Friday, March 30, 2012
The Mega-Millions jackpot is, as of 10:43 A.M., 640 million dollars. I've never bought a lottery ticket, but I'm pretty tempted to do so. Even though it's somewhat of a long shot, it definitely makes for interesting conversation material. What would you do with 640 million dollars? I don't know what I would do.
I'm gonna get a little philosophical on my weather blog. I've never believed that money brings you happiness. I have plenty of mega-rich neighbors, but they don't seem any happier than any other people I know, and in some cases, they seem pretty unhappy. If I won 640 million dollars, I'd probably save a couple million for myself and my family, but I'd end up giving the rest away to fund research on alternative energy to help mitigate the effects of global warming. Although nearly all climatologists believe in global warming, it still amazes me how many tv "meteorologists" don't believe our planet is warming. A study in March of 2010 by researchers at George Mason University and the University of Texas at Austin found that only half of 571 television weathercasters surveyed believed that global warming was occurring, and fewer than a third believed that global warming was "caused mostly by human activities. And it gets even worse. More than a quarter of weathercasters in the survey believed that "global warming is a scam."
This is pitiful. A national embarrassment. Time after time, scientists have shown that greenhouse gasses trap heat and cause a warming of the planet. This has been verified in laboratory studies, in climate models, and in climate records. Global warming skeptics pick pieces of evidence support their claim that global warming is not occurring, and because they pick and choose their evidence to show to people, their "research" has no scientific value.
And the whole global warming debate aside, doesn't it make sense to take drastic measures to clean our planet if it is even possible that what models are forecasting may come true?
That's what I want to leave you with today. If I won the mega-millions jackpot, I would focus my efforts on getting the message out there that global warming is very serious, and, frankly, at this point, inevitable. But there are things we can do to lessen the effects of global warming. We can develop alternative energy sources (I'm a big fan of solar and nuclear), we can develop carbon sequestration more effectively, we can make more fuel-efficient cars, we can reduce our population, we can have more sustainable logging industries to prevent deforestation. The list goes on and on. And we can set examples for our fellow citizens of the world. We can take the bus. We can install solar panels on our roofs. We can breathe less (just kidding).
I hope we are ready for climate change and ocean acidification, because these will be the most significant environmental changes we have seen on our planet for at least the past 700,000 years.