressure, you have oil and coal.
"Our mandate to subdue to earth?" That sounds rather arrogant. How about we take some caution with our one place to live so that we do not destroy it. We managed to put a hole in the ozone layer with refrigerants, why not change the climate too? The goal of the climate scientists is to alert the world's governments that things are rapidly happening to the earth's climate systems, and they have attributed them to carbon pollution in the atmosphere, and they are making suggestions as to what we can do to help slow it or (doubtfully) eliminate the issue.
Just imagine how poor we will all be when temperatures are higher than they are already, crop lands are either flooded or dried up, the sea life is significantly reduced, forests are gone, and water supplies are compromised. Only the Koch Brothers (or any of their family) will be well off, and everyone else will be serfs.
@Jon Sheldon Mr Sheldon, there are many great opportunities that global warming offers capitalism. While a steady return on capital is the goal of many investors, this level of security has more to do with monopoly and steady state management. However, the beauty of capitalism is its ability to adapt to new market conditions rapidly. Its flexibility, far greater than autocratic, command control, state regimes, is much more like a human ecology. Times of change offer great opportunities to those willing to take risks and explore new technologies, markets and innovations. Great fortunes will be made and lost to the coming changes, just as were made and lost during the gold rush, the rail boom, the oil boom, and the digital revolution.
Global warming is less "anti-capitalism" than it might appear. Rather it is about to start reshuffling old methods, entrenched corporate oligarchies more effiecntly and more honestly than any government could. True capitalism is a far more brutal and organic system than staid governmental organizations. Like the planet's myriad ecologies, capitalism is about to find itself adapting to new conditions.
@Lute Olson That's "f-r-i-k-k-i-n'", Lute. Please.
, That's the problem, we're changing CO2 about 3,000-times faster than geologic forces do, don't expect the drought to go away, sea-level continues to rise as fast as we are melting Greenland's ice-sheet and it's to where we won't be able to stop it even if we try.
So who cares about that? The outlet streams, thousands of them are 10-20% higher in volume than 15-years ago. That's a bad sign that the melting is lowering down within the ice-sheet, if it gets too low we can't stop it melting.
Since it's worth 6-8m of sea-level kiss off NYC ... it's destroyed, does anyone get this? I know it's geology and I took actual classes in geology but what we're doing is really stupid.
@Lute Olson - Nat'l Geographic has already done a fair amount of reporting on Global Warming, such as:
It will be a long time before it doesn't freeze in North Dakota in winter, even with global warming. But if that day comes, you won't want to be there...
INDIVIDUAL exceptional events may not be reliably linked to global warking, but the general trend is. See more remarks on this topic:
Why would this seem like propaganda to you?
@Jay Clemons @Roiikka-Ta Globetrotter So we should blow the best opportunity to avoid self extinction by spending our wealth on politicians? ...go study science, especially the history of trial and error involved in every great discovery ...and how those great discoveries were later discovered to be approximations of reality, not correct models of reality.
@Karl Quick @Tom Gillilan Sure, kind of like giving abortions to minorities. Yep, that sounds exactly what it's like. Oh, what a pity you're not around to lead the debate against what 97 percent of the scientific community has to say about this subject. Those poor bereft of knowledge socialists would then learn so much from you, Karl. ... right? ...sarcasm... By the way, Karl, if you were living in the 21st century, where promoting more efficient and sustainable use of t modern cooking fuels and technologies is conducted in third world countries by people who can board planes, you might not be comparing this with your right-wing favorite subjects, such as a woman's right to choose - or what you would refer to as something she dare not do in whatever antiquated societal norms you wish to force everyone to conform to (while anyone suggesting you behave responsibly toward climate change is a dictatorship). No irony there, right? None? No? You don't see the irony? Really?. But getting back to the people who use airplanes, you've heard of the U.N., Millenium Project right? Or is that considered yet another "socialist" conspiracy.
@Bruce Williams @Jon Sheldon Scientists also thought the globe was cooling in the '70's. They also told us that butter was bad and margarine was good. Then they reversed that decision. Then they reversed it again.
Man understands maybe 5% of the human body. How much less of the entire earth do we understand? Humility is really in short supply here.
@Marc Plante You all seem to frame this debate as: fossil fuel companies vs. everyone else. In reality the fossil fuel companies are an integral part in providing a high quality of life to most people around the world. Also, there is an enormous amount of people who are skeptical to AWM. It isn't just a few extremes nuts like you all make it out to be.
"The Earth is a planet freely orbiting its star, Sol. The precious metals and the majority of other elements are the result of nuclear fusion from previous stars. Hydrocarbons are the result of decayed plant / animal life that lived millions of years ago. Under anaerobic conditions, heat, and pressure, you have oil and coal." Marc, if I keep following your worldview, I eventually realize that I am also the product of stardust somehow evolving into biological life that somehow evolves into a rational creature. But truly, if you evolved from stardust, then why should I trust your opinions or views on anything? Why would I trust one piece of stardust over another?
""Our mandate to subdue to earth?" That sounds rather arrogant." No, actually it is the word of God, himself: "God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."" Gen. 1:28
God is not arrogant. This is His creation. And yes, he does tell us to take good care of it as faithful stewards - something I believe in strongly. But he does warn us in Romans 1 that men will worship the creature rather than the Creator. This is the idolatry of the modern environmental movement, which is ultimately a form of pantheism.
@J Collin English @Jon Sheldon So rather than raising capital from the taxpayers with the help of government, do it the old fashion way.... get investors to put up money for companies like Solyndra risking their own wealth on what you all seem to believe. Welcome to real capitalism! ...reportedly Al Gore has about a half billion now he should be able to donate to the effort.
1) Capitalism is way over-rated. It is like fire; it has it's uses, but it can also be very damaging. The beauty of fire is that it keeps you warm; but if your house is on fire, the beauty will be lost on you. And I don't believe that capitalism is intrinsically more flexible or efficient than an economic form that employs social capital democratically instead of private capital oligarchically. It may be that it depends on the economic issue being addressed...Time will tell..
2) Global warming is a classic case of the Tragedy of the Commons. And since the common atmosphere is not amenable of private ownership, the "free enterprise" paradigm of capitalism is likelier to make the problem worse instead of better. The "capitalist" economies are no less afflicted with climate change than the "socialist" economies, and certainly no more likely to get a handle on the problem just because of the "beauty of capitalism."
@Tom Mallard Another thing that puzzles me about GW alarmists: You all claim that the earth is billions of years old. Yet, we only have modern scientific equipment for the last century and a half or so. We only have temperature data going back about the same amount of time. So take 150/4500000000 and that's the percentage of sampling time you have. And you feel confident making bold assertions with that weak of an extrapolation?
@Jon Sheldon @Bruce Williams - "Scientists also thought the globe was cooling in the '70's." -- Wrong! This meme is a canard promulgated by people who are willfully ignorant and duplicitous, extrapolating a few sensationalist headlines from the early '70's into a "consensus of scientists." Never happened - you should look it up..Oh; and butter and margarine, REALLY, have nothing to do with global warming...
If a doctor takes your temperature and tells you you have a fever, do you disparage her understanding?
Evangelical Environmental Network makes the point that we are asked to "tend His garden" and to provide for the least of His people, so factor that into your thinking...
@Jay Clemons @Jon Sheldon @Marc Plante Here is a better solution, but not the best: frac natural gas, use it for electricity, heating, driving, etc. ...you achieve 80% of your CO2 and particulate matter pollution goals with a proven technology, easily adapted to our current infrastructure, and capable of fueling a vast expansion of the economy.
Then, when we have everyone moved to NG from wood, dung, coal, etc. ...move to hydrogen produced by splitting water molecules using electricity generated by fusion reactors.
This strategy moves us in a positive direction every step of the way... it does not require punishing people in order to jump some yet undetermined barrier to a green energy utopia we can only believe in by blind faith.
It amazes me how those who are most willing to discount faith in God are eager to create a god out of science based largely on speculation, rather than take hold of the science we've abundantly proven works.
