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Before and After - Glaciers


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just bumped into the link and shared as I found it kind of personally moving so thought someone else might

there is no debate over whether the ozone layer has been depleted and world's temperatures have been affected and will continue to keep getting affected more and more (even if we somehow stopped the damage now)

the only thing that could slow or stop global warming would be a radical global shift in opinion and lifestyles I don't see anywhere on the horizen... humanity needs to be slapped hard in the face (World War 2, the cold war, an ice age) before its willing to abandon its creature comforts in the name of change... most people look at it all as someone else's problem and are more than happy to buy new products without care as well as generate multitudes more than their share of waste

hoping science figures a way out I guess

(personally try to be as unwasteful and non-polluting as possible and more and more people seem to be doing the same, but sadly 80% of the planet would rather get wealthy now than worry about tomorrow)

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but is global warming and cooling a natural phenomenon as has been illustrated by archaeological evidence?

the world's biggest killer of an ice age 250 million years ago was brought on by global warming caused by the pollution spewed out by over-active volcanoes all over the planet so yeah, you could call that a natural occurence I suppose

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i say bring on the natural disasters.

it'll be hard to live without worldly pleasures...i mean it even takes a lot to make a set of guitar strings. i'm not ready to go 300 years back, but i'm all for positive change.

we need the plundering of natural resources to keep music the way it is...unfortunate that we find enlightenment (of sorts) on the back of the destruction of our planet.

at least we're turning that energy into good vibes!

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i hope the people that know me realize that i am environmentally concious. that is why i'm vegan, which is a serious commitment to the environment. i just like to hear and see all sides of a debate. and i always heard it was a meteor that crashed here and basically caused a greenhouse effect, i've never heard the volcano thing before, you see, my strategy is working! :)

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we need the plundering of natural resources to keep music the way it is...unfortunate that we find enlightenment (of sorts) on the back of the destruction of our planet.

okay, I already admitted I've imbibed a few, but this don't make sense to me. Clarification please

I was also going to add, that as depressing as all of this is, I think there is hope, Paisely, and not just for 'science' to rescue us with solutions, but for those "80%"-greedy bastards to get concerned enough with their 'bottom-line' accounts to change their ways. Heard a good CBC interview recently where some climate-change expert had convinced the ski industry (world-wide)of the effects climate change would have on their business (they realized snow-making machines would only see them into 2015 or so) and they're now jazzed to minimze their own (and encouraging their clients to minimize their own) impact on climate change. I mean, we have to take heart where we can, right? (as well as doing what each of us is capable of to reduce our own 'footprints') or we really might as well put a bullet in our heads right now! I would, if I thought it was futile, but at this point, I don't see futility.........

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yeah, there's definately hope, always hope... but like I said, figure it'll take a pretty monumental sequence of events to initiate change in society

can't see corporations curbing their rape the planet and crap into the sky ways while its profitable and legal to over-sell their wares to a desensitized, product hungry society without something visibly catastrophic... too many people running pretty much on auto-pilot as well as I figure an overtly environmentally conscious society would go bankrupt on the current world market... kind of sucks when you look at it that way but I honestly do still have hope, I'm an optomist... in any case most of us should at least be able to live out our lives more or less ok (especially up here in Canada ;) which is why its almost a good thing Bush denies the whole global warming thing or he might try to grab some land up in a cooler clime while he's busy out country shopping)

Bokonon, though there are still beliefs that the very last ice age was triggered by a meteor striking the earth and releasing trapped methane gas from deep within the planet recent studies have shown that the most devastating ice age 250 million years ago, which killed off 90% of all life on the planet came on much too slowly to have been caused by a meteor stike

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i say bring on the natural disasters.

I find it very upsetting that you believe that only a "disaster" can change the way we are. There are disasters occuring all over the planet. Some natural, many not. I have always been puzzled about the human reaction to crisis. It seems that there is no need to band together unless the crisis has a sense of immediacy. For example, Sept. 11th was very immediate. Easy to pin down. One day. One event. Easy timeline. Good guys, bad guys were easily divided. The charities to donate to popped up like mushrooms and people felt that by donating $20 or putting a sticker of a bastardized version of the Canadian and US flags on their cars that they were making a positive change. This is a short cut to thinking. This is turning charity into showmanship. What about the fact that one million female baby girls go "missing" in China every year due to the one-child per family limitations? What about the AIDs crisis in Africa?

