I recently did some research on global warming. I found out that the USA is emitting over 25% of the world's polluting gases. These include sulphur dioxide which causes acid rain, and nitrous oxides which causes health problems. I find this very alarming, as the USA, as a developed country, is consuming over half of the world's natural resources.
Why is the USA doing this? Should the USA think about environmental issues?
The USA is the only developed nation that has not joined the Kyoto Protocol. I think this is very selfish. What do you think the USA should do?
I think the US should participate constructively in the upcoming Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change, and help ensure that a viable successor to the Kyoto Accord--which expires in 2012, IIRC--is created.
Climate change is a serious threat to our future, and recognizing this reality is a crucial test of our maturity (or lack thereof) as a global society.
One of the reasons that the US hasn't joined the Kyoto Protocol is that it is skewed away from the realities of US needs in terms of emissions. Now before everyone gets on my back explaining all the really useful ways to improve carbon foot prints and all of that, please consider a few facts. Yes, public transportation is a more ideal means of getting around than every family having 2.5 cars, but a vast amount of the US is in regions where it is not a reasonable solution because of the population to density ratios. Yes, we do a lot of industrial work which causes vast quantities of emissions, but we also export a huge percent of this providing materials to many many countries who now don't need these high emission factories.
As to the contribution to global warming/ climate change, the Earth itself, without the assistance of the human race, emits millions more pounds of carbon emissions. Climate change/ global warming is a natural cycle the Earth goes through. Yes, many many things will be affected, harmed, eliminated. Yes, humans contribute to that. Yes, the US is a huge source of that problem. But after glaciers melt they reform. When a species dies out, another rises. The biggest problem is going to be the harm it does to us. The Earth has been here for billions of years, and will remain for billions more after we leave.
When we change are carbon footprint, we affect are quality of life, but the long range is going to be mostly the same.
(I don't have a direct source at hand aobut the carbon emissions, but the information came mostly from my Ecology class, with multiplbe Bio classes to support it. The emissions come from volcanic activity, geo thermal activity and other natural events. To compare to the 25% contribution of the US, we are in the top 4 or 5 regions of the Earth to have natural geothermic formations)
The thing about it is... we make most of the stuff in the world. It takes pollution to make stuff. There will always be a country that emits the most pollution. It's simple math. Fortunately, the world benefits from all the stuff we produce and we benefit from a high standard of living that draw immigrants from all over the world.
China starts up a coal-fired plant every week; http://www.articlesbase.com/environment … 44362.html
China uses more coal that the US, the UK, and Japan combined.
The Kyoto Protocol excused China and India from polluting. They were permitted to spew their sulphur dioxide with impunity. The US president at the time, Clinton, signed the protocol but did not pass it on to Congress, where according to our constitution, it must be ratified before it becomes binding. Ask Clinton why he didn't follow through on it. I don't know.
Haha, America makes the most stuff in the world? There was me thinking that you were moving away from being a manufactuting economy to a tourism and service based economy.
You know it's not CO2 that causes temperatures to rise, it's that giant ball of flaming gas in space we call the sun that does. Funny thing is there is a correlation between sunspots and temperatures on earth. Generally speaking, the fewer sunspots the colder it is here. Like Ice Age cold. Interestingly enough we're headed towards a solar minimum concerning sun spots. When? 2012. The last time we had this type of occurrence, it started the global cooling period we know as the Little Ice Age.
I know you guys live around the world but has anyone else in the Midwest of the US noticed that the summer here seems to be cooler by about 10 degrees? It's actually been quite nice this summer. The humidity has been down too.
Surely you understand the difference between anecdotal evidence and scientific evidence? If not Google it before you seem more foolish than you already do.
Climate Change is a better term than global warming. E.g. if the deep ocean currents are affected (as they are being) places now warmed by the Gulf Stream will get much colder. Meanwhile, the net warming will cause sea levels to rise. Kind of serious if you live in Bangladesh. Yes, there are people in denial out there. Ledefensetech appears to number among them.
I get your point, but the Global Warming / Climate Change panic fear mongers do not. We know that anecdotal evidence is useless to make scientific conclusions. They point to a hot day here and there, or a flood in a region of the world that floods regularly anyway. Science is not performed by gathering anecdotal evidence that fits your side of the story.
I'd like one of the fear mongers to explain away this death-and-destruction proclamation from just 40 years ago. By now we should all have frozen to death. What happened?
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/artic … 14,00.html
Green is the new Red. That's why facts don't seem to matter. The last time we had a global cooling event, the Little Ice Age, sunspot activity was way down. But don't let the CO2 kooks hear you say that. Paleontology tells us that global temperature has been as much as 20% higher than it is today. Why is that. No cars spewing CO2 nor were there coal fired plants then either.
As for the sunspots theory the thinking goes something like this:
The Little Ice Age occurred during a time of low sunspot activity:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/19 … 075538.htm
http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic … ate-change
That last part of the Scientific American article is not entirely true. All we really have to wait for is a massive decrease in sunspot activity on the sun. Fortunately we seem to be headed for such an occurrence sometime in 2012. That should give us plenty of evidence of the impact on sunspot activity and climate change. Did you ever wonder why the Anasazi were able to cultivate crops in the Southwest during the Late Medieval Warming period? That area is desert now, but once it was not. Surely CO2 emissions are not to blame for that. Heck the Sahara desert used to be the Sahara savanna, surely CO2 emissions cannot be blamed for the desertification of the Sahara region. Apparently the debate is not over, despite what Al "I invented the Internet" Gore thinks.
Your info is a bit out. We're actually moving towards a solar maximum in or around 2012. The solar cycle is around 11 years. I know this because I'm interested in the aurora borealis - just written a hub on it - and when there's more sun spot activity there's also more aurora. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_cycle
Of course the earth/sun relationship does cause hot and cold periods but industrialisation has had a huge impact on the current temperature increases - how could it not? You can't just burn up billions of tonnes of fossil fuels and it not make the slightest bit of difference.
