Last login: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Unfortunately, today's discussion revolved entirely about the EFFECTS of global warming, and how to cope with them. But over the longer term, nothing will help us until we recognize and begin to deal with the CAUSE.
Every day we, the human race, pump new tons of C0-2---greenhouse gas--into our atmosphere. We've been doing it for almost two centuries now. Before this vast change, sunlight would strike the planet, and be re-radiated back into space. The balance between incoming energy and outgoing energy was exactly attuned to making Earth hospitable to life.
But now, more and more of that incoming sunlight energy is trapped within the atmosphere as heat, just as a greenhouse traps sunlight. The atmosphere warms, the oceans warm. And heat is energy--every day, every hour, we continue to add energy to the planet's cover of air and bodies of water. The result: more and more storms, each packing more energy than before. That's why the 'hundred-year- storm' is becoming the 'ten-year-storm.'
"Sandy," with its dozens of dead and 50-billion-dollar cost estimate, should be viewed as the gentlest tap on the shoulder from Mother Nature--a timely reminder that, unless we seriously address our attack on the Earth's atmosphere, in the words of Al Jolson, "You ain't seen nothin' yet!"
October 31, 2012 at 12:37 p.m.
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