Wednesday, May 28, 2014

And So My Friend Says: “I don’t believe in Climate Change.”

Nothing burns me more than to hear someone I consider to be fairly intelligent, so ignorant when it comes to something so obvious. Recently while discussing something on a TeamSpeak session engaged in a game of League of Legends, I bring up Climate Change in passing, just referring to something else. He responds with, “I don’t believe in climate change.” “Huh? You don’t believe in climate change?” I reply. To which he says, “The jury’s still out, the evidence seems pretty weak.”

This starts a short but heated debate, but ultimately I don’t feel like arguing while trying to play a game, so I just shut up about it right now. But it gets to me thinking how is it that conservatives can function in a world with such contradictions fixed in their minds. The conservative is perfectly ok with telling themselves that a creator, for which zero evidence exists is working his magic all the time and has been forever, however something like climate change, something for which reams of evidence exist and is well established as incontrovertible, but yeah the jury’s still out on that…

But climate change isn’t really the only thing that is contradictory in the minds of conservatives. After all, they like to tell people that every life is precious, but are quick to want to throw the switch or push the button that delivers the lethal injection to someone on death row. If life is so precious doesn’t that include “every” life?

So let’s take a look at the word precious.

pre·cious

ˈpreSHəs/

adjective

(of an object, substance, or resource) of great value; not to be wasted or treated carelessly.

 

Unless I am mistaken, the word referred to in context with “life” would suggest that all life is of great value; not to be wasted or treated carelessly. This does not say that all life except that which we deem to be unfit, it states pretty clearly what defines something in this manner. So either the conservatives need a new word, they need to go back to school, or they need to stop telling people that all life is precious if they do not really believe this.

And if I an being frank about it, this fascination with life seems to end the second it comes into this world, because a conservative is all too happy to force a teenager who was raped by her father into carrying his child to term, but the second that it comes out they scatter like cockroaches when the light is turned on them. For that child, no help can be found. Welfare, ha-ha, not a chance. We want you to work your ass off for $6 an hour; forget how you do this as a new mother, so you can feed maybe your child, but good luck finding an apartment or transportation, or being able to afford clothing or heat during the winter. Nah you won’t need those things.


And to make matters worse, the conservative congress votes to defund SNAP which would help this teenage mother not have to worry about where her next meal comes from or where her child’s next meal comes from. When asked if the benefits they are provided is enough, one congressman’s aid runs out and buys some food using a budget equivalent to what they want it cut to, drops all the food on the table and declares that “they are getting too much.” When you examine all the food, you find its trash. It’s candy bars and cookies and all the pre-packaged junk food you can find in a convenience store, but nothing healthy that would support a growing person, certainly not a child. Some congressmen even came up with the SNAP challenge to see if they could live on the same budget, many failed unable to stick to it.

But alas not really the only contradictions, not even close. Conservatives are happy enough to pretend that everyone else is a moocher, but when they need help, they have earned it. Conservatives are all too happy to demand we lower the taxes because people pay way too much, but they never stop to ask where are all my taxes going? So hey, why don’t we just have a look.

 

A report came out in 2013 showing that in 2012 the average American family making $50,000 a year paid $36 of all their taxes for the entire year to the food stamps program. That’s 0.07200000000000001 percent of their income to help feed people who cannot feed themselves. When all other social safety net programs were included in the calculation the total came to around $6 a year more. However, that same family making $50,000 a year paid over $6,000 a year in taxes of their income to not build a wind farm, or reduce poverty, or build better schools, instead it went to corporate subsidies. That’s right $6,000 dollars in taxes on the income of an average family went directly into the pockets of a corporation. That’s 12%.

Ask yourself who’s the real welfare queen, a mom trying to feed her family on a $6 an hour job, or the CEO making millions doing nothing but collecting your tax dollars. But back to the contradiction in evidence and facts I was speaking of earlier. See in their mind they are able to separate reality from nonsense and create two classes of evidence. One that is real evidence (this can be discarded entirely) and what I refer to as magic evidence, where by the evidence is based entirely on false equivalency. Ok so for example, God must exist because we have sunlight. See what I did there?

