~ PROLOGUE ~ HOW I MET THE CLIMATE ~ THE MEANING OF SCIENCE ~ THE STATE OF THE CLIMATE ~ BEGINNING
ONE CHANCE ~ TRIBES ~ SENTIENCE ~
~ AGONY ~ LETTER TO PRESIDENT REIF OF MIT
WHO IS AT FAULT ~ CRITIQUE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES ~
WORLD CLIMATE AUTHORITY ~ A BIT OF BIO ~ APOLLO 8 ~ EPILOGUE
Science is not a thing apart from the world.
It is simply knowledge of the world, carefully verified.
Science is how you learn how the world works so you can make the world work for you, or teach you how to protect yourself like knowing there is storm coming. Scientists work hard to learn the secrets of the world so they can make it do new things, or understand how things work. We could not live without it.
Now what does "carefully" mean. It means that you could bet your life on it. On top of that, your colleagues are always trying to prove that you are wrong. This system makes science work. I recommend reading about going to the moon or detecting gravity waves, which Einstein said couldn't be done.
Scientists don't always agree, but when they do your confidence goes way up. For global warming 97% agree and just or the fun off it of if this intriges you, check the books in the Appendix.
Sometimes scientist have to agree, when there is simply no clue. Why and when the big bang happened is a complete mystery. To say it was an act of god, whether you believe in a higher power or not, simply gives a name to the cause.
The central topic of this web site is how humanity put the earth in peril by feeding and ignoring global warming. However, to think about global warming with the proper perpective requires the proper context. Something that takes 200 years, deserves to be placed in the perspective of the preceeding ten or so billion years. At least in my mind they do.
2. Creating The Universe
The Big Bang
The Time Line of the Universe
3. The Earth Takes Its Place
The Beginnings of Life
4. First Life
A Very Long Quest
5. Long Lines
6. Global Warming
Let me not pull punches: Global Warming is a bitch to understand and predict. Global warming is like spreading a blanket over the earth just to warm it by 1°C (so far). It is a carbon dioxide that, when we add too much to the atosphere, traps heat from going back into outer space.
It is nasty because it works on top of the weather so its hard to tell what is doing what, but if you start comparing things to what happend over a long time in the past, you start to build up data and then you know. Stronger and larger hurricanes and so forth. Rain moving from one place to another so one part gets a drought and the other a flood. See what has happened to the Misisspippi. All time rain records set. 40% of the United States is part of the Mississippi River system and it is almost all in trouble, much of it in very serious trouble.
I like to first do the easy approach so I down loaded temperature and carbon dioxde data from NASA and made some predictions (called extrapolations) that simply says if it behaved one way for the past 10 years, what will happen the next 10. Here is what it looks like. As you might expect, some people will not like the answers and their job is to to find out what is wrong with your scientific approach. That is the way you get at the truth. The pessimistic curve (generated by Excel from the same data) predicts 1.5°C in 10 years, and this is big trouble. The intermediate sceneario is 5.3° in 2030 (the numbers are interchanged; will fix asap).