The current "Ask a ScienceBlogger" opens a big can of worms:
I heard that within 15 years, global warming will have made Napa County too hot to grow good wine grapes. Is that true? What other changes are we going to see during our lifetimes because of global warming?
I waited until the last minute on this one, because the more I thought about it, the broader my answer became. So, where to begin?
For want of a nail, the kingdom was lost...
Does a little grape relate to the changes of an entire planetary ecosystem? Of course. Slight changes in temperature will affect the producers, before it begins to hurt the consumers. This is true for growers in the Napa Valley, and wine drinkers around the world, but it is also true for any plants and the animals that eat them. The effects trickle down (like those occurring in Rocky Mountain National Park.)
Now, what other changes are we going to see? Oh boy. Here come the worms. I keep saying it; everything will change. Some changes will be less subtle than others, of course. Some may come out of left field and shock us all. It's already happening. I dug up a few examples, mostly centered around Colorado, that have been in the news lately:
My scibling, Abel Pharmboy, already discussed the fate of Colorado's ski industry. (Read: the end of skiing in Colorado.) What he didn't mention are the dangers that many of Colorado's other attractions face.
Mesa Verde, along with other national parks in the West, is likely to be one of the hardest hit areas. Thanks to soaring temperatures, pine beetle infestations, and other natural effects, the park could soon be a rather unpleasant place to visit.
We might as well kiss our farmer's markets and lush farmlands goodbye, too. Of course, this isn't just global warming. Urbanization and water rights issues sit right alongside Global Warming and drought when it comes to laying down the blame. It's ok... we don't mind driving to Kansas for fresh produce, right? Oh, wait, that's right, we can't afford the gas. We may have to wait until we can drive the old biodiesel car out there.
The state's trees are in for a blow, as well. Anyone who's driven through the Rockies recently has seen the devastation caused by the pine beetles, which seem to adapt well to the changing climate. While the pine trees suffer, the famous aspens face dangers of their own. An aspen grove is actually one organism; a group of clones (the trees) connected by a vast root system, often stretching for many miles. Unfortunately, some of these beautiful organisms aren't doing so well, and local ecologists don't really know why.
The biggest thing to note is that while change will inevitably occur, it may be difficult to blame Global Warming, exactly. An article in last week's LA Times discussed the complexity behind the blistering heat waves in California. Others, like the scientists looking at the situation in Mesa Verde, have no trouble laying the blame on old G. W. (That's Global Warming, although I think some blame another "G. W.") There are many other variables in this system--and we are responsible for most of them.
Some are already taking on some of that responsibility:
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and British Prime Minister Tony Blair signed an agreement on Monday to work together to curb greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean-burning fuels and collaborate on research to fight global warming.
Blair and Schwarzenegger announced the agreement at a meeting at the Port of Long Beach with prominent California and European business leaders on climate issues.
"California will not wait for our federal government to take strong action on global warming," said Schwarzenegger in a statement. "International partnerships are needed in the fight against global warming, and California has a responsibility and a profound role to play to protect not only our environment, but to be a world leader on this issue as well."
At the meeting, Blair called global warming "long term, the single biggest issue we face." (via the LA Times)
So, what do Colorado's gubernatorial candidates have planned? We don't really know. A debate on energy policy is in the works, but Republican congressman Bob Beauprez can't seem to find the time. Maybe he didn't get the "biggest issue we face" memo.
At this point, it doesn't matter what man does- or does not do. It's like rearranging the furniture on the Titanic.Book of Rev.says:God will bring to ruin those ruining the earth---at Armagheddon.God will not allow man to thwart His plans to have the whole earth a paradise, as was His original, stated, purpose. It will happen! In the meantime, search for God, while He may be found--become His friend, and be aa survivor of the fast-approaching end of man's rule.
We need a proposal for internships progress. Because we can't receive so many students for that. Maybe we will make a selection for that.
Thanks for the comment Steve. I actually wrote in a comment here a few weeks ago asking what was happening with this blog after the announcement that O'Reilly was dropping the Digital Media division. It's really refreshing to get an honest comment on what's happening. I really hope the blog picks up again.