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Pretty profound in a way. He will definitely be missed. Thanks for putting that up.

I agree with him, mostly. Somewhere in my early thirties I felt compelled to come to grips with the notion that environmentalism was a human invention, as meaningful to people as anything else. We don't care for preservation or conservation for altruistic reasons, but for selfish reasons. Endangered species? Well those are more like the canary in the cave. We are concerned for ourselves, so we are concerned for the world around us. Its natural, but maybe superstitious (we still are). I have thought long about humanity reconnecting itself to nature (opposed to nature/culture divide). The things we invent (like plastics!) must be natural as well. Or that nature has worked through us just like Carlin says (I've never heard it from anyone else though!) We are creating things that nature could not make without us and we are entering a new world- and that is giving us a feeling of being out of control. But its still all nature, like a bird's nest -but with so much more consequence.

Environmentalism is in part, the rising up to protect ourselves from concrete and sometimes phantom threats. But as Carlin suggests, often conservation is just a way to keep a pleasure landscape pleasurable- or real estate with angel wings.

There is some wisdom in his madness especially when he evaluates our immediate environmental concerns within the frame of the monumental power of nature and the ephemeral existence of human beings.

Finally, people are dumping the environmental Kool-Aid and calling it what it is and what I have been calling it for years........Socialist Elitism.

It does matter to the enviro nazis if you turn down your thermostat (mine to 55* and the kids still wear shorts all winter), compost (my kids fight over compost for their gardens), use no chemicals in the garden (have not or five years), make your lawn smaller (1/2 acre to 5,000 sq ft),
etc. etc. etc. I get this answer "But it's just not the same". BULLS$&T. My end just does not justify their means plain and simple.

All they care about is your carrying the torch and waving the flag with them. They hate the fact that people conserve energy to save money because they know the money saved may not be donated to their cause.

If you perform all the stunts they do but for a different reason it is smply not good enough.

Thank you Shirley, Frank, for posting your thoughts.

George Carlin is already missed. Look up his video on "Stuff". Carlin was a genius in is social commentary.

The (compost happens anyway) TROLL

I suppose the lack of comments here is the "flinch" you were talking about.

I miss George already, and I'm glad I got to see him live a couple times recently ("recently" being relative to his time on earth). Plus, just the other day there was a great tribute special on public tv.

The ending of that clip is perfect...(Talking about "The big electron"): "It doesn't punish, it doesn't reward, it just IS...and so are we."

The strangest thing on the weekend he died was that my husband had just downloaded every single George Carlin clip he could find...he spent a whole day finding them and playing them loudly through the house on Sunday. Then I woke up with David standing over me saying "George Carlin is dead..." FREAKED ME OUT! And David thought maybe he downloaded the last bit of life old George's heart had left.

And one note to Greg--I sincerely doubt anyone takes issue with your saving money by doing practical, environmentally sound things. Actually, I'd be willing to bet that people would like to compliment you on your actions, but you too often sing your own praises and belittle others so that the admiration is quickly lost.

I'm sorry, but one more thing. I went about looking at various blogs/threads about this...

He's a comedian, with a carefully scripted dialogue that intends to look like a rant. I see posts saying he's conservative, no he's not. Whatever. I think his main jab is really more philosophical: its that environmentalism is for us, not the world. Lets not pretend its otherwise. Environmentalism is a good thing in calling attention to crimes of mass pollution or destruction. Environmentalism is a response to us, its about us, its not about the greater world. He's responding to self-righteousness and delivers his own counter punch, in a way saying, yes-you're right, but sit down already and get off your throne. Our human world is more complicated than that.

If we would "leave Nature alone." But we don't. We mess with it. Sewage, industrial waste, garbage, and god-knows-what from the Indian Point power plant still pour into the Hudson River.

What about vanishing glaciers (reality) and the plight of polar bears (reality)?

"Evolutionary cul de sac" and "lava in the living room" - LOL Thanks, George. Once met him; the same on and off-stage.

Thermostat at 65 and fire going.

George was on point, there is nothing more rediculous or egotistical than the belief that man is so powerful that we can affect nature in such dramatic ways. Nothing examplifies this more dramatically than the acceptance of human caused warming while the global climate is cooling.

Any organism in a symbiotic or parasitic relationship with another knows that you can’t kill the host or irritate it to the point where it rejects you entirely. Yes there is a bit of hubris for man to think he can control and direct nature. Most of George Carlin’s examples however were geologic forces, not those more directly related to the life forces at work on this planet like air, water and biological life. It is equal hubris to think man has no effects on the web of nature at all or so minimal as not to matter.

I agree with Chis CNC -and good point about the geologic forces. May we distinguish between the mineral and the biological when it comes to our world. Earthquakes, etc. destroy biological things only, if we consider the mineral world as inert. There's no doubt that we are a force on this planet. So are viruses, algae, gypsy moth caterpillars, rabbits, and cows. Its a small world after all.

The uptick in Carlin interest might be due to the Kennedy Center Mark Twain award bestowed on him posthumously last week.

I can't decide which I enjoy more -- his takes on religion, stuff or the differences between baseball and football.

