Going beyond the hype...

Is it real? Is it Hype? Is it Hot in Here? GreenhouseTruth.com, an unbiased portal for climate change resources and news is the proud home of Nathan Cool's new book, Is it Hot in Here? where these and other questions about a potentially warming world are revealed in their simple, and sometimes sobering truth.

GreehouseTruth Blog  ::  Tuning In What Got Tuned Out

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Global Warming Blog

Tuning In What Got Tuned Out
Things that fell through the cracks as controversy over climate change grabbed the spotlight
Posted August 18, 2006 by Nathan Cool

The worst ever oil spill in the Mediterranean occurred just weeks ago during the Israeli-Lebanon conflict with nearly 15,000 tons of heavy fuel being dumped into the sea. Leaky oil pipelines in Chechnya caused similar problems this past June. More than 2.5 million people died from AIDS in 2005 and the newly notorious bird flu (H5N1) has made inroads across the globe each and every day this year. A sewage spill In Los Angeles closed beaches, contaminated coastal ecosystems and threatened the health of many in the City of Angels this past January when over 2 million gallons of raw sewage flooded into the waters of the Santa Monica Bay. A few months later, over 60,000 kilos of fish were killed in China from a massive sewage breach that dumped polluted sludge into the Toujiang River. The Amazon rainforest was stripped of about another 10,000 square miles of rich flora this year as well. All the while, the debate on whether global warming is real raged on, overpopulating the headlines and overshadowing other environmentally critical issues that need attention as well.

A lot has happened around our world in recent times, much of it--whether we want to admit it or not--is due to the activities of humankind. It's not that we want to wreck, spoil, pollute, or otherwise tarnish this wonderful world of ours--it, just happens. It's inevitable actually, since there are over 6,000,000,000 of we humans meandering about on this relatively tiny, blue, yet humanly inhabitable planet of ours. Keeping nature in perfect step with so many lifestyles and livelihoods can be an arduous task indeed. The health of good ole Mother Earth requires management for human sustainability. Yet global warming, while certainly being an issue for concern, is not the only environmental side effect created from the plenteous population of humanoid bipeds perusing our planet. Lately though, with this year's overabundance of headlines covering the media's now most in vogue, story du jour, the news-crew trendy-ness of climate change has overshadowed other serious issues facing our wellbeing.

"So what?" you may ask, "There's nothing wrong with giving global warming some much deserved attention. Is there?" True--I'd reply--but there is something menacing about this matter of media overindulgence. Forget for a moment all of the non-global warming issues such as biodiversity's plight, diminishing numbers of endangered species, the rainforest losing the conflict over deforestation, and that waterways continue to be contaminated. Elements associated with climate change have other environmental impacts beyond the hotly debated matter of greenhouse warming. Yet because of the distraction caused over the quarrel of our climate, many things might get overlooked.

Global warming is a hot ticket item for sure, but as many attempt to discern truth from myth and actuality from allegory, opinions will be formed as to the severity of climate change and the validity of its science, findings, projections and outcomes. This will inevitably leave some swaying towards skepticism--at least in some areas. That's bound to happen; not everyone can be expected to agree with every single point in a science that is still in its infancy. When doubt comes to town though, other serious issues beyond a warming world can be clouded by the preoccupation of the soundness of climate change science. A detrimental mindset could then come into play.

All-or-nothing thinking is a human trait that has plagued us all at one point or another. We, as fallible folk, being merely human, have the propensity to commonly disregard an issue wholeheartedly if only one single issue is found false--like dropping a single drop of ink into a glass of otherwise crystal clear water, obscuring which was once lucid. When it comes to global warming, as opinions are formed as this burgeoning field of research unfolds, a kind of justification or rationalization to continue burning fossil fuels could become commonplace if we focus only on single pieces of evidence related to global warming issues and not the various environmental elements linked to the science of climate change. For instance, if one may come to believe that global warming is not so bad, then it may seem justifiable to ask oneself, why not drive an 8 mile-per-gallon H2, Tahoe or Suburban? If carbon dioxide levels are not that critical, then why take on the cost to reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants?

Oftentimes, debates are seen as having either one of two conclusions: right or wrong. Yet, as I discuss so often in my new book, Is it Hot in Here?--The simple truth about global warming, oftentimes many other outcomes fill the grey area between the extremes. In the case of global warming, there is much more at stake than just the solitary conclusion of climate change's absolute, unequivocal, decisive validity.

Whether you believe in global warming or not, we can't forget the other environmental concerns of our times, especially those that are linked to greenhouse gas emitting sources. After all, carbon dioxide is not the only substance released when burning fossil fuels. There's carbon monoxide, which can cause heart disease, headaches, and death. Nitrogen dioxide and nitric oxide are also released, both of which can cause bronchitis, pneumonia, and leave a nasty brownish yellow cloud in smoggy cities. Sulfur oxides, linked to acid rain, are released as well. The production and transport of fossil fuels is known to contaminate waterways, not just from oil spills but also from the runoff of rainwater that takes with it acidic byproducts from coal mining and oil drilling. And then there's the security issue, with our heavy reliance on oil coming from places like the Middle East and Venezuela, where slogans like "Death to America" are sung as their country's credo.

In Is it Hot in Here?, I lay out the facts about global warming, and leave it up to you the reader to form your own opinion. We, thankfully, live in a free country where every single one of us has the absolute right to think and choose as we see fit. But, no matter what you're view--whether you feel global warming is serious or not--I think it's safe to say that we all can agree that the same sources that are suspect to the warming of our world pose other threats to our wellbeing--environmentally and protectively.

Is global warming real? Is it hype? Is it all that bad? No matter what you may think, feel or believe, taking steps to reduce the use of environmentally unfriendly fossil fuels as well as being cognizant of the myriad other environmental concerns facing our futures would be a good thing, no matter what the headlines of the day may say. After all, since you started reading this article, approximately 3,000,000,000 gallons of gasoline were burned in the United States alone. And while you were reading that last sentence, about 40,000,000 gallons of gas went up in smoke.

More information on fossil and alternative fuels, fuel consumption, CO2 levels and sources, mitigation plans for climate change and other topics discussed in this blog can be found in my new book, Is it Hot in Here?--The simple truth about global warming. To get your copy, Click Here.

For information on various environmental issues, you may be interested in the following sites as well: