According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: Will Climate Change Kill Us?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Will Climate Change Kill Us?

It is interesting to Sam and me that the state of California just held a carbon auction - a sale of pollution permits for greenhouse gas emissions. Winning bidders bought up all 23.1 million permits for 2013, paying $10.09 each for a permit to emit one ton of carbon into the state’s atmosphere. This story was carried by the Associated Press and appeared in our copy of The Olympian. According to the AP, the permits were auctioned off as part of California’s attempt to curb and reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases. The permits allow companies that buy them to emit only as much gas as they pay for; supposedly they won’t run afoul of the law if they stay under their permitted amount.

Sam and I see a couple of potential problems with this system. First, you just know some of the permit holders are going to pass more gas than they were permitted. Of course they’ll just say, ”oopsie” to state regulators, pay a fine and go on their way.

Second, what about the little guys? You also just know that the big corporations bought up the bulk of permits. So some poor small business person farts in his or her factory one day and winds up in the big house, convicted of assault with a posterior weapon.

The larger question here? Is California’s plan really going to make much of a difference in reducing global warming? The answer would be no according to Bynum, Montana, paleontologist David Trexler. In an article titled The Wrong Directions written by Jeff Welsch, and appearing in the fall issue of Montana Quarterly, Trexler, who obtained his degree in paleontology from the University of Calgary, asserts that, although the planet is warming to the point of disaster, we’re all pointing to the wrong causes. He thinks a methane spike in the atmosphere, similar to one that killed off the dinosaurs, is a “ticking time bomb.” According to Welsch’s article, Trexler asserts that the phytoplankton in the world’s oceans are being destroyed by human fossil fuel consumption and when the phytoplankton is destroyed the Earth will quickly lose about half its oxygen, the oceans will become sterile and temperatures will rise about 20 degrees. That would all happen in a span of about 20 years and then we’d be kaput - just like the dinosaurs.

Ironically, while Trexler paints this doomsday scenario, he apparently stays optimistic that humankind will be able to save itself from extinction. As Bugs Bunny might say, “He don’t know us do he?” He may be right about how the end will come, but he’s probably dead wrong that we’re going to figure out a way to stop it.

Doesn’t this whole scene remind you of some of those old science fiction movies where everybody was trying to escape earth in a rocket ship before earth collided with an asteroid or the invaders from Mars arrived en masse or something else? Those movies sure were good for a laugh. But apparently this whole global warming, greenhouse gases thing is no laughing matter.

Before Sam and I go, however, we’d like to float one more theory out there. We think global warming may be occurring because the earth is preparing itself (or is being prepared) for another ice age. How’s that theory grab you?

Anyway, two bags of poop on the people in the Bellingham, WA area who are protesting a windmill farm. Look people, you don’t want coal trains coming through there fine, but you can’t stop everything. Try living in a homeless camp for a week and see if that doesn’t change your mind about what you want and what you don’t want. We’re all gonna’ die from a methane spike anyway.

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