Scott Adams on Global Warming

Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, has been reviewing the evidence about global warming and reaches some conclusions. Excerpts below.

Link: The Dilbert Blog: Global Warming – Part 4

1. The earth is getting warmer, and human activity is an important part of it. I base this conclusion on the lack of credible peer reviewed work to the contrary and the mountain of work that confirms human-induced warming. While individual studies might be wrong, it’s extremely unlikely the entire field has been so thoroughly duped.

2. There is plenty of bullshit on both sides of the issue. The people arguing that humans are not causing relatively rapid rises in temperatures are under-informed, misinformed, or suffering from bad thinking and bad analogies.

3. The people who are well-informed about global warming are overstating the case by conflating the well-studied fact of human-created warming with the less-than-certain predictions of what happens because of the extra warming. And there’s a tendency to leave out the “why I might be wrong” parts of the argument. I call that bullshit.

4. The people who say global warming is irrelevant because we should all be recycling and using less fossil fuel for other reasons anyway don’t understand the size of the problem. Ordinary conservation in the industrialized nations won’t put a dent in it.

Getting Green: Don’t Be Discouraged

It is easy to feel discouraged with our leaders in Washington focused on war while ignoring a multitude of important issues.

In the encouraging video below, Paul Hawken speaks at the Bioneers conference describing a "movement without a name" that may already include more than a million like-minded organizations and 100 million people.

Paul Hawken is a leader in the world of sustainable business and the search for a whole, nurturing society. His books have been hugely influential and include The Ecology of Commerce and Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution. In addition to writing and speaking, he is an entrepreneur and head of The Natural Capital Institute.

Hawken just published a new book, Blessed Unrest, examining the worldwide movement for social and environmental change.

via Fred First

Getting Green: 10 steps from the Clinton Climate Initiative

Link: William J. Clinton Foundation "Live the Green Life — 10 Easy Steps"

Tip # 1
Get on Your Bike!

For every mile you ride your bike instead of driving a car, you avoid the production of about one pound of carbon dioxide.

Tip # 2
Save Water with Powder Detergents

Switch from liquid detergents to powders. Laundry liquids are mostly water (approx. 80%). It costs energy and packaging to bring this water to the consumer.

Tip # 3
Save a Tree, or Two or Three

Get tough on tissues. If every household in the U.S. replaced one box of 85 sheet virgin fiber facial tissues with 100% recycled ones, we could save: 87,700 trees, 226,500 cubic feet of landfill space ( equal to 330 full garbage trucks), 31 million gallons of water (Annual supply for 240 families of four), and avoid 5,300 pounds of pollution! Buy only recycled paper products for your office, bathroom and kitchen.

Tip # 4
Check Your Water Heater

Keep your water heater thermostat no higher than 120°F. Save 550 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $30 per year. Talk to your building or condo manager to upgrade the efficiency of the boiler in your building to magnify the savings.

Tip # 5
Change Your Light Bulbs

Replace 3 frequently used light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. This will save approximately 300 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $60 per year.

Tip #6
Muscle Mow Your Lawn

Mowing for an hour with a gasoline- powered lawn mower can produce as much air pollution as a 350-mile drive in a car. Consider this alternative which emits nothing other than clippings and burns calories too: push a lightweight reel mower.

Tip #7
Change Your Thermostat

Conserve fuel by turning down the heat at night and while you are away from your home — or install a programmable thermostat. Setting the airconditioning thermostat in your building to 76 degrees in the summer will dramatically reduce your electricity bill and you’ll do your bit to save energy and the environment.

Tip # 8
Reduce Garbage

Buy products with less packaging and recycle paper, plastic and glass. You can save around 1,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide per year by reducing, reusing and recycling.

Tip # 9
Use Recycled Paper

According to the EPA, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, household waste increases by more than 25 percent due to holiday gift-giving. When wrapping gifts, remember to recycle and reuse. Also whenever possible use 100% post-consumer recycled paper when printing and save approximately 5 lbs. of carbon dioxide per ream of paper.

Tip # 10
Fill Your Dishwasher

Run your dishwasher only with a full load. Save approximately 100 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $40 per year. Why not set it to eco-mode to save even more energy and water?

Beautiful Image: The Canadian Shield

The Shield by WB Skinner, who shot this photo near dark close to Thunder Bay, Ontario at a section of the Current River known simply as the Cascades.

