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How's the weather?

By       Message Samuel Vargo       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink

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"You don't need people's opinion on a fact. You might as well have a poll asking 'Which number is bigger, 15 or 5' or 'Do owls exist?' or 'Are there hats?' The debate on climate change ought not to be whether or not it exists, it's what we should do about it. There is a mountain of research on this topic."

- John Oliver as quoted in Daily Kos

***

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Do you watch the national and world news? Remember the 100-year flood? Now it's the once every two-month flood. Sometimes it's even the once every two-week flood.

Somewhere in America, there's a flood in progress -- sometimes it's just people somewhere, somehow, cleaning up the wreckage and trying to rebuild their shattered lives after a flood has already hit -- but this is still a very stark thing -- an emotional and financial flood of the first water.

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Hurricanes? Tornadoes? Earthquakes? Wild fires? Tsunamis? Limnic eruptions? Avalanches? Blizzards? Tumultuous storms? - When a flood isn't in progress, one of these demons is occurring.

I don't really need to sift through a mountain of research on this topic. All I need is to turn on my television set and view the national and world news on a daily basis. Mother Nature's damned temperamental in these troubled times, and someone - somewhere, somehow - is paying for it. If not in America, in the world at large.

There's just too much natural disaster these days as to just mark it off as 'bad luck,' 'bad karma,' or 'sometimes things just happen'. And unless you've been living in a cave deep in Mother Earth, or haven't watched TV on a regular basis in a very long time, you've had to notice natural disasters are just part of the everyday world these days. Call it climate change, call it global warming, or just call it scary as hell.

I don't know. . . .

From flickr.com/photos/118023281@N02/13165857984/: Elstead floods- Remember the 100-year flood? If you watch TV regularly and tune in to the world news, there's now a two-month, sometimes even a two-week flood somewhere on Mother Earth
Elstead floods- Remember the 100-year flood? If you watch TV regularly and tune in to the world news, there's now a two-month, sometimes even a two-week flood somewhere on Mother Earth
(Image by Morgan Masters photography)
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Something needs to be done. Pronto. Yet nothing is being done. And you might want to blurt in, Baloney! Something's being done! They have a new kind of light bulb that's more energy efficient - it certainly looks weird, though; and how's about all those nifty windmills that create green energies? They're set up in rows, in fields, just like cornstalks. And they have a few cars that run on electricity now. Some guy three streets over even has solar panels on his roof. So what'da'ya mean that nothing's been done, knucklehead?

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Really though? Seriously? No. Nothing's being done. Nothing that will really matter in the short run, and certainly not in the long run. The 1-billion-plus motor vehicles in the world using fossil fuels to power them are still driving roads and highways. Smokestacks are still pouring noxious gases into the atmosphere, and although 'developed countries' have some safeguards in place to protects us all from the nastiest sources of pollution, living and breathing in some American cities, like Los Angeles... you might as well smoke two packs of cigarettes a day. And if you already smoke two packs a day, add two more packs onto your daily tar & nicotine budget. And let's not forget the still developing countries -- like some very large industrialized cities in China -- where even wearing a gas mask around outside - or even inside - won't do all that much good for your thin, sensitive lungs. And in some countries it's perfectly okay to pour industrial waste - even radioactive poison - into a body of water. Hell, toxic dumping into large bodies of water has been done - very recently, in fact - in Canada and the USA by big oil companies, and they do this with impunity - their only threat is getting a relatively small fine (the numbers might seem big, but it's big oil) and some bad PR from the progressive media, which big energy giants don't seem to care much about, anyhow.

*********

Before what happened already on Venus begins to take a giant foothold on Earth, maybe humankind should change a few things. Venus and Earth are twin planets. Earth's the good one while Venus is a very ugly and mean twin brother. Both were very similar in makeup when the solar system formed, with both lying in the Goldilocks zone (the perfect place for a planet to sit in orbit around its sun so that life can evolve). But something wonderful happened here, giving us all a marvelous atmosphere in which to breath and live comfortably, while something terrible happened on Venus, leaving it with an atmosphere composed of about 96% carbon dioxide, with most of the rest composed of nitrogen. Venus' looks are deceiving -- the atmosphere, which seems to be relatively clear, on further investigation reveals a cloud layer that begins about 50 km above the surface - and these clouds are made up of sulfuric acid and other horrible compounds creating a corrosive bath in this atmospheric nightmare. Don't look for a drink of water on this celestial neighbor; chances are you won't find any. But if you're really a tough guy and plan a parched course to sweat it out on Venus, you'll be a bit uncomfortable with the digs there. Venus has the dubious honor of being the hottest planet in our solar system. In fact, soft metals will naturally melt there, without even needing an electric-arc furnace used in a steel mill. Just place some metal bars on a nearby rock and see the magic happen. The atmospheric pressure on the surface of Venus is nearly 100 times that of Earth's, so don't try to dunk a basketball there, even if you're an NBA superstar.

Is that enough gloom and doom science for an Op-Ed piece? And it's all happening - right now - on a planet very near you.

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Samuel Vargo worked as a full-time reporter and editor for more than 20 years at a number of daily newspapers and business journals. He was also an adjunct English professor at colleges and universities in Ohio, West Virginia, Mississippi (more...)
 

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