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Letters to the Editor

Human impact

January 26, 2010

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To the editor:

Many people say that humans aren’t capable of causing or affecting global climate change. I beg to differ. Since the end of the Pleistocene ice age around 10,000 B.C.E., homo sapiens have greatly influenced the Holocene (current) environment; while all organisms influence their environments to some degree, few have ever changed the globe as much, or as fast, as our species is doing. The past 10,000 years have witnessed the rise and fall of all its civilizations up to now.

The collapse of the Roman and Mayan civilizations was accelerated by unchecked population growth, overfarming and deforestation. One need only look to China to see human-caused climate change happening in real time. Desertification has affected 28 percent of China’s land mass, with 18 percent of the country turning to waste through the effects of overgrazing, deforestation, open-pit coal mining and a host of other negative human activities. The expanding deserts then spawn massive sandstorms that lay waste to even larger areas and bring Beijing to a grinding halt.

The root problem is simply our sheer numbers as a species. The Roman Empire grew so vast it couldn’t feed its people. Unchecked population growth is the cause; the billions of tons of pollution from coal plants and hundreds of millions of cars is simply the catalyst by which the climate is affected.

Can global warming/climate change be blamed solely on humanity? Of course not. However, any attempt to blame everything BUT mankind is ludicrous. Denying it won’t make it go away.

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

"Or you just pick and choose the science you read."

You're projecting.

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labmonkey 4 years, 2 months ago

Or you just pick and choose the science you read.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

"Your insistance there is no global warming controversy"

I'll grant that there is a controversy. But it's a political/ideological controversy, not a scientific one.

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Chris Golledge 4 years, 2 months ago

Labmonkey, Or, it means that he isn't counting opinion pages.

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labmonkey 4 years, 2 months ago

Bozo-

Your insistance there is no global warming controversy show that you have not read as much as you lead people to believe.

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jaywalker 4 years, 2 months ago

"Not if we're dead. But nearly 7 billion of us aren't dead, and we aren't all in Jacksonville, either."

Seek help.

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Bob Kraxner 4 years, 2 months ago

Whats this?? A big party in Jacksonville? How come I never heard about it til now? Well, what time is everybody showin up? You sure somebody didn't just relocate spring break? Will there be live music? Is it BYOB?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

My, somebody's got an itchy trigger finger today.

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jafs 4 years, 2 months ago

I think arguments based on the increasing number of health problems related to pollution might have a bit of a chance - after all, it's in their own self-interest.

Levels of mercury, pesticides, and bpa are too high and cause various health issues.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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salad 4 years, 2 months ago

BTW, you still fail to refute my cutting observation of the irony of your ilk. ha HA!!!

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salad 4 years, 2 months ago

PAD's? Like the ones lining your cell Barry? I know you quite pleased with yourself, and think yourself brilliant, but no one knows wtf you're talking about. Try not writing like someone who scrawls on the walls in his own blood for once, eh?

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barrypenders 4 years, 2 months ago

salad, you're PAD emotionality is tossed. The very word 'conservative' means 'a wee bit'. The only people that are pointed out, are the PAD's that 'Breed Indiscriminately' and then look to 'Non-PAD's' to pay for them. The 'Wake' of the 'Free Market' has allowed PADs to bob around for some time now, but let's face it, there are just getting to be too many of them to take care of. I've always considered PADs the 'Canary' in the mine, that has a purpose, to a point.

Stimulus, Yellow PADs, and Posercare live unprecedented

Darwin bless you

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salad 4 years, 2 months ago

I find it ironic that the very same conservatards who rail against limiting population in any way, shape, or form.....generally dispise the people they have to share the planet with. Talk about working against your own self-intrest!

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jafs 4 years, 2 months ago

Come on, bozo.

Do you really want to keep trying to convince those who don't agree?

I think it's futile, and worse, a dangerous diversion.

We should be making sure we find other ways to advocate for being better stewards of the environment.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

"climate change controversies"

What controversy?

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jafs 4 years, 2 months ago

labmonkey,

I'm glad to hear someone else try to deal with environmental problems without getting into the climate change controversies.