Step by steady step wins the race to the future. The last "leap" we invested all in was nuclear power. How well did that work out for ya?
That is not idolatry Mr. Sheldon, but people caring for the earth that God gave us.
If a relative or freind gave you something, say a glass decoration of some sort, you would be carefull with it wouldn't you? If you had a pet you would feed, water, and in other ways take care of it right? Is this idolatry? No. But if your God makes something, like say...EARTH, you consider it idolatry to take care of it? I am sorry but this makes absolutley NO sense to me.
Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
@Cory M @Jon Sheldon @Marc PlanteThanks for your comments. We believe discussion is important, and want the National Geographic community to be an open space for conversation, regardless of beliefs or backgrounds. All of our members are invited to debate and share their perspectives in a respectful manner.
If you are so religious, why are you trolling National Geographic articles?! You obviously aren't here to learn about the earth (b/c you've learned everything already about it from the Bible, apparently) Go troll on Jerry Falwell's site where people will actually agree with your uneducated, preposterous, narrow minded statements.
@T. Danziger @Jon Sheldon @Marc Plante I don't believe we are stardust, friend. I believe we are uniquely created in the image of God. As such, we have faculties that are capable of cohering with the world around us. It is the stardust-to-man crowd that has to justify their epistemological viability.
@Jon Sheldon @Marc Plante - The "modern environmental movement" is a community of people who are educated enough to understand what is happening in the world, and they are pretty worried! The list of ecological damage that has been done to the planet is very long, very alarming, and very ongoing. Maybe you are the kind of person who would rather read comforting myths and ignore the burning rivers, the melting ice sheets, the dead zones in the oceans, etc. etc. Or maybe you just think it is all god's will...
Step aside, brother, unless you want to offer better solutions for being a "steward" instead of a "subduer". And at least acknowledge the reality of a warming planet caused by billions of people burning fossil fuels.
@Jay Clemons @Jon Sheldon @Tom Mallard Funny, the "Noah's Ark myth" is proving to be a rational extrapolation of a real event (melting of the ice damn blocking the flooding of the Black Sea. In the eyes of the humans at the time, the world was flooded, and their livestock (all the animals that mattered to them) were saved by a few who happened to think ahead.
If anything, the AGW advocates should adopt Noah's Ark as their symbol and promote the research in the depths of the Black Sea as demonstrating the importance of preparing for the coming disaster.
Of course, those who oppose you will equally be able to demonstrate how the ignorance of the people of the time led them to vastly extrapolate a local event to a global event and blow all out of proportion the actual events.
We, as the "educated" people of earth, are merely, at best, relatively speaking, like Noah, struck with a bit of insight which he associates with the Creator of all he sees and knows. ....we are all like Noah, taking our chances and making our mistakes, possibly settling in the bottom of a huge depression, discovering ultimately the value of living on a mountainside.
But once the "flood" has come, both sides will be chastened: the flood was not global and unsurvivable, yet indeed, we once again had to learn and adapt to survive.
Nothing is static and certain, except the need to have faith, humility and charity, some things lacking from both sides on this forum.
@Jon Sheldon @Tom Mallard - In terms of how to keep our planet from frying, we don't care all that much about what happened for the first 4.5 billion years. We just care that in the last 150 years, for which we have accurate temperature records, the planetary temperature has been fairly steadily rising at an alarmingly fast rate. Too fast for much of the ecosystem to adapt to... The whole community of climate scientists has been working for decades to determine the cause, and has ruled out sunspots, volcanoes, cosmic rays, etc. So yes; they are confident that the fact that the increase in greenhouse gas emissions, particularly CO2, tracks VERY CLOSELY with the observed temperature increase demonstrates causality to a reasonable person.
Next time you are sitting in traffic, belching out the CO2, consider how odd it is that someone who can believe in the whole Noah's Ark myth, can't believe that all those greenhouse gases filling our thin little atmosphere are heating up the planet dangerously.
The Future of Food
National Geographic explores how we can feed the growing population without overwhelming the planet in our food series.