Friday, September 28, 2007

Comments; Climate Change

You know, it's hard being the younger brother of two college-attending, politically-aware jargon geniuses. Especially since you can tell that they spent some time spinning their elegant essays into streamlined, direct messages that read like a college textbook on steroids.

Ok, they're not exactly like that, but it's sure intimidating to try to write a post about anything when you're afraid you'll look like a wimp trying to fit in next to these guys.

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I don't exactly have anything profound to say about modern neighborhoods, green cars, or futile research projects, but the other day I read the National Geographic article concerning climate change. All in all, it was actually a well-thought argument that was written in very reasonable terms. You can all read it here.

However, I have two reservations:

1. The article states that CO2 at 450 parts per million in the atmosphere is a threshold we should respect. But how does he measure that argument with the one I've heard from those that don't believe global warming: that there is evidence of ages where the CO2 level was ten times what it was now, and that there is little or no evidence of there being global disasters on a massive scale? I have yet to see a side-by-side analysis of the two arguments.

2. The author, to my astonishment, claims that "in the end, global warming presents the greatest test we humans have yet faced." Are we still so blind as to think that our greatest threats lie in our physical destruction? This incredibly bold claim is clearly just a gimmick meant to scare people into taking global warming seriously. That phrase alone undermines my ability to believe the rest of the article. I find it ironic to contrast this author's opinion to the Bible, where God flooded the earth and physically destroyed every living thing in an act of mercy - to protect the righteous, and to give a chance for those still in heaven to be born into a righteous family. Even if another big storm is coming, I believe we need to put cleaning up our act before cleaning up our air. There are many things more terrible than death.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Research Paper? Or Not?

Research Paper? Or Not?

This world is full of unneeded and unfounded controversy. How often do we find this today in newspapers and on cable television? Every day reporters take a clear cut and straight forward story and then dig up the most improbable doubts, blow them up to a thousand times their original size, and then ask, "Or is it?". The Fox channel convinced thousands if not millions of Americans that NASA never did land a man on the moon, that it was all a hoax (1). Al Gore has stirred up the Global Warming controversy, partly with the help of misinformation (2). Millions of Americans have an unfounded fear of nuclear energy, mostly as a result of fear and ignorance.

O assigner of my research paper, are you expecting me to come up with some biased preconceived thesis, and then proceed to misrepresent scientific studies in an attempt to back up my claims? To require a solid "argumentative" thesis with hardly the knowledge of a few half-understood scientific publications, and then assume my conclusion will have some factual basis in reality, or do any good for the world is a very unreasonable assumption. I will only argue what I firmly believe to be right, after clear and honest study and research.

The problem is, I don't have the time for that kind of research. I don't have the knowledge at this time to write such a paper. I need a good grade in this class. So here I am, preparing to stir up yet another unfounded controversy...

1) see:

2) see: