Archive | August 2012

Scare Factor: Yep, You’re Scaring Me

The first time I watched Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, I was probably 7 or 8 years old. I didn’t process much, other than the “Simpsons-eque” cartoon towards the beginning. Yes, I recognized it was about global warming. Yes, I knew Al Gore was in it and sort of who he was. But most of the facts and figures that Gore talks about didn’t stick with me. When I heard we would be watching An Inconvenient Truth in our class, I got really excited. I like documentaries and this movie in particular from what I remember, so yay! However, one thing struck me as the movie played on. The film is not that positive.

One could argue there’s a point towards the end, as well as in the credits reel, where Gore talks about things we can do to reverse climate change and global warming. But that didn’t do much to reverse the feelings of guilt and shock I received while watching animations of polar bears trying to find places to live or graphs predicted to go “off the charts” in the near future. In fact, many days after watching a portion of the film, my classmates and I would run to each other, screaming, “I don’t want to die! The polar bears are going to drown! I don’t want the Earth to burn!”

If the point of An Inconvenient Truth is to inform the general public about global warming and inspire them to take action, I’m not getting all of it. Some portions left me feeling like it’s already too late or that it’s all my (or America in general’s) fault. The way some of the statistics and predictions were phrased made the whole thing seem like, say, a doomsday prophecy. There are better ways of informing people about urgent issues, and shock tactics, while often successful, can be overdone. I do feel a bit inspired, but mostly I feel, well, scared.

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WE ARE GOING SWIMMING !!!!

I think that these facts that Al Gore is showing in his movie, An Inconvenient Truth, are true to what man is doing in the real world. He shows us how bad global warming can be. Global warming can be worldwide and it is not great that we have to go through these changes in the future and it will affect the whole world. The whole world is in danger of global warming because if Greenland melts and West Antarctica melts, some countries could flood entirely. It’s not a good sight to see what man is doing to other countries of people because we are the cause of the melting, we are the cause of the atmosphere changing composition, and we are the cause of these changes that are happening in the future and it is not good to see what is coming to earth.

We can use things in the world that can be safe for the environment. People are the main cause of global warming and I think that we can figure out a solution to stop it. It is good that people in certain cities in the U.S take the initiative to save the environment, but now we need to come in as a whole to save our environment.

I don’t understand why we fight for our civil rights, our independence, and our perseverance in our country, but we can’t fight global warming by making one change? We are going through a serious problem and it is worldwide. We made a lot of changes, drafted, and persevered to find men and train men for the war, but we can’t make environmentally-safe cars, make fossil fuels environmentally safe, etc. We need to persevere to make our environment safe.

If we keep this problem going, it could also raise the sea level. The sea level could raise 60 feet for more and could flood some major cities and some countries that live by the ocean. If this keeps up, Greenland and West Antarctica could melt and could flood countries in the world and even some major cities in the U.S. We need to fix this problem, but if we don’t, we will have to get out bathing suit and WE WILL BE GOING SWIMMING !!!!

Who Turned on the Lights?

After watching the movie An Inconvenient Truth with Al Gore I feel as if someone “turned on the lights” and helped me see what was happening with our planet. In this movie, Mr. Gore presents facts about global warming and charts that showed  how the CO2 content in the Earth’s atmosphere keeps rising, therefore making the Earth’s temperature rise. The CO2 content in our atmosphere is not suppose to rise over 350 parts per million. However since 2010, the CO2 content has risen to over 390 parts per million. If we don’t take action to lower to CO2 content, the CO2 content will keep rising and heating up the planet, just as it has over the last couple years.

Before I watched this movie and researched the facts, I didn’t know much about global warming. I was living in a lightless world, without seeing what we are doing to our planet. I was oblivious to the fact that the CO2 levels were rising and the temperature was slowly getting hotter. After seeing the charts that show the drastic rise in both CO2 and temperature over the last couple years, I feel that I am now aware of this scary situation. If we keep on polluting our Earth and the CO2 remains trapped in our atmosphere, not only will the temperature keep getting hotter, but also the ice in the South and North Poles will break off and melt. The more ice that breaks off not only causes the water level to rise, flooding many places, but also endangers polar bears and other animals that make their home on the ice. With less ice, there will be less habitat, and the numbers of these animals will shrink, possibly even wiping out a species that relies on the ice for a home.

With these facts at mind, I would think that most of the general public would be very, if not extremely, concerned about global warming. However, according to a report by Climate Change in the American Mind: Americans’ Global Warming Beliefs and Attitudes in March 2012 from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, 46% of the general public either is not very worried about global warming, or not at all worried. While that might not be a giant number, it is almost half of the general public who answered this poll. We all need to be mindful of our environment and spread what we know about global warming. Perhaps with more people knowing the consequences and dangers of global warming, the more they would do to try to help out. There are really so many consequences to global warming, and if we all don’t do something very soon, some of these consequences might be irreversible.

High waters

One of my grandma’s good friends who lives in an area bordering the Mississippi River has a saying. It goes like this, “I lost so much land to the Mississippi I must own half of Louisiana!”  What she is  saying is that so much of her land bordering the river is washed down the Mississippi that she must own some of Louisiana.  In some parts of the country, this is a serious problem.  When thousands of pounds of dirt are eroded off the river coastline, it poses a serious problem. So what happens when the Mississippi gets angry?

