poisonwood's Diaryland Diary

Date: Sept. 21, 2008 . Time: 8:51 p.m.

GREEN Entry:

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GREEN

My sister just got back from a month's vacation in Africa (before starting business school at Stanford this Fall). Think safaris and great white sharks. To say that looking through her pictures is making me green with envy is a massive understatement.

8:51 p.m. - Sept. 21, 2008

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the glaciers are melting

I support most of the things that those concerned about global warming support, but I often find global warming as a reason a little hard to swallow. I have several reasons for this.

One of my reasons is based on staring at Mr. Go*re's charts. Looking carefully, it seems that things started going bad at around 1880, when the Industrial Revolution occurred. If this is indeed the case, then in order to solve global warming, we'd have to reduce our emissions to pre-Industrial Revolution levels. I find it hard to believe this is possible. While the industrial energy extraction methods of the 1800s are about as dirty as you can get, the world's population was only 1.65 billion, and countries such as Chi*na had not industrialized.

I read a provocatively titled article "North Cascades glaciers victims of climate change" in the Seattle Times today. At the end of the article, I came across the following quote:

This glacier is more than a quarter of a mile long and about half as wide. It's about one-third its former size, Pelto said. Since the Little Ice Age in about 1890, the glacier has receded about 1,365 meters a couple hundred meters short of a mile. For the last 50 years, it's retreated about 33 feet per year.

(Why did the journalist choose to use 2 different unit systems, SI and Imperial, in one paragraph???) Anyway, 1365 m is 4478 feet. Based on the quote, the glacier has receded on average 37.95 ft per year over the last 118 years. However, according to the quote, it's retreated only 33 feet per year. In order to make the numbers work, the glaciers must have been melting at 42 feet per year over the first 68 years of the 118 years period.

This seems to imply that that if, as the article implies, humans are responsible for global warming, and global warming is responible for the melting of the glaciers, whatever actions we've been taking over the last 50 years have slowed global warming.

10:13 a.m. - Sept. 21, 2008

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