Thursday, March 24, 2011

How do we measure Global Warming?

The question of how do we measure global warming is actually quite simple. Located in Hawaii is a measuring station as it is in the middle of the Pacific allowing for the best location of air passing from the continents.

First of all you should know that CO2 is the greenhouse gas that we are most worried about in global warming but it actually only takes up around .039% of of which is such a small number it makes measuring quite difficult. Chemist and other sciences use something called "parts per million" to measure such small amounts. Just to give you and idea, environmentalist and most scientist agree that 350ppm (part per million) of CO2 in the atmosphere is the safe amount to have. The fact that we have passed 350ppm is that reason for so many extinctions and the climate change we are seeing.

If you were to put one drop of water in a 50 litre gas tank (size of a compact car) that would be equivalent to 1ppm (part per million). Or you could also say that 30 seconds out of an entire year is 1 ppm (part per million). This is very important that average people understand this because if it sounds just like scientist talk then it will feel like something you can do nothing about. As you can see it is actually pretty easy to understand the measuring system.

Atmospheric CO2 data and trend

So this leaves us at the ability the non-scientist population to be able to see the CO2 ppm everyday with the chart I posting above. Remember 350ppm is the recommended safe mark for humans. Take a look at where we are now and you might think that it is safe to be there because you everyday life is going on as is but it is time to realize that we are losing somewhere between 20,000 and 50,000 species a year as compared to 4 species a year before 1800. Nothing to panic about just a way for you to see that it's now time to change the way we live.

Costa Rica & Global Warming

With the important topic of global warming now what better place to talk about it than the natural paradise of Costa Rica. It turns out Al Gore will be visiting and giving some talks of which I will not be attending as ticket prices cost what I make in a month. So I thought I would just give a few facts through our blog.

If you have ever picked up one of those books are watched one of those movies and then put down the book or turned off the movie because you thought it was so depressing than it is time to face the facts and really look at what is happening. We often talk about the tropics as Costa Rica is in what we call the heart of the tropics. Well the tropic region of the planet has expanded two degrees. I was bummed to here this as it opens up the competition for tropical vacations world-wide (I'm trying to keep a sense of humor so people finish reading this). The Artic as we all know picked up speed as of 2008 and decided to drop 25% of it's surface leaving less of it's mirror affect and allowing the ocean water to heat up which can then cool the frozen tundra and release stored methane.

In my opinion the most interesting is when we start to talk about species. up until 1900 there were an average of 4 extinctions of species per year which is considered natures average. Becoming exctinct is something nature considers part of life and if it is due to natural causes it does not have to be look at as such a negative thing. Since 1900 there are on average between 17,000 & 50,000 species extinctions a year depending on who's numbers you decide to follow. This is not so natural as it is caused by human activity. Just so you know 99.9999% of the species that have ever lived on Earth are now extinct. That is not a sad thing it is beautiful and it is why we have evolved into the beautiful human species that is now responsible for literally saving our planet (technically nobody is saving the planet, if we decide to make ourselves extinct the planet will probably survive on micro-organisms and insects that we have made super organisms through all the pesticides and anti-biotics we have pumped into the natural world making them evolved into immune little terminator bugs).

There is always talk about global warming affecting our grand-kids and blablablabla well it turns out we are the grandkids even our parents might have been the grandkids. Where we are at now is not a matter of everyone using a different light bulb. Yes, all of the little things add up and help but you have to take into account that our popluation held steady at 1 billion humans for the majority of mankind (200,000 years). When 1800 arrived we decided we were going to grow. There are now 6 billion. We are now at double the amount of people as when JFK was elected. Before 1800 we were living on what some call "Ancient Sunlight". What this means is that sunlight was trapped by plants, they died, and then became part of the soil. Over a time of 400 million years they formed into what is now oil. When we started pumping out the oil we were able to produce more food, which produces more people, which produces the need for more energy, ect. (you get the picture?).

So you might be asking yourself what now? There is a new science now called Geo-engineering which means they are engineers of the planet. They say they can develop 1500 cruise ships that take salt out of the ocean and make white clouds that reflect sun, they say they can put 31,000km of mirrors up to reflect sunlight, they say they can paint every buidling on the planet white to reflect sunlight, they say they can basically fertilize ocean algae to grow more to absorb more CO2. I hate to tell them but if we keep trying to master nature we will lose. Nature does what it does for a reason. These tactics are temporary patches in a larger problem that is not in the sun, oceans, methane tundras, CO2, artics, extinctions. Those are all symptoms of the main problem. The disease is in our mind. It is our culture it is our greed. We all have it. From the Exxon company that is worth more than all car companies on the planet combined to the rural child that wants a new cell phone to look cool at school our planet is infected with it.

If this green movement becomes a way to get rich or a way to look cooler than the Jone's than we have learned nothing. On a brighter note the human mind has created many things and has improved on them. If we destroy nature as we still do we are losing $30 trillion dollars of "FREE" utilities to our planet each year which is more than all of the nations combined. The only cure for what we are going through is yes a some modern technology because we have arrived to that point where we need a little bailout help but also contact with nature. Our children must be able to go out into the natural world and respect it. We must raise people with the idea of nature being just as important as anything else. The fact that kids can watch hours of TV everyday and identify hundreds of corporate logos and not identify more than 2 different tree species from their hometown is complete detatchment from nature.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Advice from the River

Advise from a River
Dear friend,
Go with the flow
Be thoughtful of those downstream
Slow down and meander
Follow the path of least resistance
for rapid success

Immerse yourself in nature,
Trickling streams,
roaring waterfalls,
Sparkling of light dancing on water
Delight in life's adventures around every bend
Let difficulties stream away

Live simply and gracefully in Your own True Nature
Moving, flowing, allowing,
serene and on course
It takes time to carve the beauty of the canyon
Go around the obstacles
Stay current

The beauty is in the Journey!