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Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Subtitled: Let's do the math Okay, let’s do the math. The government released its annual greenhouse gas report early this week and we’re all going to burn alive from global warming. The new government index says the effect of greenhouse gases on the Earth's atmosphere has increased 20 percent since 1990. According to the report by the Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory in Boulder, CO, greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide accumulate in the atmosphere as a result of industrial and other processes. They can help trap solar heat, somewhat like a greenhouse, resulting in a gradual warming of the Earth's atmosphere. The Earth's average temperature increased about 1 degree Fahrenheit during the 20th century. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that continuing increases could have serious effects on crops, glaciers, the spread of disease, rising sea levels and other changes. This is the purported reason that environmentalists want the United States to significantly reduce our use of fossil fuels and the release of carbon dioxide into the air via industrial processes. There are many different greenhouse gases, but the three main ones are water vapor, carbon dioxide and ozone. Carbon dioxide, the one created by burning fossil fuels, constitutes between 9 and 26 percent of the greenhouse gases. Human activity is responsible for approximately 14% of the carbon dioxide that has collected in the atmosphere since 1850. With simple multiplication, we then learn that human activity, through burning fossil fuels, is responsible for 1.25% to 3.64% of all greenhouse gases in the atmosphere – the accumulation of which has allegedly resulted in a one-degree increase in the Earth’s average temperature in the last century. Therefore, the worldwide burning of fossil fuels is responsible for increasing the Earth’s temperature by somewhere between about one hundredth or four hundredths of one degree in the past century. The U.S. is responsible for about one-fourth of that, so we can blame ourselves for a maximum of one hundredth of one degree Fahrenheit of the earth’s warming in the last century. Bottom line: It might – just might – be a big waste of money to spend hundreds of billions of dollars retooling the U.S. Industrial process to significantly reduce our carbon dioxide emissions. Someone want to tell, Al?
posted by Jack Mercer @ 6/13/2006 03:18:00 PM  
  • At 6/13/2006 03:26:00 PM, Blogger Smorgasbord said…

    Of course, this doesn't mean it's not an issue. It gives some perspective to those who may not have it, sure, but it doesn't mean there's no problem.

    Also, there are other benefits of decreasing our reliance on fossel fuels, such as general air quality in places like Los Angeles and Mexico City, less interaction with terrorists, less harmful digging and mining in our Earth, etc.

    Good food for thought though.

  • At 6/14/2006 08:38:00 AM, Blogger Kathy Schrenk said…

    Um, you're not a statistician. Or a scientist. Are you, Jack?

  • At 6/14/2006 09:37:00 AM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    Hi Smorg!

    I think that what is lacking in the whole global warming argument is common sense. Neither side seems to have any. On one side we have the tele-evangelist Al Gore preaching the end of the world, and on the other we have others saying nothing is wrong.

    I agree that there are things that we can do. I am as much an advocate of a clean environment as anyone--but I don't lose perspective of everything else. I STILL maintain that the current environmentalist movement is a political and ideological one about control, and not about true science and research.

    I am also as critical of the people who preach environmentalism but practice it only if convenient. Every environmentalist I know is just as much an American consumer as anyone else, and CONSUMPTION is where the whole environmental issue is. Stop consuming environmentally unfriendly products and services and the problem will go away. These people still drive carbon monoxide/dioxide producing cars, consume plastics, eat at restaurants that produce excessive waste, etc., etc. That's the reason I say it is about control--just people wanting to tell "Big Oil", "Big Plastic", "Big this and that" what to do, without little or no commitment to the ideal themselves. We criticize Jimmy Swaggart for preaching against adultery and fornicating with a prostitute and nail George Bush for saying he's a conservative and adopting liberal policy, but we fail to see the beam in our own eye concerning our hypocricy on the environmental issue. (Not saying you or me, per se).

    Religions use fear to motivate their constituents, Smorg, and the current environmental movement is a religion (Check out Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" if in doubt).

    Only when common sense begins to reassert itself into the argument will it have any validity. Till then, its simple math.

    Hi Kathy!

    Good to hear from you!

    Yes to the first--my profession is mathematics, and it is the only pure science. I deal daily in statistics and analysis. My first degree was in engineering, so I do have a bit of a background in science--not a practicing one, mind you, but have studied a lot since then. Was a partner in an engineering firm for some time dealing primarily with regulatory and environmental compliance (propane and explosives industry).

    Take care!


  • At 6/14/2006 11:57:00 PM, Blogger Kathy Schrenk said…


    I am dubious of your (is it yours, or someone else's?) math on the "one hundredth or four hundredths of one degree" human's are responsible for.

    As for environmentalism, yeah it can be extreme. But I think the idea is like that with bargaining for a good deal on, say, a mattress. You say you're willing to pay $500, when you're really shooting for a price of $600, and you end up paying $625. You know you're not gonna get what you initially ask for.

    As for environmentalism being a religion, I don't really have a problem with that. Worshipping Mother Nature? Yeah, why not? She's pretty amazing :-)

  • At 6/15/2006 08:07:00 AM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    Sure its not "Father Nature"? :)


  • At 6/15/2006 06:50:00 PM, Blogger Kathy Schrenk said…

    No. You're sure God's not a She? :-)

  • At 6/16/2006 07:20:00 AM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…


    Actually according to most theologians God is a spirit and as such would not have gender causing chromosomes. :)

    Hope you have been doing well. How is your brother?


  • At 6/16/2006 09:26:00 AM, Blogger Kathy Schrenk said…

    He's good. Busy teaching summer school and probably enjoying what little nice weather there might be at the start of the Chicago summer :-)
    (Oh, he's my bro-in-law, btw)

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"Snipet" (pronounced: snipe - it) is not a word.It is a derivative of two words: "Snipe" and "Snippet".

Miriam Webster defines Snipe as: to aim a carping or snide attack, or: to shoot at exposed individuals (as of an enemy's forces) from a usually concealed point of vantage.

Miriam Webster defines Snippet as: : a small part, piece, or thing; especially : a brief quotable passage.

In short, "Snipets" are brief, snide shots at exposed situations from a concealed vantage point.

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