The tsunami that occured in December was devastating. It is atrocious that so many lives were lost and that so many continue to live in utter despair. 233,000 was the last estimated death toll I heard. This is hard to comprehend for those of us who live in the West. But what I further can't get my head around is this:

13.7 Africans have died of AIDs (the death toll is hard to approximate due to the progression of the disease)

90% of all children born with AIDs will be in Africa

An African child will die of AIDs every 15 minutes

Yet there have been few (if any) office fund raisers for this cause. There has been no Q107 charity event to help get medical supplies to these poor kids. There has been nothing. Between Bush's oil-fueled war and immediate devastation in other parts of the world, one of the largest crisis in human history is largely being ignored. Beyond this you can look into the aftermath in Afghanistan...the control of Tibet...the poverty in Indian...etc. etc. etc. It is hard to know how to fix these problems. I sometimes don't know how to contribute to the greater good. But I find myself constantly questioning myself and others.

Where did those shoes come from that you're wearing?

How many animals did you eat today?

What happens to all of the chemicals that were sprayed on those carrots you're eating?

Do you recycle the lids from your Tim Horton's cups?

Why are you using an automatic starter on your car?

There are so many questions we can ask ourselves (and so many answers to make us feel guilty). I don't think the fate of the world rests on a natural disaster occuring. But my, oh my, wouldn't it be easier for us if that were the case?

You may be right Beats, it may take a natural disaster to set the planet right. I still do not understand why you would encourage this though. To me, that speaks volumes for the ignorance that we living in Canada have when it comes to the types of hardships others face. I find this kind of complacency is leading to one the greatest disasters.

If anyone is interested, check out www.warchild.ca. This is a great charity that helps children overcome the trauma caused by war. Not only do they provide the basic necessities of life, they help the children develop through the use of music and art. Creativity is one of the best ways to heal a heart.

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the important thing to consider when faced with evidence of change in nature, and the number one concern of educated environmentalists, is not that ecosystems are changing significantly (as bokonon said, earth's systems do cycle naturally) but it is the RATE of change that is occurring that is so frightening. Biological organisms can adapt, but we don't know that most of them can adapt at such a fast rate of change. I think viruses and bacteria have got a secure future, but that's about it (i'm no biologist.. physical geographer here).

THe images that are posted on the website do portray drastic change, but that is only meaningful when the time and amount of change is put into *historical* context (I didn't check out that site beyond the images, but there is no context there to examine the images against). We have a sense of the historial magnitude and timing of global equilibrium shifts from studying periglacial sediment records, dendrochronology, geomorphology, and a bunch of other geeky earth science stuff...

There are glaciers in the world that are still advancing. Overall, though, we are on a warming trend and many glaciers that had been advancing in the (relatively) recent past are now stagnating or receding.

I went to a really horrible presentation by a philosophy prof at UVic entitled 'why i am not an environmentalist'... all the scientists in the room were frustrated like crazy because his arguements were all founded on his ignoring the *scale* of the issues he was discussing - time or spatial scales, his arguement had no logical foundation if it were discussed, but the ill-informed environmentalists in the room left feeling very confused.

With respect to the question of a major life-destroying event in the earths past, I don't remember when this happened, but I know that the majority of scientists agree that the layer of sediments enriched in iridium that blankets the planet at some depth (coinciding with a short time period and major life destroying event) can only be explained by an extraterrestrial source--- that is, a meteor (which contains iridium) impacted the earth and left a mark of increased iridium concentration in the soils worldwide (from the airborne particulate...) it would have enriched other elements as well, but iridium is the best indicator as it is stable and 'noticeable'.

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What Moose said.

The photos are interesting, but by themselves, they don't prove or disprove global warming. They're not conclusive of anything more than a few glaciers getting smaller over the past hundred years. Really, that's all one can say about them. There is no sign that says, "Hey, look at me, I'm melting due to global warming!" All these photos say is, "Hey, I'm melting!"

This is rather like saying "All dogs are dangerous" because there have been well-documented cases of pitbulls attacking people. And compared to global warming, canine behaviour is the very model of simplicity. (Maybe pitbulls themselves are dangerous. I don't know. I do know that I've seen plenty of other dogs that aren't.)

