By Bob Ciminel
May 28, 2007
A lot has happened in the month-and-a-half I've been out of touch. It now costs a small fortune to fill the gas tank on the SUV. Both "USA Today "and CNN have gotten on board with the global warming hysteria. Empress Pelosi and King Reid finally allowed a military funding bill that President Bush won't veto to move forward in the House and Senate; however, as usual it is filled to the brim with pork that will not be used to "feed" our troops. Enough cynicism, though, let me tell you about Switzerland.
Photo by Bob Ciminel
One of the things our guide kept pointing out as we rode into the Alps was how much the glaciers have retreated since he first visited Switzerland twenty years ago. Of course he was making an off-handed reference to the effects of global warming. Naturally, I had to refute that. Glaciers form from snow packs. Snow is condensed and frozen rain. Rain comes from moisture in the atmosphere. Moisture in the atmosphere comes from evaporation in the lakes and seas. If the Earth is warming, that would cause more evaporation, which would lead to more moisture in the atmosphere, and more rain, more snow, and bigger glaciers.
Of course the Earth is warming!
We live on the lithosphere, the thin skin (relatively speaking
- it's 50 to 150 kilometers thick) that surrounds the mantel
and core. The mantel is liquid magma, which is about 3,000 kilometers
thick and constitutes 70% of the Earth's volume. The average
temperature of the mantel is between 900 and 1600 degrees Fahrenheit,
which is why those deep gold mines in South Africa have to be
air conditioned. Up in space we have the sun, a huge fusion
reactor 93 million miles away that generates enough heat on the
Earth's surface to fry eggs. Between the magma below and the
sun above, we should expect the Earth to get a little toasty
every few million years. Now, when you consider the relative
impact of those two mega-heat sources, do you really think your
"carbon footprint" has any effect on global warming?
Sure, about as much as that butterfly flapping its wings in
the Amazon rain forest does. However, if you feel good by doing
something to combat global warming, no matter how miniscule its
effects might be, thank you.
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He assumes informed readers will be able to tell the difference. Bob lives in Roswell, Georgia, and works for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations. He is also a conductor on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway.
Contact Bob at email@example.com