The fact is there are lots of other reasons to be concerned with how we are destroying the environment.

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labmonkey 4 years, 2 months ago

When you go into raising cattle, sheep, or any free range livestock, you need to take into consideration how many acres it takes to support one head per year. In Eastern Kansas, it is about 5 acres, in places like Wyoming it is closer to 20.

Apply that to humans....how many acres of land does it take to support one human per year? Yes all humans can fit into the space of Jacksonville, Florida, but it still takes 1.2-1.7 acres per year to feed one human. Take into account that most of the world's landmass is non-tillable and we have destroyed much land with POLLUTION (not AGW), we are getting close to overpopulation. Eventually a famine will wipe billions out.

Lets look at real environmental problems though like pollution, trashing of the oceans and cutting down of the rainforest instead of bowing to the religion of AGW. (And again...we praise Brasil for fueling like 90% of their cars with biofuels because of fewer emissions....yet what used to grow where the sugar cane and soybeans that produce the fuels now grow....the friggin' rainforest. The religion of AGW has actually been a disaster for the envrionment.)

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Flap Doodle 4 years, 2 months ago

“…Here’s the latest development, courtesy of Dr Richard North – and it’s a cracker. It seems that, not content with having lied to us about shrinking glaciers, increasing hurricanes, and rising sea levels, the IPCC’s latest assessment report also told us a complete load of porkies about the danger posed by climate change to the Amazon rainforest…” Read the rest at: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100023598/after-climategate-pachaurigate-and-glaciergate-amazongate/

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75x55 4 years, 2 months ago

Well, if all you socially-aware folks need to go do something about this alleged problem, here's a place you can turn to:

www.vhemt.org/

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barrypenders 4 years, 2 months ago

Did TJ say that, 'All men are created equal' or was that, 'All men evolved equal'?

The Universe is big. Did Mr. Big plan on us evolving off of this piece of dirt or create another place to Progressive Articulate Devolute?

Stimulus, PAD Warmth, and Posercare live unprecedented

Darwin bless us all

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

“Now there is mounting evidence that the ozone hole above the Antarctic has been protecting the southern hemisphere against global warming."

Wow, that's great news. All we have to do is die of skin cancer and global warming is cured.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

" just that we don't take up much space relatively."

Not if we're dead. But nearly 7 billion of us aren't dead, and we aren't all in Jacksonville, either.

"unless you're arrogant (and myopic) enough to believe man has single-handedly created the current climate shift."

It really doesn't matter so much what the non-human causes are, since we likely can't do much about them. But if human causes are in addition, and push things over a critical threshold such as the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and we do nothing about it, that's just suicidal. And in my book, that is myopic and arrogant.

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Flap Doodle 4 years, 2 months ago

Did somebody mention the hole in the ozone layer? “Now there is mounting evidence that the ozone hole above the Antarctic has been protecting the southern hemisphere against global warming. The bizarre side-effect of ozone depletion has been studied by scientists at the University of Leeds. The ozone hole, caused by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) released into the atmosphere, is now steadily closing, but the research has suggested this could actually increase warming. Scientists discovered brighter summertime clouds had formed over the area below the hole, which reflect more of the sun's powerful rays. "These clouds have acted like a mirror to the sun's rays, reflecting the sun's heat away from the surface to the extent that warming from rising carbon emissions has effectively been cancelled out in this region during the summertime," said Professor Ken Carslaw, who co-authored the research.”..."

http://news.scotsman.com/scitech/Now-climatechange-scientists-say-ozone.6012558.jp

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jaywalker 4 years, 2 months ago

"(and all soon be dead if we did)"

What exactly is wrong with you? Seriously? The point nor the argument was ever about "how small a space can all the world's inhabitants survive in", just that we don't take up much space relatively. Is it really this hard for you to grasp?

"Global warming/climate change is just one of the many ways we could eventually exceed (by decreasing) the Earth's capacity to support us."

That 'point' holds absolutely no truth whatsover unless you're arrogant (and myopic) enough to believe man has single-handedly created the current climate shift. Sounds like a job for you, though.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

"-In respect to the size of the planet there aren't “too many” humans."

