Ralph Higgins

Ralph Higgins
color pencil sketch by Gayle Higgins

Quotes I Like

"If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools."

– Plato


Monday, May 13, 2013

Global Warming VS Environmental Pollution

     My last post dealt with the idea of “consensus” and the fact that many times consensus is mistaken for absolute truth.  That does not mean that a general consensus is always wrong – it just means that a consensus is not always right. 

            There is a general consensus that gravity keeps us from floating off into space.  That’s true.  Prior to Galileo the consensus that the earth was the center of the universe was not true.  My point is that science itself is in a constant state of flux and it behooves us to use discretion in trusting consensus, whether in science, politics, or social issues.

            I received an email from a college buddy who brought up some good points on my previous post regarding global warming. Based on his email, I need to clarify my position, because there may be some confusion.

            In my mind, these are really two topics.  Climate change on a global level is one.  Pollution and the destruction of our environment is another subject.  Personally, I don’t believe in man-made global warming.  I believe that more powerful forces than man have caused changes alternating between cooling and warming since the beginning of time on our planet.  The sun, for example, is a major factor, with its solar flares, sunspots, and powerful magnetic fields. Greater forces impact our globe than my outdoor barbeque.

            On the other hand, I do believe we are desecrating our land and polluting our air and water, which I find inexcusable.  This is an issue that angers me greatly.  I’m 100% environmentalist on this subject.  But this is not the same as nature’s impact on our planet.

            I remember distinctly the 1951 documentary about the Norwegian explorer who built a raft called the “Kon-Tiki” in 1947 and sailed for over 100 days across the Pacific Ocean.  He said that not a single day went by that he didn’t encounter trash floating in the water.  I was a kid in ‘51, but it left an impression on me that still bothers me today.

            More recently scientists have discovered a floating island of trash in the Pacific Ocean somewhere in size between Texas and the entire continental United States. That’s huge. This is evidently where several ocean currents converge, trapping plastic and other junk that doesn’t biodegrade.  The smaller particles obviously affect sea life and work their way through the food chain.  That’s mind-boggling to me and it spotlights human ignorance.

            In an old comic strip by Walt Kelly, “Pogo” said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

            I remember waiting on a pier in Costa Rica for a fishing guide, who was late in picking us up for a fishing trip.  I was traveling with my good friend Glen Dennee to look at some Costa Rican property, but we took time out for fishing.  I lack patience and tend to be impulsive.  I dove in the water for a swim while we waited.  I swam under a pier and happened to look up and see a series of round holes in the pier above me.  These turned out to be primitive toilets.  After a short swim, I dried off, caught the boat, but sadly caught no fish.

            Later Glen and I met with some Americans living in Costa Rica and we were told that we should avoid the water in a that particular bay, because it was one of the most polluted in the world, with sewage, medical waste, and anything else you can imagine.  The warning included the statement that contact with the water normally results in death within six months.  Glen and I looked at each other without saying a word.  I obviously survived, but there’s no excuse for that kind of environmental stupidity.  The U. S. has some of the toughest environmental regulations in the world, but look at third world countries and industries in places like China, Korea, et al. 

            Personally, I believe that the things we are doing to the environment are killing us with cancer and other diseases.  But when we talk about “global climate change,” I see that as a different issue.  We can do things to clean up our environment, but we can’t compete with volcanoes, solar activity, and other natural forces to control the climate on our planet.

            Between Gayle, Dakota, and me, we have formed a consensus on this material.  Our cat has withheld her opinion, but we had a quorum.  


  1. Having never been to Costa Rica, I can safely assume I will be around long enough to understand this whole topic, someday.

    Cats often are in-decisive, as RK has often, without me asking, explained in painful detail!

    Now I know why they say "don't pee in the pool".

    1. Ed - It's good to know you finally understand the "pee in the pool" concept. I guess it's safe to go into the water now when you're in the pool.

  2. Ralph, couldn't have said it better. TOUCHE'

  3. Global warming affects our health as well as environment pollution. There are numerous down sides of worldwide heating up such as sea flow interruption that affects planet environment. In addition, it brings about increased sea degree which results to inundating regarding low-lying countries, and therefore demise as well as condition via ton in addition to evacuation. Climatic change additionally results in desertification.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Teresa.

      According to scientists, global warming actually decreased beginning in 1979.
      Russian scientists claim that we are heading into a less active solar cycle that could result in global cooling that may last 200 to 250 years.
      The chief weather forecaster at Weatherbell states that cooling began 4 years ago.

      It's important to realize that anthropogenic (man made) climate change is considered unsettled science. It's also important to note that the mass hysteria of global warming had economic and political components.

      For a scientific explanation please check out "The Unified Theory of Climate" by Drs. Ned Nikolov and Karl Zeller.

      Another good site for a scientific explanation can be found at http://www.middlebury.net/0p-ed/global-warming-01.htm1

      Note what I said in the article you refer to regarding "consensus." I hope you will check into this issue.