Have you given much thought about climate change?

Jun 20, 2008 by

I had breakfast this morning in the restaurant of the Table Mountain Inn here in Golden.  Sitting behind me were two gentlemen.  It was hard not to hear what they were talking about.  Clearly, they were scientists.  Very learned gents. They were at one point talking about a guy who has gotten a PhD from Harvard and is now teaching at the school.  They were both in awe of the guy.  And it sounded like he was quite younger than them.

So at one point of the discussion, I learned a few things about the world.  First, the one guy was commenting about how dry it is here in the Denver area.  The second replied, "Yeah, we usually judge how bad that's going to get by how soon it stops raining in the spring in Dallas and Fort Worth."  I had no idea our weather back home was such a predictor of how the weather here in Denver was going to be.   But a neat observation nonetheless. 

Then they moved on to a discussion about global warning.  The second one asked, "Have you given much thought about climate change?"  The other responded saying, something to the effect that he hadn't but that a lot of the global warming stuff was generated by the news media.  Hm.  Then he said, "I think it's just really the time in the cycle to get hot."  He conceded that sure there are things being done to escalate it, but really. 

Then they began a discussion of something I haven't thought of.  Since this is alleged to be a world-wide issue, how do you get all major countries to come together on it?  "Do you have an agreed level of carbon emissions from each country in the world?  And then who would measure that and enforce it?"

That of course leads to other questions.  What penalties would/could be imposed if there was an infraction?  What if the level was set for a nation and they didn't accept the number, and proceeded to produce beyond it?  Who then enforces it?  How?  Political and economic sanctions?  War?  Then what?

And then the scientist in them came out.  "How do you really affect climate on a regional basis?  You can't." 

How cool it would have been to have spent just another hour with these two guys.  They obviously were thinking about the problems of the world on a much different level than most.  Think about it.  Most parents are worried about their kids, where they're going to college, how they're going to get them to gymnastics, etc. and these guys are boiling down a highly controversial issue and then asking questions and postulating ideas I'd never even thought about. 

And then I got to have some very candid and informative conversations with teachers today about what's happening in America's schools in the fields of math and science.  It's been a great day of learning for me.

So really, how much thought have you given to climate change? 

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1 Comment

  1. Yes, we have experienced global warming – 1 degree over 100 years.
    To those who are willing to see, there is plenty of evidence that we’re making “much ado about nothing”.
    The ice records show that there was an occasion once where the temperature rose 36 degrees over 100 years, and we’re worried about 1 degree?
    The other planets are also warming (what could humans possibly be doing that is raising the temperature on Saturn??).
    I think we should be MORE concerned about the sun’s activity. In case you aren’t aware, the sun goes through an 11 year cycle. Typically, at the peak of that cycle, there are lots of sunspots and solar flares. Solar flares were responsible for knocking out satellits and even the power grid in the Midwestern States a few years back.
    The part that has me concerned is that fact that at the previous LOW in the cycle (2005), when typically there is little or no solar activity, there was MORE activity than at the previous high. This suggests the sun may be ratcheting up in activity. Now THAT is something the fearful should be concerned about. Too bad though for them that they can’t blame it on humans.

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