Saturday, June 27, 2015

What’s Really Warming the World?

For those interested in understanding what is happening upon our planet, there's a fascinating new graph at Bloomberg.com that does a fine job of putting the situation into perspective.
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What’s Really Warming the World?
By Eric Roston and Blacki Migliozzi - June 24, 2015

“Skeptics of manmade climate change offer various natural causes to explain why the Earth has warmed by 1.4°F since 1880.”

OK lets take a look at ...
    Earth’s Orbit
    the Sun
    Volcanoes
how about ...
    Deforestation
    Ozone pollution
    Aerosol Pollution
what about so-called ...
    Greenhouse gases?


Check out the graph and slowly scroll down.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Trying to understand our Earth's climate engine.

I try to separate this blog from WUWTW much as possible, but once in a while I put together something I hope is worth sharing over here.
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"In the shadow of "Seepage" considering our climate system"


Goal of this article: A) To convey a recognition and appreciation of the fundamental components of our planet's climate system.  B)  to explain the difference between "Global Surface Temperature" and the "Global Temperature" (Something everyone conflates way the heck too often!).

Our Earth's climate is a global heat and moisture distribution engine consisting of three major components.

There's the atmosphere with it's distinctive layers, the lowest one is called the troposphere, it's where our weather lives.  The troposphere varies in height from around five miles at the poles up to around twelve miles at the equator.  




Sunday, May 24, 2015

Update: Village at Wolf Creek, Colorado - May 2015


Hee'z baaack, and still hell bent on tearing the heart out of Alberta Park, Wolf Creek, Colorado. 
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Up in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, below Wolf Creek Pass, an epic wetlands-preservation struggle has been going on.

The smoldering mess was reignited in May when the Rio Grande National Forest released its final decision regarding the Village at Wolf Creek Access Project. This decision allows the exchange of 205 acres of prime Rio Grande National Forest, including some 1500 feet of highway frontage, for 177 acres of difficult-to-develop and landlocked property owned by the Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture. Talk about a smooth poker play.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A high school student explains what global warming is all about

A few weeks ago I came across this video which does a nice clean job of describing the scientific understanding regarding global warming.  When I noticed it was put together by a couple high school juniors, the unfortunates who will inherit this monstrosity our complacent self-centered society is creatingI was impressed enough to ask Emily permission to mirror her video.  It took a month, but a few days ago I received her permission, so here it is.  

THIS IS WHAT SCIENCE SOUNDS LIKE:




The Science Behind Global Warming (Documentary)

my notes of highlights followed by her citations:

Thursday, March 26, 2015

You, me, we don’t need a scriptural “God” - Knowing Evolution Is Enough!

This started as a comment at CenterForInquiry Forum but it ballooned into an essay and since it turned into a pretty fair presentation of my thoughts on this topic, I figure I'd post it over here.
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Back to the original thought:
“When circumstances are terrible, certainly you will suspend your atheism.”

Why?  For what purpose?

Some put all this stock in Holy Books and people’s interpretations of those books along with the images we weave in our minds, created out of the desires in our hearts.  But that’s your/their god, a security blanket, and we all need our security blankets, I’m not knocking that.  It’s the arrogance and defensive super-natural Faith folks imbibe it with, (exemplified in that bold boast at the start of this essay), that’s over the top.

There are some who have gone through personal struggles and rebirths, folks who understand Jesus’s Passion for what it is, a guide (support and inspiration) for our own personal spiritual journeys - with it’s various personal trials and tribulations, for aid and support in transitioning through our own lives, from dependent, self-centered, selfish child, into balanced self sufficient adulthood and eventually beyond to wise person and adept societal matriarch or patriarch (metaphorically speaking) - according to each circumstance.
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Once one’s spiritual foundation grows beyond our mental images of God and Holy Stories (the Shadow Plays that help us glimpse a greater awareness) that awe gets transferred to the reality of our Mother Earth, the organism that created this world and each of us - 
and a totally different, much more solid, dare I say mature, type of spiritual foundation is formed.

Rooted in a deep understanding of Evolution's Pageant and its creation of ever more complex building blocks that drove yet more complexity.  The evolution of atomic particles and elements, gravity and star formation,  Ah, the stars, factories creating one element after another, up to Iron.  Then the wonder of exploding giant stars (Super Novas) that created all the heavier elements in a flash.  Thus making future complex worlds possible.  Fascinating.  Gravity and solar system formation and the wonder of our planet’s development.  Then that early addition of the moon, by way of a furious collision!  Don't that beat all in the Holy Books?

The early moon's orbit was much closer to Earth with constant gravitational churning…

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Investigating China’s Smog, “Under the Dome” - Chai Jing

Considering that some are trying to censor this important video, I figured I should do my little part for international free speech… and honestly facing the world we have created for our children, and embed it over here.
        
Investigating China’s Smog, “Under the Dome” - Chai Jing


Under the Dome (Chinese: 穹顶之下; pinyin: qióngdǐng zhī xià) is a 2015 self-financed, Chinese documentary film by Chai Jing, a former China Central Television journalist, concerning air pollution in China. 