Canadian Shield

WB Skinner writes:

The Canadian Shield, also known as the Precambrian Shield or Laurentian Plateau, covers about half of Canada as well as most of Greenland and part of the northern United States; an area of 4.4 million square kilometers (1.7 million square miles).

It is the oldest part of the North American crustal plate and contains fossils of bacteria and algae over 2 billion years old.

The shield is composed of granite and the earth’s greatest area of exposed Precambrian rock (igneous and metamorphic rock formed in the Precambrian geological era 500 million years ago).

The shield was the first part of the continent to be permanently raised above sea-level. Subsequent rising and falling, folding, erosion and continental ice sheets have created its present topography. The reoccurring invasion and withdrawal of the ice sheets (1.6 million to 10,000 years ago) depressed the surface creating Hudson Bay, scraped out tens of thousands of lake basins, carried away much of the soil cover and redeposited glacial debris.

via Dave Pollard

iPod Dreams

I rarely fall asleep quickly when its bedtime. It generally takes me 15 to 30 minutes to get to sleep. About a year ago I decided to listen to some relaxing music before sleeping. I woke up two hours later with the music still playing in my earbuds.

Several months later I started downloading audio books and podcasts to my iPod. Like most time-crunched people, I didn’t find time to listen to all the audio on the iPod. I’m a reader and have tried to reserve 15 – 30 minutes for reading before sleep. One night my eyes were tired so I listened to a book rather than reading. I woke up two hours later, listening to the book.

Lately I put the earbuds in and start a good audio before I turn out the lights. I’ve discovered that I drop off to sleep more quickly when I’m listening and, when I don’t drop off to sleep more quickly, I’m learning or being entertained as I wait for sleep to infiltrate my senses. It’s a win-win situation.

Here’s what I’ve learned about easing into sleep hooked to my iPod.

  • Listen to relaxing audio, whether music or spoken word. I don’t listen to music that is fast or hot (Hendrix) — I listen to music that is smooth and soothing (Pat Metheny). For the spoken word, I don’t listen to dramatic, high energy audio (Mad Money by Jim Cramer), but instead I listen to voices that are conveying meaningful information without being loud and emotional (Eckhart Tolle is a good example).
  • Set the volume low.
  • Lock your iPod (disable the controls) so that the volume and/or selections won’t change if you roll over on the iPod while sleeping.
  • Make a selection that is 15 – 60 minutes long. I’ve awaked at 3am with U2’s Vertigo blasting in my earbuds, because the music I had selected had ended but I hadn’t limited my selection.
  • When I wake up with the earbuds in, I pull them out and stuff the iPod and the earbuds under my pillow. This the quickest way to get everything out of the way and not disturb others (spouses, pets, etc.).
  • If you sleep with cats (I do), you have to make sure your earbuds are under the pillow. (Look at this link to see why: Punctured Earbud).

Often I often don’t remember much about the spoken word audio that I was listening to, but I like to think that I absorb some of it while I’m asleep.

Please leave a comment if you listen to audio on a portable device while falling asleep — share your experiences.

Green Marketing via Seth

Marketing whiz Seth Godin describes how to leverage the competitive spirit of American drivers to improve gas mileage. (I think he’s a closet Green-Neck.)

Link: Seth’s Blog: [More] or (Less)

…require all new cars to have, right next to the speedometer, a mileage meter. And put the same number on an LCD display on the rear bumper. Once there’s an arms race to see who can have the highest number, we’re on the right track.

Secret Yellowstone on National Geographic Channel

Yellowstone National Park is one of the most amazing places I’ve ever seen. I’ve been there many times and each trip always brings new revelations. (Here are some links to photos I took the last time we were there: Slough Creek Whitewater, Buffalo Fights for Survival in Yellowstone.)

Ann and I watched Secret Yellowstone on National Geographic Channel last night. The introduction had the kind of hype that is used to sell products on late-night infomercials. We were prepared for a superficial "scare the tourist" video and we were pleasantly surprised by the high quality of the content and special effects.

In this video, National Geographic went deep inside the 2 million acre national park to reveal the backcountry wilderness few have seen. They showed a few of the 300 newly discovered waterfalls, some of them stunningly scenic. They focused on the impact of how wolves, back after five decades of absence from Yellowstone, are helping restore the balance in the ecosystem alongside the grizzly bear and bison. The big "secret" is the geology of Yellowstone — the giant well of molten lava underneath the beautiful park. If you like Yellowstone,I highly recommend this show. I hope to hike to some of the newly discovered waterfalls the next time I’m there.

Here’s the introduction from YouTube.