Good post Jon!

I am glad to have some company in my quarter. It has been a lonely battle thus far.

The TROLL

gsdraiss, I appreciate your thanks; however, might I suggest, that the reason we are faced with unreasonable propositions such as global warming when science, history and reason are disregarded. Using these things to confront the validity of this theory is a far better approach than getting into a shouting match with people who's only fault is they are being mislead.

Give them some facts like:

The amount of CO2 produced by each person every day by breathing and it is 288 liters. I took the 288 liters times the 5 billion people in the world times 365 days in a year and converted this from liters to metric tons and came up with 54.8 billion metric tons per year caused by the people of earth breathing.

The total amount of CO2, according to the DOE and the UN IPCC, caused by fossil fuels each year worldwide is 6.3 billion metric tons per year. This means that breathing by people alone causes 8.7 times the carbon dioxide that all the fossil fuel burning in the world does. Then you could suggest the obvious, that if our liberal friends would just stop breathing it would have a far greater impact on CO2 production than any reduction in fossil fuel burning.

See, be nice. You can't catch bees with vinegar.

Jon, that might make sense if the CO2 being exhaled in breathing wasn't coming from the air we breath and as a waste product of the food we eat (respiration).
Now the food we eat is turned into carbon by plants which pull CO2 out of the air to form carbohydrates. There is no net addition of carbon in that system's loop, except what may come from the use of fossil fuels used to produce the food, cause ya see, that used to be buried in the ground and was locked out of the system until recently.

"Science, history and reason can be disregarded" or they can just be twisted to suit someone's agenda.

Christopher, thank you for your comments.

CO2 is 385 parts per million in the atmosphere. Man causes 3% of this by burning fossil fuels (source UN IPCC chart http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/1605/ggccebro/chapter1.html)

This is .00001 part of the atmosphere. To suggest that this minute part of greenhouse gases cannot be absorbed by plants is an amazing deduction with zero scientific evidence. One would have to assume that CO2 from fossil fuels have some magic powers.

Being interested in horticulture you may know that commercial greenhouses use CO2 generators to to stimulate growth. The levels of these enclosures are about 2 1/2 times the levels in the air as an optimum for growth. I know that these assumptions are not yours. They are commonly thrown out with no scientific basis.

Also, if you look into history and ice core evaluations particularly you will learn that historically CO2 levels have risen after periods of warming. This would make sense as we are warming up after the Litlle Ice Age which ended at the end of the nineteenth century. I expect now that levels will decrease as the earth cools as it is now doing.

There is no formula, calculation or test that suggests the levels of CO2 from man's activity can raise the temperature by any measureable amount.

I encourage you to not believe me and investigate it further yourself.

Science, history, reason and common sense show no causal relationship between warming and fossil fuel burning. The only "proof" are seven computer programs devised by the UN. They all predicted record highs for several years and continued warming for 100. We have had two years of colling by historic rates and the UN now says this is just "weather".

If you cling to the tenants of global warming you are being decieved.

Correction- I stated the Little Ice Age ended at the end of the nineteenth. It lasted until the end of the eighteenth century, shortly after our revolution.

The scientific reason for this era most likely was the lowering of solar activity which is most likely the reason it is colling now after we have gone from a period of high activity and global warming and now are in a cooling period of low activity. This has 450,000 years of evidence behind it. It has worked for 450,000 years. The record of the UN computer programs are that they have not successfully predicted anything with accuracy in their 20+ years of existence. In the last two years they have predicted exactly the opposite of what has happened.

Some factoids for you Jon. NOAA says this winter was slighty warmer than average. That is not a colling (sic) trend. California had its sixth warmest January on record. http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2009/20090209_januarystats.html

Audobon has just released a study documenting bird's winter ranges moving north.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29104238/wid=18298287

Yes I do believe you are trying to deceive me and others by flinging numbers around like you have a clue what you are talking about.

Also Jon, I see you neglected to address the illogic of your human breathing example that I pointed out and instead changed the subject.

Keep up the good work.

NOAA stated that the temperatures were warmer than "average". This is the new paradigm, temperatures are not given from year to year, only in averages against a specific group of years.

Here are actual year to year drops as recorded by the four most respected organizations in the world. These are their averages for the world.

Remote Sensing Systems of Santa Rosa, CA (RSS)

Source: Global ∆T °C
HadCRUT - 0.595
GISS - 0.750
UAH - 0.588
RSS - 0.629
Average: - 0.6405°C

Yor referenced Audobon study was-

"The study of migration habits from 1966 through 2005"

How is this related to my statement concerning the last two years which would be 2007 and 2008?

Let me explain to you that the carbon dioxide being exhaled is not coming from the air. If you had stayed awake during junior high school biology you would know that oxygen is exchanged in your lungs for the exhaled CO2. The oxygen combines with carbon in your body and is echanged and expelled in your lungs as carbon dioxide. This is called breathing.

I was not avoiding the subject, only trying to save you some embarassment.

You should stop now Christopher, you are demeaning yourself by making rude remarks which is always the refuge of someone who cannot argue a point intelligently and yet feels they have to say something, so they become abusive.

