Pollution

Let’s look at the global warming issue. The mariner has pulled together some information from newscasts and scientific sources.

From Science Daily (www.sciencedaily.com) :  “Sea-level rise in this century is likely to be 70-120 centimeters [27 inches to 47 inches] by 2100 if greenhouse-gas emissions are not mitigated, a broad assessment of the most active scientific publishers on that topic has revealed. (Credit: © Thierry Hoarau / Fotolia)”

If this is true, all the coastlines of the United States will have normal tide levels three to four feet higher. Having lived on coastal waters for many years, the mariner knows that virtually every beach will be under water. Louisiana and Florida will suffer drastic economic situations. In Maryland, the mariner’s home State, the Annapolis Harbor, among many, will be flooded and in places wash onto the streets at high tide – not to mention the effects of stormy weather.

Many readers will not be around at the end of the century. However, the sea levels already have risen three inches; the shoreline will disappear even as we live day-to-day.

 

Counterpoint:

“Sixteen prominent scientists recently signed an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal expressing their belief that the theory of global warming is not supported by science. This has not been getting the attention it deserves because politicians (looking at you Al Gore) are frankly embarrassed to admit that they are wrong about the phenomenon known as global warming. Not only has our planet stopped warming, but we may be headed toward a vast cooling period.

New data shows that in fact the Earth has not warmed at all over the last 15 years. In fact, theDaily Mail reports that the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit, after taking data from nearly 30,000 stations around the world, have found that the earth stopped warming in 1997. The report suggests we are headed toward a new solar cycle, Cycle 25, which NASA scientists have predicted will be significantly cooler than Cycle 24 which we are in now. This data largely contradicts the accepted theory among the public that carbon dioxide pollution is causing global warming and even proposes that we are actually heading toward global cooling.”

To the mariner, sixteen scientists doesn’t seem like an overwhelming crowd. Most scientists back the fact that the Earth is warming. A big political issue is whether the human race has disrupted normal earth climate.

On the other hand, several scientific sources that draw their data from different databases do predict a weak Solar cycle within the century. If it were strong enough, it may cool the oceans a degree or more; certainly, weather will be much colder in arctic and temperate zones. The mariner sees three issues:

(a)        The climate is warming or otherwise is too warm as it is – the melted Arctic Sea accounts for that. Further, ask any polar bear; the species is endangered. A small indicator is that plants are blooming two weeks earlier in Vermont, creating difficulties for migrating birds and insects that arrive too late for blooming season.

(b)        The Sun by far has the most influence on the weather on Earth – many times more than any global pollution argument. While the Solar cycle may save the planet from desert temperatures, it does not disprove human pollution.

(c)         Human pollution is affecting the climate. This is a political issue for sure. Read republican documents (highly influenced by the oil industry) and climate change is a myth. Read democratic literature (greatly influenced by new technology) and climate change will be the ruin of the human race.

The mariner accepts arguments based on carbon particles and gases. Machines and balloons that sit in odd or remote places, not affected by politics, collect atmospheric data without prejudice. It is true, as Al Gore will say, that carbon pollution has risen almost vertically since the year 2000. Recent news coverage of Chinese cities show visibility is limited to a block or so demonstrates the solid carbon particles discharged by human activity ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzz6TWNRUAc.  Two other arguments come to mind: Midwest electric and steel plant smoke that killed trees all the way to the Atlantic Ocean with acid rain; the Love Canal scandal where the town had unbelievably high rates of cancer that traced back to 21,000 tons of radioactive waste buried under the town.

What concerns the mariner more is the human race has little concern for the path of waste and abuse in its wake. Politics aside, Americans waste one-third of their food; waste dumps are almost as overloaded as our prisons, and the number of fellow species are disappearing at an alarming rate because human population has and is ruining natural habitats.

The conflict between government and corporate growth versus the natural environment is a tough one. It may run many decades. Maybe growing a few vegetables in the window, eating leftovers and recycling our glass and plastic may make a small difference in our own air quality. Buy products that are safe for the environment. Support climate magazines. Individuals must do something because there is no government in the world that can take definitive action on human abuse of the global environment.

And no one has mentioned methane. Damned cows!

Ancient Mariner

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