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 Scary Global Warming Article

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TheDirector



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PostSubject: Scary Global Warming Article   Sun May 11, 2008 8:31 pm

In the L.A Times

Civilizations's Last Chance

John Edlund
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aitokunaga



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PostSubject: Re: Scary Global Warming Article   Mon May 12, 2008 12:01 am

Scary
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Vicente



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PostSubject: Re: Scary Global Warming Article   Mon May 12, 2008 12:25 am

Hm.

- Dramatic title? Check.
- Tons of hard-number statistics? Check.
- Rhetorical use of a scientific paper's abstract (it WAS pretty strong language for its type)? Check.

This author's dead serious.

Hey, I'm on his side. Even if the predictions he outlines won't be as grave as he makes them out to be, the fact stands that we *are* an extremely wasteful country. Look around yourselves as you drive to school everyday; thousands upon thousands of vehicles manned by one person. I'm guilty of it too. Sure, our ambitions and futures are important and all, but giving thought towards preventing mankind's supposedly bleak future wouldn't hurt every now and then.

I'm the kind of guy who picks up scraps of trash within reach or walking distance. When I used to take public transportation I'd clean up the bus area as I'd wait for the next one. Once this guy actually had the nerve to tell me to stop and just sit down, "you're not making a difference." I knew he had a point. Heck, he was exactly right.

Then it hit me: if it's not making a difference either way, why not just always make the right decision? What use is there in judging your actions for their long term significance?

(I declined with a smile and picked up the trash anyway.)

People are like that: when faced with a choice, they weigh the value of their actions in the long run. We should remember that, as people, our actions define us. Yet for some reason most of us opt for the less noble decision, because the right one has no long term worth. The right decision won't make a difference, idleness definitely won't either, so clearly doing nothing is the better option? It's shallow logic, if you ask me.

So the article says civilization as we know it is in danger. So I've worked myself into a semi-rant out of nowhere. So think about it: it inconveniences us to help out the environment. It inconveniences people to help out in general. But if we all inconvenienced ourselves for each other, just a bit, the world would be that much easier to live in.
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TheDirector



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PostSubject: Re: Scary Global Warming Article   Mon May 12, 2008 8:01 am

I have read that even if every single car in the world was a Prius, it still wouldn't do much to stop global warming. It appears that humanity took a wrong turn with the industrial revolution.

John Edlund
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Vicente



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PostSubject: Re: Scary Global Warming Article   Wed May 14, 2008 1:52 am

...

I still stand by what I said =P

Hey, is there such a thing as reverse-SF? What if I asked a what-if question like, "What if we stopped at the wheel?"

Or.

actually.

That's alternate history, isn't it =/ It could also be SF, sort of.
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TheDirector



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PostSubject: Re: Scary Global Warming Article   Wed May 14, 2008 8:07 am

Vicente,

Look at this article:

John McPhee, A Reporter at Large, "Coal Train-II," The New Yorker, October 10, 2005, p. 62

The writer rides a two-mile long coal train from Powder River to the power plant, Plant Scherer. These trains are so long that they are going up hill and down hill at the same time. They run 24/7. It doesn't even stop to unload. The cars just tip up on the move and dump the coal into a huge conveyor. The abstract says:

"The plant would burn everything the train had brought in less than eight hours. Plant Scherer burns nearly thirteen hundred coal trains a year-two thousand miles of coal cars, twelve million tons of the bedrock of Wyoming."

This is the kind of thing that is causing climate change. The ordinary citizen never sees it.

Here's a link to the abstract. You can get the whole article through Lexis-Nexis.

Coal Train

John Edlund
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Vicente



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PostSubject: Re: Scary Global Warming Article   Wed May 14, 2008 11:13 am

You're right - this is news to me. It sounds like something straight out of a Sci-Fi novel.

Yeah, that's pretty bad.
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btexpress



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PostSubject: Re: Scary Global Warming Article   Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:42 pm

I really doubt that the world is going to change itself so much in order to prevent the climate change disaster. While many individuals try to help, there are so many businesses and corporations that won't change unless absolutely forced to. We have the capability but a lot of people don't seem to take it seriously.

American car manufacturers are an example. They are far behind Asian-produced cars in being environment friendly and they still build SUVs. They even make hybrid SUVs that make them slightly more efficient than a sedan. They are missing the point.

Even with these new hybrid cars, it helps the environment just a little as the factories that make the cars and steel, aluminum, carbon plants that provide the materials produce huge amounts of waste.

I don't think we can stop the momentum towards climate change. The gears are in motion and all we can do is slightly slow them down. Our society is built on it.
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Derek



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PostSubject: Re: Scary Global Warming Article   Wed Jun 11, 2008 12:54 pm

interesting..
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Denise



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PostSubject: Re: Scary Global Warming Article   Wed Jun 11, 2008 5:22 pm

I realize that big corporations and businesses are contributing greatly to global warming and other environmental disasters, but that doesn't mean that our individual efforts are fruitless. We can't just give up and say that it wouldn't change the world or it wouldn't make a difference. If we all thought like that and didn't try, it would be like the voter turnouts for elections (no one shows up and the rich old people get to make the decisions for us). Maybe that was a bad analogy, but it seemed like a good one when I thought of it...

Here's a story that I heard long ago that really helps me get through the day:

Once a man was walking along a beach. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. Off in the distance he could see a person going back and forth between the surf's edge and and the beach. Back and forth this person went. As the man approached he could see that there were hundreds of starfish stranded on the sand as the result of the natural action of the tide.

The man was stuck by the the apparent futility of the task. There were far too many starfish. Many of them were sure to perish. As he approached the person continued the task of picking up starfish one by one and throwing them into the surf.

As he came up to the person he said, "You must be crazy. There are thousands of miles of beach covered with starfish. You can't possibly make a difference." The person looked at the man. He then stooped down and pick up one more starfish and threw it back into the ocean. He turned back to the man and said, "It sure made a difference to that one!"
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