It is not a likeable trait. I have been polite in my response and did not personally attack you or make any sort of accusation about your motives or integrity. You should realize by now that I know what I am talking about and you do not and that trying to make me look foolish is not a good thing to attempt.

PS- before you accuse me of changing the subject, who cares if California had the sixth warmest January on record?

I haven't seen bare ground here in SE Massachusetts since the middle of December. So what.

Jon apparently your reading comprehension is a little low to, so I'll just ask specifically. Does human breathing cause a net gain of CO2 in the atmosphere? If not why would you use that in an argument about climate change?

Source: Global ∆T °C
HadCRUT - 0.595
GISS - 0.750
UAH - 0.588
RSS - 0.629
Average: - 0.6405°C

More numbers that mean nothing. Where is a link to the source?

"who cares if California had the sixth warmest January on record?" Wow! I guess you don't.

When I need a lecture on my internet demeanor I will let you know.

You may now have the last word.

Christopher, you are making yourself look foolish. There is exactly no difference between the creation of carbon dioxide by breathing and carbon dioxide by burning fossilfuel. It is oxidation. We eat food and use energy. The energy is caused by the oxidation of the carbohydrates we eat and the oxygen we breath. When fuel is burned (oxidized) it gives off heat. When food is "burned" it heats us. It is the same gas. Burning fossil fuels produces 3% of all carbon dioxide (refer to the link I gave you). This is .00001 part of the air. 95% of all "greenhouse" gas is water vapor or clouds. This .00001 part of carbon dioxide slows down a very specific long wave bandwidth of reflected solar radiation in a very narrow range. It cannot warm the atmosphere in any measureable amount. You seem to be laboring under the misconception that there is something special about CO2 from burning fuels. There is not. It doesn't last any longer than natural CO2. It does not accumulate over years. It is broken down by plants with photosynthesis just as all CO2 is. It cannot "force" temperatures. It has no magic. It is simply the life giving gas that we depend upon for our very existence as every living thing on earth does.

Why on earth do you presuppose that the small fraction of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels is the only source capable of a net gain? Since 97% of it is generated naturally I would say that the increase is natural. You have no reason to think otherwise. There are hundreds of thousands of years of ice cores that say carbon dioxide rises after warming. We are now seeing carbon dioxide rise after a warming period.

The sources to the temperature readings are;

UK’s Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature anomaly (HadCRUT) Dr. Phil Jones
The NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies(GISS) Dr. James Hansen
University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH) Dr. John Christy
Remote Sensing Systems of Santa Rosa, CA (RSS)

http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/02/19/january-2008-4-sources-say-globally-cooler-in-the-past-12-months/

I don't give a rats behind if California had a warm January and it has zero to do with global climate. They have also had record snowfalls, which I guess might be deadly, so I do care about that.

You are clearly demonstrating a need for an attitude readjustment, seems it is just another part of your education that is lacking.


And the question was, "Does human breathing cause a net gain of CO2 in the atmosphere?"

Jon, thanks so much for the link to Watts Up With That? Did you actually read the post and look at the graphs and follow any of the links suggested in the post. No you must have taken your synopsis of what all that data meant from the Drudge Report.

The fools rush in.

"Does CO2 caused by breathing a net gain in the atmosphere?"

Answer- I don't know how much simpler I can make it for you. CO2 is produced by breathing. It is identical to all other CO2 including that caused by fossil fuel burning. It is broken down exactly the same way by plants. The amount of CO2 produced by breathing is many times that of CO2 produced by fossil fuels. It shows the absolute lunacy of thinking that fossil fuel burning could be a cause of warming. It also clearly demonstrates how small an impact it has. I know this is over your head, but the difference of having 385 or 374 PPM could be achieved if we burned no fossil fuel at all, no cars, no planes, no buses, no oil or gas heat, no factories, no trains, no ships, no coal or natural gas power plants...nada. If we did all that we would have, at best 11 PPM less CO2. .00001 part less. We could not even live like cavemen because even they used fire. It is the most absolutely absurd idea in the world. It is an invented problem that cannot pssibly exist which could not possibly have a solution if it was true.

Let me put it in a way that you can understand. Asking if man made CO2 is a net adder to the CO2 in the atmosphere is like asking if someone pees into Lake Superior are they a net contributor to the water level.

I did look at the links to these sites and the data. You obviously did not or you would realize they are verified by these sources, lacking the ability to understand you attempt to discredit what is very valid factual data.

Look, you have no concept of what you are talking about and try to cover your ignorance with childish remarks. In the words of Shakepeare, it is far better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

You not once but twice have tried to tell me that because it was cooler in California you think that somehow proves the global climate is cooling. You post a study done by the Audobon Society from 2005 to try and disprove the fact that it has cooled in 2007 and 2008. You somehow cannot grasp the biology of breathing and the production of CO2 caused by it, you somehow think that we simply breath CO2 in and out. You have arrogantly claimed without any proof that the information given to you is false. In short you have demonstrated complete ignorance of the subject and a distasteful disposition.

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