Friday, August 19, 2011

Global warming = next Ice Age?

Global warming = the next Ice Age?
The question is not quite as dumb as it sounds. Here's why.
For glaciation to take place you need more snow to fall in the winter than melts in the summer.
For snow you need an source of open water.
Antarctica is blessed, so to speak, by being a land mass surrounded by an ample source of open water. The Arctic, on the other hand, is an ocean surrounded by land.
A good example of the effect of open water as it relates to heavy snowfall, you need only look at what happens along the eastern shores of the Great Lakes before the lakes cool and begin to freeze. What you get are snowstorms and snowfall totals that equal what takes place in the Rocky Mountains. But as the lake cool and begin to freeze, the snow storm diminish.
There is evidence that during the last Ice Age the Arctic was largely ice free. This seems logical since you need open water to make the snow that makes the glaciers.
So maybe those who like to worry should worry that Global Warming could result in the next Ice Age.
One thing is certain. Weather/Climate tends to change and the longer it gets stuck in a pattern, the more sudden and extreme the change. Here too the tendency to sudden change is shown in how the last Ice Age abruptly ended when the Earth's climate suddenly warmed well above what we are now experiencing.
Go figure.

Monday, August 15, 2011

An inconvenient truth

No, this is not about global warming, although I will mention it later on down. It's about jobs and the economy.
What is not mentioned or I have not seen mentioned is how we are entering a period where all bets are off and none of the solutions from the past will fix what is obviously broken.
There are two problems, chickens coming home to roost so to speak, that started about 100 years ago and they are automation and population growth.
Both served us well until about 50 years ago but both are now threatening to sink the ship the middle class hoped to ride forever.
First, automation made it possible for us to make more things better and faster. Better and faster is now accelerating rapidly, thanks in large measure to computers and the Internet. Just about every job including blue collar and white collar requires fewer workers to produce more and more.
While fewer and fewer people are needed to make a product or provide a service, continued population growth means more and more people are finding themselves unemployed or underemployed. Business just doesn't need them. No one wants to say that.
The only solution as I see it is to at the very least put a stop to population growth. We don't need more hands on deck when the ship is fully automated.
I realize this solution which should be obvious will be met with great opposition from government, business and just about every religion.
Government wants more and more tax payers. Business wants more and more consumers and religions want more and more souls to save. But surely we are more than just tax payers, consumers and souls to be saved. Or are we?
So just for fun, let's return to Global Warming.
Even here if you want to be honest, the number one problem is more and more people consuming more and more of the Earth's natural resources, more and more people demanding more and more energy for both necessities and luxuries. More efficient this that and the other thing - yes - and more environmentally friendly ways to produce power, also yes. But the human population is growing faster than are the environmentally friendly ways to produce power. Even if that need were met, you still have the problem of the diminishing need for workers to produce the products. So your high unemployment problem will continue to get worse.
I believe we are on a collusion course with ourselves. We are becoming like lemmings and are our own worst enemy. We are playing the fiddle while we destroy the only Earth we have.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Star Gazzing

I have a question and it's not about movie stars. It's about all that twinkling stuff we see when we look at the night time sky.
I was watching something on TV about worm holes and the speed of light, and began to wonder if anyone really knows what they are talking about.
Experts say that when we look at distant stars thousands and millions of light years away, we are looking into the past. This seems logical at first glance but then my mind began to wonder if we might be missing something here.
Here's why. If we look up at the stars from the northern hemisphere we see one group of stars. If we look up from the southern hemisphere we see a different group of stars. Okay, not a problem. There is more that can be seen from any one vantage point. But here is where my devious mind asks a question. From a certain vantage point should we be able to see nothing where the future should be? Or, to look at it in a slightly different way, is it possible some of the stars we see are actually many, many years in the future and we are seeing them from the past???
I think these are valid questions when you consider how we humans think. We have a tendency to think everything is about us. Once upon a time we thought the Earth was flat because that was the way it seemed to us. We thought the Sun went around the Earth because that was the way it looked to us. We believed what we believed because we were unable to see the big picture.
Now throw in the idea of the Big Bang. Did it explode out in all directions or did it explode only forward like a shotgun blast? If it were an explosion like a bomb, where are we in relationship to the point of explosion? If it were more like a shotgun blast, where are we in relationship to forward and sideward trajectory?
So my question is this. Has anywone heard of any scientist addressing these questions? Do we have any idea where we are in relationship to both time and space?