Thursday, September 9, 2010
I have a friend in our homeschooling group who has counted up all of her kids' outside commitments for the week and it totalled 19! That's classes and swim practice etc. for three kids. Some of the kids are in the same classes or have lessons at the same time, but it still means making sure they have all of their stuff and organizing the household around a crazy schedule.
My kids are taking a variety of classes and lessons: flamenco, castanets, tap, jazz/hip hop, modern dance classes and drumming, horseback and gymnastics. They each have 5 outside commitments, and this time they're skipping the community theater play after being in three productions basically back-to-back.
Add to all of this, playdates, group park day, and doing things around the house and we're fairly busy.
So, are you busy too? What do you have going on, and are you ready to pull your hair out yet??
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Hi! I just found your blog and hope to follow along. But I wanted to ask you where you are getting your overall information regarding climate change. I have read a few sources of primary information on climate change and found information which is contrary to the message that you seem to have embraced. I'm curious to know more about how you didn't buy much in 2008 and what that included . . . I'll poke around here a bit more . . .
"Holy living fuck.... Are you fucking believing this? Over," Armstrong radioed back to NASA headquarters nearly 250,000 miles away. "I abso-fucking-lutely am standing on the surface of the fucking moon. I am talking to you from the goddamned fucking moon. Jesus H. Christ in a chicken basket."
"Holy mother of fuck," the first man on the moon added.
I would have found that article written that way to have accurate reportage. Holy shit! is right.
My point being here that I think the Daily Kos title, "Global Warming: Are you f***ing scared yet?" is an apt choice of words.
OK. Let's get to dissecting.
The article has five links. Let's take them one at a time. The Daily Kos links will be written in blue.
The first comes in this paragraph,
Scientists have discovered that the phytoplankton of the oceans has declined by about 40 per cent over the past century, with much of the loss occurring since the 1950s. They believe the change is linked with rising sea temperatures and global warming
That's an alarming charge: 40 %, almost half, of the phytoplankton of the oceans is gone?!
Any way, let's follow the link. Click on "Scientists have discovered" and you will see that you end up at an article in the British newspaper The Independent. If you read the article, you find that the sources of the information it contains are marine biologists from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia who are citing their three year study. Let's look. I'll quote a bunch of stuff and you can see for yourself.
"If this holds up, something really serious is underway and has been underway for decades. I've been trying to think of a biological change that's bigger than this and I can't think of one," said marine biologist Boris Worm of Canada's Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He said: "If real, it means that the marine ecosystem today looks very different to what it was a few decades ago and a lot of this change is happening way out in the open, blue where we cannot see it. I'm concerned about this finding."
The researchers studied phytoplankton records going back to 1899 when the measure of how much of the green chlorophyll pigment of phytoplankton was present in the upper ocean was monitored regularly. The scientists analysed about half a million measurements taken over the past century in 10 ocean regions, as well as measurements recorded by satellite.
They found that phytoplankton had declined significantly in all but two of the ocean regions at an average global rate of about 1 per cent per year, most of which since the mid 20th Century. They found that this decline correlated with a corresponding rise in sea-surface temperatures – although they cannot prove that warmer oceans caused the decline.
However, the Dalhousie scientists behind the three-year study said they have taken the natural oscillations of ocean temperatures into account and the overall conclusion of a 40 per cent decline in phytoplankton over the past century still holds true.
"Phytoplankton are the basis of life in the oceans and are essential in maintaining the health of the oceans so we should be concerned about its decline.
"It's a very robust finding and we're very confident of it," said Daniel Boyce, the lead author of the study.
"Phytoplankton is the fuel on which marine ecosystems run. A decline of phytoplankton affects everything up the food chain, including humans," Dr Boyce said.
Phytoplankton is affected by the amount of nutrients the well up from the bottom of the oceans. In the North Atlantic phytoplankton "blooms" naturally in spring and autumn when ocean bring nutrients to the surface.
