(sorry about the font. I'm not an html kinda guy) Hi, HowAreYa, LongTimeNoSee, yadayadayada.
OK; now we're all on the same page so lets move on.
The climate is currently changing. No, the climate doesn’t "always" change, but yes it has changed in the past. The periods where the climate has changed in the past have always been due to known forces: Solar changes, orbital changes, atmospheric changes (from a number of biological or geological factors). Currently, all the data for the current change point to the change in carbon dioxide levels. The quantities we're talking about didnt come from volcanos or fire extinguishers.
The climate is currently changing and we're starting to see it in terms of:
- fish populations dropping due to migration changes and feeding ground changes,.
- insects becoming "native" in new areas, opening up opportunities for crop and forrest infestation, not to mention infectious diseases.
- prolonged drought.
- thawing permafrost, throwing more (and worse) greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, inducing a little problem called Positive Feedback.
- melting (reflective) ice cover, exposing more heat absorbing open water, inducing a little problem called Positive Feedback.
As little as a couple of years ago I would’ve called myself a climate skeptic. Really. But I’ve looked at the data on both sides, and I’m here to tell you that in my humble amateur opinion, only one side has the overwhelming solid evidence. It doesn’t matter that you find it hard to believe (like I did) that man can affect such a global impact. Or that such a tiny amount of carbon dioxide (.03%; three parts in ten thousand) in our atmosphere has such an effect. Nature doesn’t care what you cant, or choose not to, believe. Just make sure that the reason you dont (or even DO, for that matter) believe in global climate change is not connected to any sort of partisanship or political feelings. [mg- there; I fixed that] That would be foolish and give me a very sad feeling.
Aside from the tree huggy Kumbayah impacts of losing species and changing landscapes, its something that’s going to be hard to ignore in our fancy schmancy "Living in Lakecountry" lifestyles. No matter what that lifestyle is. And its going to get costly (I’ve got you're attention NOW, don’t I?), in food prices alone (just be REAL GLAD we live in an area of abundant clean water!!!!!). Besides, the whole losing species and changing landscapes thing will cost you plenty, whether you like it or not.
President Obama just proposed some legislation that I understand to be focused against coal and is intended to reduce carbon dioxide. Good luck with that, honest, but I’ve got a big bone to pick with how its being "sold". I have a problem with carbon dioxide being billed as a "pollutant" and the proposal as a "clean air" solution. Its intellectually dishonest and turns the whole thing into a couple of technically inaccurate sound bites. Call me an old fogey, but its just wrong; its time to stop treating a target audience as stupid.
I understand that China currently emits more carbon dioxide than the US and will probably continue to do so. There's precious little that we can do about that.
I wish there was more investment in nuclear. There's precious little that I can do about that.
In the meantime, enjoy your summer and keep cool!