That may or may not be the case, but the fact that we could physically all fit into Jacksonville (and all soon be dead if we did) does nothing to make that case. I'm surprised you didn't suggest completely dehydrating us all first-- I mean, we could fit into an even smaller space, given that we're 80% water.

Unfortunately, we won't know whether we've exceeded the Earth's carrying capacity until after it's been exceeded and the resulting catastrophic die-offs of one sort or another will be unavoidable. Global warming/climate change is just one of the many ways we could eventually exceed (by decreasing) the Earth's capacity to support us.

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jaywalker 4 years, 2 months ago

"Whereupon they would nearly all die within days."

Brilliant as ever, bozo. You get right to the heart of .... nothing. Again.

" What's your point?"

Inference too deep for ya? Here's a softer toss for ya:

-In respect to the size of the planet there aren't "too many" humans.

One would think that by now you might have developed some mastery of Bloom's taxonomy. Guess not.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

"Please. We can still fit every single person in the world shoulder to shoulder in a space the size of Jacksonville, Florida."

Whereupon they would nearly all die within days. What's your point?

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jaywalker 4 years, 2 months ago

"The lte is correct. Whole civilizations have “disappeared from the face of the earth, and we haven't a clue what happened to them.” (Think Mayans, for one.) We do know what happened"

No, the lte is not correct (the Roman "civilization" did not collapse, the empire did) and no, we don't know what happened to the Mayans, not exactly. There's a lot of theories, mainly circulating around epidemics started by contact with the Spaniards AND .......wait for it.....climate change! At the height of their reign the Mayans got stuck in the middle of a 200 year drought. Must have been all those aerosols and flatulating livestock.

"The root problem is simply our sheer numbers as a species"

Please. We can still fit every single person in the world shoulder to shoulder in a space the size of Jacksonville, Florida. While I agree that overpopulation is problematic, particularly for the effected area's biome, I serioiusly doubt that's the root problem when talking globally..

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avoice 4 years, 2 months ago

The lte is correct. Whole civilizations have "disappeared from the face of the earth, and we haven't a clue what happened to them." (Think Mayans, for one.) We do know what happened. We just don't want to contemplate it. Overpopulation of any species is, eventually, self-correcting. No need to take think_about_it's winking advice.

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labmonkey 4 years, 2 months ago

After the Hatian earthquake, there were actually some kooky people suggesting that earthquakes could possibly be man-made. Just think....another whole branch of pseudo-science can start giving Liberals another reason to try to religiously control our lives.

Can man affect the climate? It is possible, but nowhere near the extent that those who want to control our lives claim. Many of Al Gore's "facts" have been proven junk-science or flat out lies, and there have been too many cases of tampering and "misprints" in reports used to convince people that manbearpig is real that anyone should be skeptical of the UN or any "climate scientist" out there.

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Kirk Larson 4 years, 2 months ago

bkgarner, You see there's this stuff called air. It blows around the whole planet. CFC's, which prevent the formation of ozone when UV rays strike high atmospheric oxygen, were used all over the planet. CFC's last a long time. They got up in the, you know, air. Around the south pole, which doesn't get a lot of sunshine most of the year, the ozone hole opened up. Truth is, ozone was being depleted worldwide, but it was over Antarctica where it pretty much disappeared. CFC's have been pretty well banned and the ozone hole appears to be recovering. We actually dodged a bullet on that one.

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think_about_it 4 years, 2 months ago

I think you both know the resposible thing to do about human overpopulation Mr. Craven and anon1958. You first ;)

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Brent Garner 4 years, 2 months ago

As I recall the single largest ozone hole that appeared did so over Antarctica. Last I checked there are not a lot of human beings living in Antartica. So, anon1958, can you explain a mechanism for that event?

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anon1958 4 years, 2 months ago

There were plenty of know nothing nay sayers that denied that humans were responsible for the depletion of the ozone layer. Of course they were proven wrong and the chemistry involved was demonstrated rather elegantly.

These same know nothing nattering nabobs of negligent naysayers and their descendants are still with us. They are the right wingnuts and Bush era republicans that hate science whenever it gets in the way of their idiotic ideology.

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