Last year torrential downpours raised the  Mississippi to astounding levels. People where evacuated from their homes, farmers lost thousands of acres of land, and the city of Baton Rouge barely avoided catastrophe. Contrary to how it may appear from my previous paragraph, the Mississippi River  is vital to America.  Fifty cities rely on it every day for water.  It is also immensely important to the shipping industry. So what happens when it dries up?

The Mississippi draws its water from a glacier fed lake named Lake Itasca. So now you probably think so what?  Well here’s what.  In the movie “An Inconvenient Truth,” Al Gore showed a graph that shows that in the next 100 years all of the ice at the north pole could melt. In that ice is glaciers, and do you know what feeds the Mississippi River? A glacier! If all the glaciers melt what will happen to the river?

I think that first the river will have a surge of water and possibly flood. Then it would dry up. This would cripple our country.  Forty cities depend on it for water, so millions will go thirsty.  Also it will be a huge hit to the the shipping industry if we don’t do something.

Because of the negative effects that global warming poses to the Mississippi, we need to look more seriously at global warming. We need to spread the facts and educate people. We need to make stricter laws. The first part of solving a problem is knowing  you have one. I heard a politician on the radio say that he was going to make the hard decisions and say no instead of yes.  Our leaders need to realize that we have a problem and make the hard decision -the right decision. But just like the frog in the water, we are going to need someone or something to come pull us out.  So who is it going be?  Is is going to be our politicians that save us from global warming, or are we going to  have to face the effects of millions of gallons of rushing water?

The Human Race: Procrastinators?

I was sitting in the back seat of a car occupied by my best friend’s father and one of her brother’s friends. We were driving back from St. George Island while my friend, her brother and mother all staying down at the beach for a couple more days. While we were driving, my best friend’s dad (who I am now going to call Mr. Smith, though that isn’t his real name) began talking about the environment. We started up a conversation, Mr. Smith doing much of the talking. He mentioned not having to worry about his generation, and ours too, but that my grandchildren might be in trouble.

Later, our class watched “An Inconvenient Truth”, and I learned the carbon dioxide levels will (or may, depending on what everyone does) be off the charts by 2050. I will be 58 then. That’s not quite my generation, but I don’t think it’s my grandchildren’s.

My point isn’t that I’ll still be around when carbon dioxide levels are off the charts. My point is that I’ve talked to many people who keep saying the same thing: it’s the next generation that will have to worry, not ours. It seems as if everyone—or rather, the public—is putting off cleaning up the environment because it’s not our problem, it’s the next generation’s problem. We’re procrastinating; apparently we have better things to do than ensure that we will have things to do.

Of course, I have yet to hear both sides of the argument about global warming. But either way, we need to stop procrastinating and hoping someone else will clean up after us. We can’t just hope that the next generations will tidy the earth, because maybe they won’t. It’s our home, and we’ve got to start taking responsibility.

Anthropogenic Climate Change is a No-No

If we look at today’s meteorology technology and make a few observations, people will begin to wonder how on earth people get the assumption that the globe is going to continue to heat up. What I’m hearing many climate scientists say when it comes to global warming is “If we keep this up…” and phrases like that. They’re all talking about patterns. Based off of the movie An Inconvenient Truth Al Gore reffered to patterns that have been deduced from multiple models and graphs. But when there was a disturbance in the pattern, many climate scientists weighed the possibilities and came to the conclusion that this massive spike in CO2 and global temperatures were the fault of people.

Many people are talking about cars and coal plants producing all these green house gasses that are warming the air. However most cars contain a spark-ignition engine which emits exhaust gas. A study by Audi showed that only 14% of its emissions were CO2. That really isn’t much considering the whopping 71% of nitrogen it releases, which in fact is an essential part of life on Earth. According to David Biello, an author for Scientific American, when coal is burned, it releases sulfur dioxide which then form into little droplets of sulfuric acid. These droplets are called aerosols, which reflect sunlight away from Earth, cooling it down.

You can also look into the past for answers. Were people worrying about the harmful effects of CO2 which they created with their big, heavy-duty power plants back in the Industrial Age? This might possibly be because of the aerosols that coal plants released. This actually caused a cooling that worried people so much, that they reduced their aerosol output, heating the Earth once more. So using a bit of logic, the constant heating and cooling of the earth that we were doing before could have kept the equilibrium of the Earth’s temperature moderately in check.

And besides, “…new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years,” says Lee Hannon, a journalist for Science Daily. This data was retrieved from more than 30,000 stations around the world. This data was issued in late January so it considered as more current,  unlike An Inconvenient Truth which was released in 2006. When this data was released by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. Their data confirms that the warming trends ended in 1997.

The cold hard facts say it pretty clear: sure there might be global warming but anthropogenic it is not. Whatever major mechanisms that scientists have come up with have been disproven. David Biello wrote his article in 2011 and Hannon in 2012. As you can see, this data is more current news, and when it comes to earthly problems, people, and scientists, should rely more on facts when it comes to what is happening on the Earth now.

Reaction on An Inconvenient Truth

The movie, An Inconvenient Truth, opened my eyes to how much global warming is affecting our lives. I never really payed much attention to it before but it is amazing to see what has changed so much in the past twenty years. I think that global warning is caused by humans, because scientists that deal with global warming everyday believe that. I am interested to see what we could do to help stop global warming and I know that every one person can help stop it in the littlest ways. The estimation of global warming is mind blowing to realize in just ten years global warming will be that enormous.