Climate Change

PIA13001

  • Has the inordinate focus on climate change stalled the political debate? People can always question whether climate change is real, but if there were more focus is on pollution in general and its many negative effects it might broaden the debate. Everybody can agree that pollution is bad. Put the opposition in the position of explicitly or implicitly having to defend pollution, rather than always arguing the existence or nonexistence of climate change.
  • Is climate change real? David Grinspoon is an expert on Venus (Baruch S. Blumberg NASA-Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology for 2012/2013 and a science team member of the NASA Astrobiology Institute Titan Team). In one of his books, which I read a few years ago, he discusses a connection between climate change on Earth and the toxic atmosphere of Venus. What makes Venus so uninhabitable is the density of its atmosphere, which is 96% carbon dioxide, the very gas causing environmentalists so much anxiety. Because of the carbon dioxide in its atmosphere, Venus gets hotter than Mercury even though the latter is closer  to the sun. Carbon dioxide, a triatomic molecule, is heavier, denser, and displaces air and oxygen (a diatomic molecule). The denser the air, the more heat trapped.
  • Thanks in part to carbon dioxide, a beneficial greenhouse effect warms our hospitable planet. However, too much carbon dioxide means a thicker blanket, less heat radiating back out into space. At a certain point, you get a runaway heating effect of the type found on Venus. Now are we increasing the volume of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to the point that it actually contributes to climate change?  I don’t know. I do know that too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may be dangerous.
  • On energy policy, liberals seem so against hydraulic fracturing that they don’t talk about the possible benefits of new shale gas discoveries.
  • On the Keystone pipeline, it all depends on whether it gets a clean bill of health. Political considerations should, of course, not factor into the decision at all.
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