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Global Warming’s Impact on Lobsters Has Scientists in a Stew

The Ellsworth American – December 27, 2007

I have written before on the possible repercussions of global warming on plant and animal life (a few examples are here, here, and here).  Most of these repercussions come off as solid conclusions even though they really are just educated guesses on the reaction of the given species. In this case, the author was much more balanced and more fair, as he states that it could be good for lobsters or it could be bad. This acknowledgement that a complicated climate model interacting with a complicated species is not a sure science is refreshing. (Follow the feed link to read the rest of the story).

Antarctica’s penguins threatened by global warming

Reuters – December 11, 2007

Penguins are especially appreciated by humans, at least in the US.  There are countless movies which feature them as interesting and cute animals.  Due to their coloring, they are often depicted as uppity butlers in many children cartoons.  Even Batman had a few battles with Penguin.

So when a study suggests that harm has come to these animals, many people take notice.  They are much more attractive to us than polar bears which, while cuddly as stuffed animals, are fairly ferocious animals.It is a little unfortunate though that the penguins are getting the attention since it appears that the penguins are reducing in numbers because krill are reducing in numbers.  Why isn’t this article entitled: “Antarctica’s krill threatened by global warming” rather than the one that was chosen.  Krill are kind of ugly so that must be the reason. At least Nemo appears to be safe!

Climate skepticism: The top 10

BBC News – November 12, 2007

If you are a global warming skeptic (or if you deal with one regularly), you need to read this article on BBC. It covers a claimed top ten reasons that skeptics likely cite regarding global warming and then gives a short reason why the excuse is not valid.

Little Green Lies

BusinessWeek – October 29, 2007

BusinessWeek must be one of the most venerable periodicals in the business community. Few magazines can acclaim to the level and depth of business discussion. Most CEOs and business leaders read or at least skim the magazine on a regular basis.

As their cover story, BW decided to cover the idea that "going green" was a good thing for business.  I have discussed this issue before and it was good to get BW’s opinion and coverage on the story.  Their perspective is quite interesting.

Pope to make climate action a moral obligation

The Independent – September 23, 2007

It seems that all politicians want to get involved in climate control on one side or the other. The Pope (whom many will say is not a politician) is not immune to this effort.

On one side of the equation, I think this is appropriate but on the other, I have some concerns. If the Pope restricts his comments to saying that humanity is obligated to care for the world then I think this is appropriate. I am not a theologian but even I can find several references in the Bible to support this argument.

Compact fluorescent lamps

Wikipedia

My interest in this subject came from a lot of talk on the web about replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFL). Much of this talk is surely driven by the Answer the Call: Make The Commitment campaign that Live Earth is currently promoting. While I was confident that fluorescent was better at producing light for a given amount of energy coming from the socket, the mechanical engineer in me questioned that it was a free lunch.

It didn’t take long for me to start to realize that lunch costs money!

Let’s start with Wikipedia which is always a decent source but sometimes can’t be trusted so we will dig more lower in this post. You can read the full Wikipedia reference here but I will pull out a few key passages and then add my comments.

Gore’s Army may be Lacking in Scientific Background

AccuWeather.com – July 5, 2007
ChronicleOnline – May 30, 2007

I first learned of this story on AccuWeather’s global warming blog but their coverage of it is fairly sparse so I am going to quote their sources as well.

I am concerned that Mr. Gore didn’t choose student engineers and scientists that could give presentations (yes, engineers can be trained to speak to a crowd as well). I would have thought that being able to effectively communicate would be only one criteria – the other being able to effectively understand the chemistry and physics involved.  But then this program is being run by a politician who, at one time, claimed to have invented the Internet. Communication skills are probably the most important to him.

With Corn Prices Rising, Pigs Switch To Fatty Snacks

WSJ.com – May 21, 2007

There is a much greater demand for corn with the increased demand for ethanol. This demand has had a dramatic impact on the cost of corn and has made it too expensive for some ranchers to use corn to feed their livestock. Instead, they appear to be using over-supply of food that is traditionally used for humans.

This, of course, begs the question as to the USA’s ability to effectively produce ethanol. If we are using our food to power our cars will that significantly hurt the poorest people in our nation, not to mention our exports to foreign lands that are impoverished.

Evangelicals Debate Differing Views on Global Warming

CNSNews – June 1, 2007

I am not sure why this discussion even happens.  Actually, I do know but it is frustrating. In my opinion, the subject of global warming, it’s causes and effects, should be discussed by scientists not politicians and definitely not by religious theologians (and probably not bloggers). 

But I am a blogger and obviously I am discussing it.  Why do I have the double standard? Simple – the cat is out of the bag. The discussion of global warming is a top headline almost every night.  Do a Google News search and you will get dozens (hundreds?) of articles published everyday.

Scientists Rally Around NASA Chief After Global Warming Comments

E-Wire – June 1, 2007

I was originally sent this as a press release.  Since I currently don’t make a habit of putting press releases on my site, I will reference the release on another site and, as typical, give what I think are the highlights. I would be interested in hearing from you on your thoughts of me including press releases in their totality.  I would tag them as a separate category. Either leave a comment here or drop me a note at soshaughnessey AT Yahoo DOT com.

This is a fairly big event in the scientific community. It is fairly common to find statements from scientific skeptics saying that there are more skeptics out there but they are afraid of upsetting the establishment.  The establishment they most frequently mention is the government.