Chai Jing started making the documentary when her as yet unborn daughter developed a tumour in the womb, which had to be removed very soon after her birth. 

The film openly criticises state owned energy companies, steel producers and coal factories, as well as showing the inability of the Ministry of Environmental Protection to act against the big polluters.

Despite demonstrating the failure of China's regulations on pollution, the Chinese government at first did not censor the film. Instead, the People's Daily reposted the film alongside an interview with Chai, while Chen Jining, the recently-appointed minister for environmental protection, praised the film, comparing its significance with Silent Spring, the 1962 book by US environmentalist Rachel Carson

However, within a week, the Communist Party’s publicity department confidentially ordered the film to be removed. An employee of China Business News was suspended for leaking the order. ...
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Chai Jing's: Under the Dome 
Investigating China’s Smog 
柴静雾霾调查:穹顶之下 
(full translation)


Published on Mar 1, 2015 | 1:43:55
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6X2uwlQGQM

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Watching Flames, Pascal Bruckner Fiddles, fanaticism of the apocalypse


Over at my WUWTW blogspot one of the most visited posts is  "Pascal Bruckner's "Fanaticism of the Apocalypse" - A Citizen's Response" dated June 18, 2013 which still receives a surprising number of regular viewings.  This prompted me to google his name and see if anything special was going on these days, doesn't seem to be, but I did read another article (ironically posted the day before my first critique) based on his book "Fanaticism of the Apocalypse" that I found disappointing and shallow.  Not a reflection of our real world situation at all.

Worst is Bruckner's seeming insistence that all this concern about what's happening to our climate is some frivolous fad and that all we have to worry about is our worries.  Most disconnected from the reality of global trends and quite frankly begging for a rebuttal, which I am providing, until someone with more intellectual horse power has the nerve, or interest, to take on the great French thinker Monsieur Pascal Bruckner.


I reprint the full text, neither having, nor asking for permission, because Pascal puts himself out there as a great thinker trying to influence the masses, also considering this was posted at The Chronicle of Higher Education, it seems only proper that they allow his words to be examined with a skeptical eye.


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June 17, 2013
Against Environmental Panic

By Pascal Bruckner (4200words)

¶1  In Jesuit schools we were urged to strengthen our faith by spending time in monasteries. We were assigned spiritual exercises to be dutifully written in little notebooks that were supposed to renew the promises made at baptism and to celebrate the virtues of Christian love and succor for the weak. It wasn't enough just to believe; we had to testify to our adherence to the Holy Scriptures and drive Satan out of our hearts. These practices were sanctioned by daily confessions under the guidance of a priest. We all probed our hearts to extirpate the germs of iniquity and to test, with a delicious thrill, the borderline separating grace from sin. We were immersed in an atmosphere of meditative reverence, and the desire to be good gave our days a special contour.

¶2  We knew that God was looking down on us indulgently: We were young, we were allowed to stumble. In his great ledger, he wrote down each of our actions, weighing them with perfect equanimity. We engaged in refined forms of piety in order to gain favors. Regarded from an adult point of view, these childish efforts, which were close to the ancients' spiritual exercises, were not without a certain nobility. They wavered between docility and a feeling of lofty grandeur. At least we learned the art of knowing ourselves, of resisting the turmoil of puberty.

~ ~ ~ 
It seems such a cloistered background might create deep seated life long conscious and subconscious conflicts.  I know that some guidance counselors are so wrapped-up within their own struggles that they too easily transfer their own issues onto the 'client', never "seeing" their client's actual challenges - and I wonder if that may be going on here.  

It is fair to ask Pascal, to ask himself, how much of this missive might be his own struggles with early childhood resentments towards the church, only now transferring those internal struggles into the more lucrative realm of attacking science?
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¶3  What a surprise to witness, half a century later, the powerful return of this frame of mind, but this time under the aegis of science. 

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What "powerful" are we talking about here?  Media tycoons?  Pundits?  Who?

Please note Pascal never defines what he's referring to "under the aegis of science" simply leaving it hanging in the air and returning to what's going on in the public dialogue.
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Consider the meaning in contemporary jargon of the famous carbon footprint that we all leave behind us. What is it, after all, if not the gaseous equivalent of Original Sin, of the stain that we inflict on our Mother Gaia by the simple fact of being present and breathing? We can all gauge the volume of our emissions, day after day, with the injunction to curtail them, just as children saying their catechisms are supposed to curtail their sins.

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Perhaps for a religious person "original sin" is as substantial as water - but they are mistaken.  Original sin is a plot point in a metaphysical myth, an imaginary construct just the same.

The Carbon Footprint is another kind of construct, one that has a very real physical component, namely a measure of the amount of carbon dioxide that a person or activity produces with the fossil fuels being burned for said activity.  It is substantive and it has a cumulative physical impact on this planet.  

In other words, Pascal doesn't seem to recognize the difference between the "substantial" and "insubstantial".
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¶4  Ecologism,