So the comparative being “real” evidence and magic evidence, real: Sunlight is produced in the furnace of a star’s core through a process of nuclear fusion, and magic: God wants us to be warm so he bathes us in the light of his aura. Not kidding I’ve been told this. Ok so how do I know that what I am saying is real? Well here I’m going to give you a little lesson in spectroscopy.

Ok so everything you can see must either give off light or absorb it, simple. Knowing this we can take a look a star and see what kind of light it gives off. That light is then broken down into its various wavelengths. Each atom either reflects or absorbs at different wavelengths, which means each star gives us a different picture when viewed through a spectrometer. With this information we can see what each star is composed of. So when we look up at our Sun we know that is composed of Hydrogen with a lesser degree of helium as its hydrogen is fused into the fuel that produces photons for light. Other stars may have different elemental compositions depending on their size.

So how do I know its not magic evidence and just God gifting us his warmth? Well 1) You’d expect that if this were true you would see God doing it. When I look up I see the Sun, I see its light coming from it. 2) I am able to build a reasonable conclusion about how the light is produced based on what I know about how a star works using the evidence we have on hand. I have no evidence to support God even exists at all, so I can’t exactly conclude that he must be making light somehow. But conservatives faced with real evidence of how something comes into being discard it, in favor of nonsense, and for that reason no matter what you say to them you cannot convince them of reality. They enjoy living in la-la land far too much.


So again I come back to my friend who is convinced that God exists with no evidence but that climate change is a hoax even though tons of evidence exists to prove its happening. So he refers to the evidence as weak, so let’s take a quick look at what he considers to be weak.

 

1. The ice sheets are melting. Greenland is melting. This has not happened in all of our recorded history. Scientists drilled a big hole deep into the ice, and found that in the coring there was ice from as far back as 100,000 years, and they had not even drilled more than 20 feet into the ice. What this suggests is that the ice has been there a long time. Within the last 200 years more ice has melted there than in all of recorded history, that should be self-explanatory.

2. Carbon-dioxide(CO2) is the main contributing factor in climate change. This is because when fossil fuels are burned, the carbon released into the air combines with oxygen which produces the CO2. Light from the sun emits in wavelengths that are shorter than 4,000 nanometers. Heat released from the Earth is released in wavelengths longer than 4,000 nanometers. CO2 doesn’t absorb heat from the Sun, but does absorb it from the Earth. CO2 molecules become unstable as they absorb heat, and become stable when they release it. The energy then becomes released back into the Earth. This cycle, in effect produces a process by which CO2 allows light in, but doesn’t allow heat out. This is called the Greenhouse effect.

3. The Sea level has risen about 17 centimeters  (6.7 inches) in the last century alone. The rate in the last decade alone, has doubled that of the last century.

4. Because of the increased greenhouse effect, the Earth is now hotter overall now than it has been in the last hundred years, with the 20 warmest years occurring since 1981, and 10 of those occurring in the last 12 years alone. Some contend that this is the normal cycle of the Sun, except that since 2000 normal solar output has declined reaching minimums in 2007-2009. However, the overall temperate of the Earth continues to rise.  We have replicated in 200 years what it took the Earth over 11,000 years to do.

5. The oceans are warming. The increased heat produced by the greenhouse effect has been mostly absorbed by our oceans with the top 700 meters (2,300 feet) showing an increase of almost a degree since 1970. This increase in temperature has helped to accelerate the ice cap melt even further.

6. All of this has helped to produce extreme weather events, and increased rainfall overall, a sign of increased temperature rises throughout the Earth.

7. The increase in ocean acidification has risen by 30% since the industrial revolution, a direct result of CO2 emissions in the air and in the oceans. If this continues the pH of the ocean will become toxic enough that ocean life will no longer be able to adapt, when this happens its ”game over.”

 

97.2% of climate scientists agree, climate change is happening and it was caused, and is continuing to be caused by humans. Despite what you have been told, the jury is not out, they’ve come back and found us all guilty as charged. Now it’s time for the sentencing phase, because the truth is we are most likely unable to stop this now that it has started, even if we stop burning fossil fuels and only use renewable sources of energy.

Don’t believe what I have to say? Go do your own research, you have a brain, and I assume its connected, now go use it.

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