Friday, August 10, 2007

You! Sarek of Vulcan! How do YOU feel about global warming?

Okay. Once again. My name's not Sarek and I'm not from Vulcan. I've seen pictures of this guy. I don't look anything like him, though I guess everybody without a pig snout pretty much looks the same to you, don't they Mr. Ambassador?

Then there's the question about global warming. That's a fair question. Let me answer that as best as I can.

In nearly any other country in the world, I would probably be considered a moderate on the subject. Here in the U.S., being a moderate means being halfway between sensible positions and outright fools and liars.

Let's start with what we know. We are in a period where ocean temperatures have risen, as have both the average high and low temperature readings in countless locations around the world. We have also seen glaciers receding around the world, as also have some lakes and rivers. The first level of fool says the changes aren't serious. They are serious and they are serious right now.

The next argument is that it's just cyclical. There have been warming periods in the past and this is just another one. The one back during the middle of the last millennium was worse. That's debatable. One argument against it is the melting permafrost in Siberia. An area the size of France and Germany combined is starting to melt for the first time in about 10,000 years. That would argue in favor of this warming period being pretty serious compared to other such periods.

Another argument is that it's just the Sun. Average temperatures are warmer on Mars right now and other planets, too. Those who want to downplay climate change on Earth love this one, but serious people have factored that in already, and increased energy from the Sun accounts for somewhere between 10% and 40% of the temperature change we've seen, depending on the scientific model.

A lot of these scattershot arguments, trying to poke any hole possible in the situation, come from people funded by ExxonMobil, who under Lee Raymond have decided that their industry will be to climate change research what the tobacco industry has been to cancer research for the past 50 years. It's easy to hate this ugly motherfucker, raking in disgusting amounts of cash while lying through his discolored, misshapen teeth. (I'm not big on plastic surgery and such, but how can a billionaire accept having teeth that look that bad?)

So I accept the data that the climate is changing, and have shown complete disgust with the weak and misleading arguments put forward by the climate change denial industry. How can I be a moderate?

I have a natural tendency to recoil from dire predictions. So much of the problem with global warming in the public's mind is that "____ is going to be underwater in ___ years!", where the reader is allowed to fill in the blanks.

I think things are going to get worse, but I'm not sure where we will see it manifest catastrophically first. I know that masses of people have decided to live in places that before the invention of air conditioning would have been unthinkable. I know that we search for oil in some very harsh climates, and we've build roads on permafrost that isn't really "perma" anymore. I know we are stupid enough to turn this problem into a fucking reality show called Ice Road Truckers.

Humans are a worldwide infestation now, and we have to think about how we are going to use the world's resources more responsibly. If this means some companies are going to see less profit while others see more, that's the way of the marketplace, isn't it? We aren't the only cause of climate change, but the evidence is strong we are part of the problem, and I don't see any sensible alternative to changing our habits, regardless of what some truly ugly people might say, or pay others to say.

And just to keep the record straight, Matty Boy from Earth. Not Sarek from Vulcan.

And with that, we go to the Random 10 for this week.

Maybe We Could Write Letters Matthew Hubbard
Cult Of Personality Living Colour
Get Up Stand Up Bob Marley & The Wailers
Will Anything Happen Blondie
Dust 2... Elvis Costello
Ramon Laurie Anderson
Helden David Bowie
Only The Lonely Roy Orbison
Valse # 1, Opus 70 (Chopin) Claudio Arrau
The Big Country Talking Heads

After that first guy, there's nothing here that I would consider obscure, except that Helden is Heroes in German.


Padre Mickey said...

I gots copies of 1 through 4, 6, 9, and 10.
I'm still working on my top ten for today. The first piece is over 19 minutes long. Yeah, I actually listen to the stuff before I post it!

Distributorcap said...

Sarek was married to an earthling, Jane Wyman, oops nope, Margaret Anderson, oops nope Jane Wyatt

does that count?

Matty Boy said...

I guess it counts if I get married to a Vulcan to even things out. If the woman from Enterprise is available, I'm willing to discuss the situation. If it's Kirstie Alley or Kim Catrall, I will respectfully decline, even if it does add to the chances for interstellar peace.

Selfish bastid that I am.

KELSO'S NUTS said...

Perfect subject for your math blog, too. Run a binominal on a string of average earth temperatures, assuming p[avg temp year x > avg temp year (x+1)] over the last 25 years. With full knowledge that a Bernoulli process can throw off random strings of 0s or 1s of length, the Binomial test sells me on the existence of global warming.

Because the theme of this post is STAR TREK, and as Gene Roddenberry borrowed from THE VELVET UNDERGROUD for a episode, I'll start my random 10 with....

"Venus In Furs" VELVETS

"Man On The Moon" REM

"Pussy Cook" THE COOLIES

"Eddie You Should Know Better" CURTIS MAYFIELD

"Waiting For The Great Leap Forward" BILLY BRAGG

"Drown" SON VOLT

"Warrior In Woolworths" X-RAY SPEX

"Sorry, Mr. Harris" TOM ROBINSON BAND

"Don't Look" NERVUS REX

"Express Yourself" NWA

KELSO'S NUTS said...

And, because you are the real McCoy, and have been so generous in promoting my shit, I'll give you a RIGHT-WING politics and sports site that you won't believe. I tried many times arguing, reasoning, and flaming, but to no avail. It came down to physical threats when I was still living in NYC! You'll get a kick out of this blog. It will all be too absurd for you, or laughable or you might enjoy the back-and-forth. They ain't too bright.