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Harold Nonken Headshot

Boiling It Down: Global Warming

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I've been out of town for the past two weeks. On my return, I have learned about this big deal called global warming. At this moment, outside my office it's nighttime, and the temperature is about 16 degrees Fahrenheit. That's cold. So, in the last thirty minutes, I researched this global warming stuff. Looking outside, it is dark, so somebody must have turned off the sun. If the sun is turned off, it seems that nothing will get warm.

But my research has revealed more truths. The problem is not the sun. The problem is that we make stuff. People have made stuff for (A) thousands, (B) tens of thousands, (C) hundreds of thousands, (D) millions of years. (Choose one; it doesn't really matter.) In the past couple of centuries, people invented machines to replace human labor. People used to do everything with their hands and feet, helped, of course, by other animals such as horses, camels, oxen and the like. Those animals were slaves to the humans who used them.

Then along came human inventions we call machines. They do the hard stuff, replacing the animals. These machines are a boon to humankind, and we call these inventions "labor saving." I don't know about you, but I would rather have a machine to help me get to New York City. I don't want to walk. My horse would not enjoy the trip. So nowadays, I can sit in a flying machine or in an automobile, and let those machines work for me.

Alas, there is a price to pay for these modern conveniences. The engine that powers things like cars and planes requires fuel. When burned, that fuel provides the power to make it go. The residue of that spent fuel stays in the air. The more people, the more stuff produced. The more stuff produced, the more energy needed and expended. The more energy expended the more residues left in the atmosphere.

The entire atmosphere of this world is getting increasingly polluted. If you go up, my guess is that the oxygen layer starts to thin out at 5,000 feet, and, at 26,000 feet, it is almost gone. All of our energy waste is locked up there, and that appears to be affecting our climate.

How is such pollution stopped? You can invent new devices to leave fewer residues. And you can pass a flock of laws to stop pollution.

But who pays for it? We all benefit from labor saving machines. I will not walk to New York; my shoes are not made for that kind of walking. An option might be for folks to live on the sun... but only at night.

If there will be wide scale global warming, then we shall be toast. The discourse will be increasingly heated. Folks will get hot and bothered.