I'm not saying that global warming isn't happening. I have a hard time believing that our industrial processes don't affect the environment significantly, and there is plenty of conclusive evidence to show that they do. Water pollution, air pollution ... even that stuff can be hard to pin down to a specific source, but we manage to do it using scientific methods (thankfully).

What I *am* saying is that these pictures are, at most, at small part of the evidence of global warming. They are not conclusive evidence by themselves.

And before anyone starts ranting about me being a pro-industrial, right-wing, red-necked, big-money-loving, big-car-driving, screw-the-planet-huggers, bunny-killing sack of human fat with just enough brain stem to use more precious oxygen than I obviously deserve, I suggest you try reading what I actually wrote.

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Beyond this you can look into the aftermath in Afghanistan

Can you explain what you mean by this?


What I meant by that statement is basically that the war in Afghanistan has been mostly forgotten about. Our focus is now on Iraq, Iran, Palestine, etc. However, I have a friend in the Canadian military who is STILL in Afghanistan trying to clean up after the US's game of hide & seek with Osama. (True, many can argue that the people of Afghanistan are better off now, but that is not at all what I am taking issue with.) It's bullsh!t. Out of sight, out of mind. Because it's not on the 6 o'clock news regularly, people tend to forget that there are still great injustices in these places. And there are still ordinary Canadians like you and I who just want to do a good thing by being one of the peace keepers in this world. They are still there. The children who are still there will spend the rest of their lives trying to overcome events that hardly even got a mention on the North American news. I'm not being very concise today and I apologize. Here's a little blurb from the War Child Canada website which kind of sums it up:

[color:"orange"] Continuous internal conflict from 1978 - 2001 has had tremendous impact on Afghanistan’s environment and the ability of the land to sustain human populations.

During these 25 years of internal conflict, millions of Afghan refugees fled to neighbouring countries. More than two million refugees have returned to Afghanistan since the United States overthrew the Taliban in 2001, but those returning to their former homes and livelihoods face the reality of economic devastation, environmental destruction and neglect.

Where are their "relief efforts"? What has this disaster solved?

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Thanks AD...I'd really appreciate that.

No problem at all...

I'm not sure of the relevance is to this discussion at all, but I'll say the rebuilding campaign in Afghanistan is extensive and is not 'cleaning up after the game of hide and seek with Osama.' It is cleaning up after 20 years of bloody civil war, no economy to speak of, repression and oppression of the Taleban... I took too much credit before, I didn't really work on relief, I was there mapping a road, but I worked hand-in-hand with the Afghanistan operation of the Louis Berger Group, an New Jersey based company that is under contract to USAid to rebuild Afghanistan. Their budget is enormous, and they are not providing a stop-gap fix; they are actually building a country's infrastructure. So it's not much of a re-building effort, it's a first-time building effort. The workers are all civilians, working under very stressful conditions in a country with no real government or leadership outside of Kabul. Kidnappings, murders etc are still very real dangers that have to be taken seriously...

As taken from the Louis Berger Afghanistan Website, here are some things that you may find interesting...

The main goals of the rehabilitation are

1. Repairing selected infrastructure needed to lower transportation costs

2. Improving the provision of water and sanitation services

3. Increasing access to education, health and local governmental facilities

4. Restoring electrical transmission and distribution systems

5. Repairing/reconstructing irrigation systems, dams/diversions and canals critical to the re-activation of the agricultural sector, the dominant means of livelihood in the country.

They are doing this by working on:

Rural roads

Highway bridges

Large irrigation systems


Irrigation canals

Drilled water wells

Waste water systems

Solid waste sites

Electric transmission / distribution lines

School buildings

Medical facilities

Government buildings

So for all the US bashing that goes on about Afghanistan, without it this country would be in way way way worse shape than it is now. I have a few Taleban stories that I could share but I don't think whoever started this topic wants it to veer that far off course....


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Since this thread has already meandered, I just have to say...Arcane you is hilarious! this is pure poetry. Permission to quote you in my tag-line?

And before anyone starts ranting about me being a pro-industrial, right-wing, red-necked, big-money-loving, big-car-driving, screw-the-planet-huggers, bunny-killing sack of human fat with just enough brain stem to use more precious oxygen than I obviously deserve, I suggest you try reading what I actually wrote.

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