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222 Global Warming Lecture 2010-04-30

stacks to a coal plant

Wednesday, I attended a lecture (or talk) on Global Warming and Climate Change given by Dr Mel Joesten, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at Vanderbilt University. The lecture explained in great detail how the rises in carbon dioxide and methane gasses are contributing to climate change.

The conclusion from the lecture was - yes, the world is warming and yes, the climate is changing. The solution to reverse the warming trend is to stop producing energy using fossil fuels. He went on to add that the earth’s oil supply would peak by the year 2015. He inferred that the forced decrease of fossil fuels alone might begin to reverse the warming trend. However, he warned that there is 200 years worth of untapped coal beneath America! The problem is that coal is the most polluting fuel, by far. If used to replace the waning supply of oil, coal would add catastrophically to global warming. Coal is not an energy solution.

So what are nonpolluting energy solutions? Clean energies, such as, solar, wind, hydroelectric, hydrogen, and nuclear are all ingredients to sustainable energy solutions. (He mentioned many more possible solutions that are still in the works, but some are not at the present efficient - they use more energy than they produce.) There is no one solution.

Dr Joesten also commented on the individual's responsibility to reduce and conserve. Using CFL bulbs, energy efficient appliances, and traveling less all help reduce our footprint.

The talk was excellent. There were few new ideas presented, but what was new to me were the mini-experiments showing the effects of increased levels of carbon dioxide and his overwhelming evidence given in charts, graphs, and statistics all leading to the conclusion that the world is warming at an alarming rate.

Sorry, Sen Inhofe and Rep Barton - it is not a conspiracy.

Happy clean trails.


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