Friday, May 09, 2008

A Down to Earth Guide to Global Warming

Ever since I watched Al Gore’s video on Global Warming, this somehow got drilled into my head biggrin

And now, I do not know how this book fell into my hands!

Anyway, this book is exactly what it’s title says, so no further explanation is needed. But I learned a few amazing things – more really, a lot of tidbits that were truly eye opening.

* The book was created with 100% recycled paper, except the title pages. For some reason, I noticed that all recycled books were unable to use recycled paper for the title pages. The answer is there in this book itself. Title pages are thicker than the rest, and recycled paper will never be able to produce that. For that, wood pulp has to be added during preparation. Now, our grocery paper bags are thick…(think about the quantity of bags in circulation!). The ink used in this book is also soy ink!

* (not from the book) Archies (yes, the comic digest) switched to recycled paper several years ago! Again, except the title pages…

* I noticed that the contents from the book are startlingly similar to what was on “An Inconvenient Truth”. Yes, one of the authors of the book is a producer of the video as well.

Some interesting (and startling) facts from the book:

a. One tree can absorb the amount of CO2 generated by a car that has travelled 4000 miles

b. Global warming causes erratic climate changes all over the place. The climate distribution becomes absolutely skewed

c. Grass root changes (just examples). The book asks, “Is it right for humans to interfere with nature so much?”

  • i. Yellowstone national park bears are starving, because the trees are being infested by beetles. The beetles are thriving because of the increase in temperature (just slightly, but makes a difference)
  • ii. A very thin skinned frog (golden toad) in Central America (Costa Rica) was last seen in 1989. It is practically extinct, though one or two (or a few may still be around). Again, the temperature required for it’s survival was just right earlier which is not suitable now
  • iii. The red squirrel in Arizona – the count is now about 100

d. Polar Bears – I wanted to write this separately because we are insulting such a majestic creature:

  • i. Over the years, the count has dwindled from 22,000 to 7500
  • ii. Imagine a polar bear drowning! With ice paddles melting away, many polar bears have drowned out of sheer exhaustion!
  • iii. In Canada, polar bears were spotted rummaging through garbage cans searching for food sad
  • iv. The book also carried a picture of a dead polar bear in the snow, that couldn’t make it because of starvation

e. Other entities that are truly threatened: Penguins, Walruses, Blue Whales (the largest living organism on the planet today), Coral Reefs, (we don’t know this yet) Humans! evil

f. If 90% of Greenland melts, the predicted sea level increase is 60+ feet, which means that the world map will have to be redrawn!

What we can do?

a. Start by reading this book – it is pictorial and an easy read. I am not an ambassador for this book – the contents just make plain sense! It anyway lists ways by which we can contribute

b. - this site will do a good job scaring us biggrin

  • i. Greenland melting twice as fast that originally believed
  • ii. Surge in fatal shark attacks attributed to global warming – lol. With this situation, I think anything is possible

“Interesting” times ahead!

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