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there is plenty of evidence, too. Between CO2 histories from mountains in Hawaii and ice-cores in Antarctica, we have a fairly strong indication of a human-induced rise in carbon dioxide - as I'm sure you are aware. The effect of various artificial, volatile chemicals on atmospheric ozone seems to be demonstrated. Reduced albedo due to reduced ice caps is certainly working in a complementary fashion with 'greenhouse gases'.

Acidification of the oceans indicates that some of the buffering actions that might mitigate climate change have been 'neutralized'. poemless mentions deforestation, which is well-documented. Besides the loss of the forests' carbon-sink, there is the use of the land after logging, such as planting sugar cane for ethanol production for use as fuel. It may be a minor example in terms of portion, but even the fallow clear-cut is giving up CO2 and methane via decomposition.

So, yes, I believe in human-induced global warming, however much non-human influence there may be. And here's one to add to the list - NOx - which is a more potent 'greenhouse gas' than CO2. Modern (last century or so) internal combustion and turbine motors generate vast quantities. This component of the issue has not been studied to the same extent as CO2, because the tests are much less developed. For one thing the molecules are much more reactive than carbon dioxide, so how do you distinguish NO that has become a nitrate from a geologically-generated nitrate? Meantime, the original NO was airborne for awhile, but what did it contribute to the 'greenhouse effect' while it was still NO? Another problem is that much less NOx is generated in a turbine than CO2, so it is harder to detect, but yet it has more effect as a 'greenhouse gas'. Point being that we have a potentially strong influence that was introduced to the equation rather recently and about which we lack study.

Beyond that, I will throw in my eccentric POV - it is a mistake to rely on machines and fuels to the extent that we do, if for no other reason than that humans must connect with their own lives via muscle-power, face-to-face communications with their fellows, skill development, contact with wood and dirt and plants and animals. It is gratifying, aesthetically pleasing, less expensive, and, ultimately I hope, communitarian.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Wed Nov 19th, 2008 at 04:17:49 PM EST

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