Monday 16th October 2017,
The Transcript

Global Warming is real, duh

Killington, Vermont, a place normally covered in snow this time of year. Photo by Matt Cohen.

Killington, Vermont, a place normally covered in snow this time of year. Photo by Matt Cohen.

Matt Cohen, Editor-in-Chief

The young adult skiing down the slush-covered Vermont mountain wearing nothing but a smiley face shaved into his chest hair and American flag thigh-tight shorts was the sanest of us all.

We didn’t account for warm weather in early March at 4,231 feet of elevation and we paid for it. The jackets and snowpants caused overheating and after the first run down the slopes, sweat dripped from everywhere.

Most people know global warming is a thing. I do, too.

But now, after the sun’s reflection off the wet snow gave me an unfortunate sunburn on the underside of my relatively big nose, I really know.

Global warming is an issue that needs immediate attention.

According to evidence presented by NASA, sea level rose almost 7 inches in the last century. But over the last decade, the rate has nearly doubled from that of the last century.

Earth has undergone 10 of the warmest years of its approximately 4.543 billion life in the last 12 years. It has also gone through 20 of the warmest years since 1981.

We cannot wait for an end-all solution. There are simple tasks we can do to help avoid more underside-of-the-nose sunburn in early March.

Check your tires regularly. Properly inflated tires increase gas mileage by 3 percent and every gallon saved prevents 20 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

When just 1 percent of people maintain their cars for a year, nearly a billion pounds of carbon dioxide are kept from the atmosphere.

I like a chilled household or cool bedroom as much as the next guy. And as the season changes, I pay close attention to the thermostat. But now, it will be for another reason.

During the warmer months, raising the temperature just 2 degrees can save 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emission throughout the year.

Lastly, here are some solutions geared toward college kids. Use the washing machine or dishwasher when it’s full. We do the dishes almost never and wash our clothes once a week, maybe. You now have a very good reason when your mom calls.

On average, showers use four times less energy than baths. I can’t remember the last time I took a bath.

Yes, global warming is a big issue, but it doesn’t need a big solution. Just check your damn tires.

Read the full list of things to do to help stop global warming here.

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2 Comments

  1. Patrick Moore Co-Founder of Greenpeace April 14, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    The only constant is change.

    That’s true about life. And it’s true about the climate.

    The climate has been constantly changing since the Earth was formed 4.6 billion years ago.

    For example, in just the past 2,000 years, we have seen the “Roman Warm Period”, when it was warmer than today. Then came the cooler “Dark Ages”. Followed by the “Medieval Warm Period”, when it was at least as warm as today. Then we had the “Little Ice Age”, which drove the Vikings out of Greenland. And, most recently, a gradual 300-year warming to the present day.

    That’s a lot of changes. And, of course, not one of them was caused by humans.

    During the past 400,000 years, there have been FOUR major periods of glaciation. Meaning that vast sheets of ice covered a good part of the globe. Interrupted by brief inter-glacial periods. We are in one of those periods right now. We are all in the Pleistocene Ice Age, which began in earnest 2,5 million years ago. It is still going on. Which means that we are still living in an Ice Age. That’s the reason there is so much ice at the poles.

    30 million years ago, Earth had no ice on it at all.

    So then, what about carbon dioxide — the great villain of the global warming alarmists? Where does that fit into this picture? Not as neatly as you might think. Temperatures and carbon dioxide levels do not show a strong correlation. In fact, over very long time spans — periods of hundreds of millions of years — they are often completely out of sync with one another. Over and over again, in virtually any time frame, we find the climate changing. For reasons we do not fully understand.

    But we do know there are many more factors in play than simply the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. Such as the shape and size of the Earth’s elliptical orbit around the Sun, activity from the Sun, and the amount of wobble or tilt in the Earth’s axis, among many others.

    Even the relatively short 300 year period from the peak of the Little Ice Age to the present has not been steady. The latest trend has been a warming one. But it began a century before there were significant carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels. And there has been NO significant warming trend in the 21st century.

    Contrary to media headlines, the trend over the past couple of decades has been essentially flat. Meanwhile, human-caused CO2 emissions are higher than ever. About 25% of all of the CO2 emissions from human sources have occurred during this period of “no net warming”.

    So what are we in for next? Will the temperature resume an upward trend? Will it remain flat for a lengthy period? Or will it begin to drop. No one knows. Not even the biggest, fastest computers.

    All of the information I’ve presented is available to anyone who wants to seek it out. But to state these simple facts is risk being called a “climate change denier”. Not only is that absurd, but it is mean-spirited. It is absurd because no one, not even the most fervent skeptic denies that the climate is changing. And it is mean-spirited because to call someone a “climate-change denier” is intentionally link them to people who deny the Holocaust.

    So maybe its time to stop the name-calling. Predicting the climate, one of the most complex systems on Earth, with thousands of inputs, many of which we do not understand, is not an exact science. Maybe it’s just a tad arrogant to suggest that we can predict the weather or the climate or just about anything 60 years from now.

    The science is not settled. The debate is not over. The climate is always changing, it always has, and it always will.

    Patrick Moore, climate scientist and co-founder of Greenpeace

    • Maureen Staley Cary '76 April 21, 2016 at 4:16 pm

      Please take the time to watch the Netflix movie “Conspiracy.”
      For way too long, environmentalists have ignored one of the greatest contributors to climate change: animal agriculture. The only solution to this is for people (worldwide) to adopt a vegan diet. Yes, this sounds radical, but consuming animal flesh and the lactation fluid of cows is not good for our health or our planet.

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