One effect of rising sea temperatures has been to make the water column of some regions nearer the equator more stratified, with warmer water sitting on colder layers of water, making it more difficult for nutrients to reach the phytoplankton at the sea surface.
Warmer seas in tropical regions are also known to have a direct effect on limiting the growth of phytoplankton.
The study, published in the journal Nature, is the first analysis of its kind and deliberately used data gathered over such a long period of time to eliminate the sort of natural fluctuations in phytoplankton that are known to occur from one decade to the next due to normal oscillations in ocean temperatures, Dr Worm said. "Phytoplankton are a critical part of our planetary life support system. They produce half of the oxygen we breathe, draw down surface CO2 and ultimately support all of our ." he said.
So, to summarize the first link in the Daily Kos article: The Independent reports about findings from marine biologists of a Canadian university study that 40% of the phytoplankton that contributes to oxygen production and acts as the start of the food chain in the oceans is gone. All gone. *pfht*
The second link is here:
Scientists have also released what they described as the "best evidence yet" of rising long-term temperatures. The report is the first to collate 11 different indicators – from air and sea temperatures to melting ice – each one based on between three and seven data sets, dating back to between 1850 and the 1970s.
This link takes you to an article in the British paper The Guardian. Click on "Scientist have also released" and you will see the article. Again, multiple quotes:
Editor’s Note: Viewing the global temperature records shown on the tables and analysis to follow, one might immediately ask: Even if recent warming may be leveling off since temperature records are arguably flat for the last ten years – what if they aren’t? That is the classic, and not cavalierly dismissed, question from the global warming alarmists. Then again, what if we successfully cool the planet, avoiding climate catastrophe by banning spurious combustion, only to regret that in the process we never developed a fleet of passenger and cargo transport aerospaceplanes, and as a result were unable to spacelift the throw-weight necessary to stop an asteroid from hitting our planet and wiping us out?
Beware of how often you play the “we-do-this-or-we-all-perish” card while relying on the precautionary principle. How often must we transform and reorganize our entire industrial base, just to avoid a plausible, but somewhat (if not extremely) low probability of leaving ourselves vulnerable to certain slaughter? And should we shift our focus away from ridding the air of really noxious pollutants; micro-particulates, sulpher dioxide, carbon monoxide, lead, ozone, just to reduce C02 emissions?
The data in the following set of tables, compiled by Dr. Richard Lindzen, an atmospheric scientist from MIT, only goes back to the mid 19th century; there are only about 150 years of data. Per-WWI data could be skewed. Depending on whether or not that is true, or even so, there is only about a 0.5 (one-half degree) centigrade change in global temperature that is clearly indicated. But what if the recent 25 year rising trend doesn’t fall? What are the 500 year trends, year by year? Do we know? What are the 10,000 year trends?
What if the earth really is warming – what if the data takes another leap, then another, instead of settling back to the 150 year mean? Do we combat this by curtailing and controlling all burning?
Why instead don’t we simply replace more of the 40% of forests that have been lost in the last 150 years, and restore to life 30% of the deserts that have marched forward over the last 150 years? We can plant trees in the cities while we’re at it, to ameliorate the hugely significant additional effect of the urban heat islands of our world’s new mega-cities. Do we strip the last forests to grow biofuel, instead of simply constructing (usually on rooftops) photovoltaic and solar-thermal arrays that consume – by well over two orders of magnitude – far less space? Wouldn’t we rather replace desert with rangeland and farms, and rangeland and farms with forest, and put canopies of green across our cities, rather than regulate all burning?
In the geological history of the Earth, there have been five periods of great natural extinction that have happened because of geological changes and huge disasters. But now, thanks to humanity's influences, the rate of species' extinction has increased to 1,000 times that of ancient period, and Earth is coming into the sixth extinction period, according to Beijing Daily's report.
One species would disappear per hour on average
According "Nature," more than 1 million species will disappear from this planet 50 years from now, and one species will be extinct per hour on average because of human activities, which is 1000 times faster than ever.