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16 February 2007 @ 09:27 am
tiny bubbles  
"Roman writers tell us that Cleopatra was intelligent and charismatic, and that she had a seductive voice but, tellingly, they do not mention her beauty." Because God forbid intelligence should make a woman attractive.

Once more scientists are astonished at how fast things move when they decide to go, regarding climate change. I find the continuing amazement at how quickly things change to be sort of bemusing. Even if you're talking about human time scales, enormous ice shelves breaking off in an hour is moving fast. If you're talking about geologic time scales, the changes that have taken place over Alaskan winters in the last twenty years* are still no more than a blink of an eye. Not *even* a blink of an eye. But the scientists continue to be astonished.

I have to agree with malkin: countries that have nuclear weapons and send men into space do not get to count themselves as "developing nations" for the purpose of the Kyoto Protocol.

I'm sure there are more bubbles for the morning, but I'm going to find some food and try to get some work done.

*One hates to be the old fogey who says, "Winters aren't like they were when I was a kid!", especially when one is only 34, but in fact, winters aren't like they were when I was a kid.

eta: ...33. I think I'm 33, not 34.
 
 
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hegemony hedgehogagrimony on February 16th, 2007 11:51 am (UTC)
We had one of the leading authorities on global warming at Yale as a guest speaker for our physics class (he happens to be married to our prof). He had this very interesting slide that shows the cyclical nature of the warming period to ice age cycle. The most interesting part is where we are on the warming peak (that is, right at the end of the typical span, but we haven't dropped dramatically into an ice age). We appear to have, with our greenhouse gases, etc, 'cured' ice ages. Obviously, it's a tad too early to say so definitively, but the evidence is looking impressive.

But that we, as thirtysomethings, can notice the changes in the weather is pretty darn fast, all things considered. :) When you're talking about geological changes on this scale, it is pretty astonishing that we can not only quantify them scientifically, but distinctly /know/ in an empirical way to even the least scientifically inclined person, that this is all Very Different Now. :)
kitmizkit on February 16th, 2007 02:40 pm (UTC)
*laugh* Sure, sure, make the husband come in and do a presentation for the class...

Huh. That's really interesting. I am not inclined to believe that humanity is solely responsible for global warming, because temperatures do fluxuate and we are indeed in a comparatively warm epoch, but nor am I inclined to believe we're totally irresponsible for it.

And yeah, the empirical quantifiable evidence within our lifetimes is a bit mind boggling. I do realize that scientists are typically, uh, what's the word, uh. -stares vacantly- They err on the side of caution. There's a word for that. Reserved, but I don't think that's the one I was really looking for. Anyway, the point being, if they're constantly erring on the side of caution and constantly being really surprised by how bad things are turning out to actually be, then it sort of lends credence to the idea that things are in fact much worse than anyone (except Al Gore) is prepared to accept or conceive. Most of the doomsday scenarios are set out decades from now. Makes you wonder if that's critically, irreversably wrong.