Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day

Woo Hoo, it's Earth Day. Let's go save the planet. Honestly, I don't think the planet is in much danger. It's been here much longer than us and it's been through much more than a little pollution and global warming. The Earth will continue to exist long after we have made ourselves extinct. If it gets too bad, this planet will shake us off like a bad case of fleas. What we're really concerned with is saving our own asses. It's kind of pompous to think that we could destroy an entire planet. We can ruin it for our type of life, but the planet will still be here and it will recover.

For some reason the task of saving the planet as well as the blame for the problems seems to be increasingly focused on car owners. The focus had increased exponentially with the recent ridiculous spikes in gas prices over the last few years. Sure, a lot can be done to make cars better but how about we start with public and commercial transportation. Government funded public transportation like bus services should be mandated to use alternative fuel sources like natural gas, electricity, etc. Taxis as well should all be mandated to be alternatively fueled or at least hybrid powered. These changes alone would result in huge improvements in air quality as well as national fuel consumption. Have you even been behind a diesel bus in a major city and seen the amount of crap that spews out of the exhaust? Sure some places have adopted clean power sources, but not enough. After that, we can focus on these developing countries like China that are just now going through their industrial revolution. China burns tons of coal and produces more pollution than probably all the cars sold in this country over the last 5 years combined.

While I'm on the topic of saving the planet, I'd like to express my opinions on the whole global warming "theory". That is all it is at this point. Sure, I'll agree that there is evidence that the planet is getting warmer, but the "theory" part of it is what exactly the root cause of the temperature increase is. Could we have something to do with it? Maybe. Could it be a natural occurrence? That's a possibility as well. The thing is, we just don't know. I don't care what Al Gore and the rest of the "sky is falling" paranoia bunch say. The Earth has gone through hot and cold phases throughout its history so this may indeed be natural. We have so little accurate information to go on regarding the Earth's climate that the cause of global warming will never be proven. Humans have been on this planet for the equivalent of a blink of an eye in the Earth's history. On top of that we have what, a hundred years of accurate climate information at best. That's out of about 4 billion years of Earth history. That is such a small sample it's like taking one grain of sand and telling someone what the entire planet looks like based on just that. It's impossible. It will always be "theory".

While I'm on the subject of fantasy and paranoia, any of you remember the hole in the ozone that was discovered about 20 - 25 years ago? What happened to that? There was hysteria about that back in the day. It was going to get bigger and bigger allowing all kinds of radiation into the atmosphere. It would make us all look like beef jerky and then we'd die of skin cancer. And we were the cause of it all. Where did it go? Was it a natural occurrence or man made? No one cares anymore because it's gone, magically. There is still a whole lot about our planet that we do not understand completely.

Wouldn't it be funny if by trying to solve the global warming problem, we make it worse? What if we trigger a new ice age? That would be ironic. Then we'd all have to cut off our catalytic converters and stand outside and disperse all the aerosol cans we could get our hands on.

Whatever the cause and solution are, I'm absolutely in favor of finding different energy and fuel sources. As long as it doesn't affect my driving enjoyment, I don't care if my car runs on sewage. I'm just not down with the whole scare tactic, paranoia thing. Just my opinions, I could be completely wrong.

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