Everything on this planet happens for a definite reason, although sometimes scientists are blinded by it. The sun has been rising and setting for some millions of years now, following a pattern that has been best fit for the age. The sun may be of relevance with global warming, but ultimately, it is humans that have strongly contributed to this problem. Our awareness (or lack thereof) this issue has been of the utmost concern. Scientists have foreseen this for many years, probably longer than we are even aware of now. Our destructive actions are the main cause of the increasing risk of global warming.
I totally believe that the USA emits 25% of destructive particles. As Americans, we are stubborn...yet, aren't we the youngest nation? We are blinded by our own immaturity! Some people are waking up and doing what they can to help....
But by merely placing blame on factors beyond ourselves will not solve any problem. In fact, that is what is holding us back from truly fixing these problems before they consume us.
Sun and atmosphere work together--it's not either/or. With no atmosphere Earth would be frozen. And while CO2 has risen during the modern warming era, the Sun has not warmed.
As to sunspots--so-called "skeptics" always say about the good fit of CO2 increase to temperature that "correlation is not causation." This is true, in fact a truism. But the alleged correlation with sunspots, unlike the known, well-understood and characterized physical mechanism known as the greenhouse effect, lacks a real mechanism. There is a hypothesis that maybe the flux of solar cosmic rays somehow changes the rate at which clouds form. But evidence that this actually happens is lacking, and understanding of even how it could happen at all is still rather sketchy.
As to the solar minimum, you can blithely forecast one for 2012, but the reality is that no-one knows. Many "skeptics" have been claiming we're in it now, but that hasn't stopped June 2009 from being the second-warmest June ever. (Though not, as you say, in the American Midwest.)
It has been estimated that the difference in solar forcing is equivalent to just seven year's worth of greenhouse warming. So my advice is, don't hold your breath waiting for that strong cooling trend. Right now, it appears that 2008--"only" the 8th-warmest year ever--was it, for now at least.
it's interesting how standing under a shade tree can make someone think the earth is cooling.
in this region of the world, we've had 40-plus days, since the beginning of june, of temperatures over 100 degrees, with the average being less than 20 days for the entire summer. we've still got over half of august yet to come. top that off with the largest agricultural region of the state being in a drought of the exceptional category - a drought, by the way, that has lingered for more than two years - and the shade tree concept becomes more than amusing. area streams, creeks, and rivers are drying up. regional lakes are at their lowest levels in recorded history. area water wells are bone dry. gardens refuse to grow.
now let's take a step into the glaciers of the world. for all of you naysayers, take some of your well-invested money and buy yourself a tour ONTO one of these natural wonders. then, while you're standing on this huge block of ice, close your eyes and listen. listen to the sound of extinction. ice melting, dripping, pouring into the current below it. glaciers that were, just a decade ago, receding at a nominal 50 meters per year are now receding at a quite alarming rate of 150 meters per year.
yeah, the summers are quite nice these days. so is the humidity. a-fricking-mazing.
damn....pamda man is back?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
I have no desire to become involved in a debate.... but one massive source of carbion emmissions = cows farting.
Biggest consumers of beef before globalisation = America.
Biggest provider/facilitators of beef to the world following globalisation = McDonalds and Burger King.
America is to blame!
*this is supposed to be tongue in cheek*
The cows fart methane, not CO2. Methane is also a greenhouse gas that is many times more "greenhousy" than CO2. It retains more heat. Decomposing plant matter also emits methane.
<tongue in cheek>
We should all be relieved that millions of buffalo were slaughtered on the American Plains way back in the 1800s. All those animals would have only exacerbated the global warming problem.
</tongue in cheek>
HAHAHAHAHHA I was thinking about how in Ca. farmers are getting taxed based on the amount of methane thier cows are producing...then I read this....oh my!!!! I cant even think of anything to say. the whole thing is so stupid!!!! really, what? stop farting eveyrone!!!! or perhaps me and my children should walk the 17 miles one way to town, to avoid using gas when we need grocieries? maybe we should stop eating? maybe I should sell my hosue and live in a 2 room apartment so I wont live so far from town? there is no public transportaion within a 40 mile radius of where I live. Sorry I am so selfish, that I didnt go to college, and didnt get some kind of science degree to save the world and move out of America....I guess thats just how I roll. I am a selfish american.
Walk into town barefoot with a bushel basket balanced on your head. Send your kids to a one room schoolhouse run by the spinster school marm who will whack them on the knuckles when they forget to bring their little chalkboards. Sit around and wait for foreign aid from the UN. Plow your 40 acres with your mule. Disconnect your electricity and go to bed when the sun goes down.
Sorry, I've been watching too much Little House on the Prarie.
barefoot 'n' pregnat, thats how we do...
I cant balance....thats why my husband hits me..
my kids stay home for school, that way I can make them work harder..who cares if they can read?
I dont have a mule, thats fancy talk, I plow it myslef...
wtf is electricity? sound newfangled to me...
some people stay up past the sunset? but..thats when the witching hour happens...
Yer my kinda folks. Not quite sure how you got on the Internets...
am at my cuzinz house, ifn I be reel good, he lets me use it...
HAHHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!! I give up, I cant do any more....thats soooo funny!!!!! I just remebered that when I was a kid, I really did know people with a dirt floor, and I had no running water, in the summer. oh man...I am such a jerk!! so slefish...ahahahahahahahha ignorant too?
Frankly I don't have enough worms to support global worming case...
So if it isn't the effect of sunspots that'll kill us it'll be cow farts. Let's hope the cows don't get smart and collude and threaten one big fartapalooza.
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