Sunday, November 22, 2009

Kolbert and her plea for Global Warming

Our discussions have gone along the lines of describing Kolbert's writing as very convoluted, as she goes on off on rants that add nothing to the discussion of Global warming. Another flaw in her writing is her lack of continuity. Most of the time she describes images created by the destruction of Global Warming, or the many journeys she goes on and the people she meets. In chapter 5, she decides to all of a sudden break out the science of it all on us. As much as it is helpful in describing the grid based observations in certain regions. To be honest, she almost seems to throw in the towel when she suggests that even we did start doing something about climate changes, the chances of us being in a situation of, "There's no going back," could still be a possibility.

In the film called the Global Warming Swindle, they make the suggestion that the earth is just going through a cycle, that we are just going through a warm period. During the Vikings era, the climate was exponentially higher than normal, and then there was a cooling period. At one point, recently, there was fear there would be a cooling period and that things would get too cold. So what gives? Kolbert makes the comparisons to civilizations before us, basically hurting her theory that global warming is man made. Again, lacking consistency.

In chapter 6, she goes back to the image based examples. She creates the image of amphibious houses due to the fact that the ocean levels are rising because of the expansion of the water when it does get warm. This again is not introducing anything new to the conversation. It is something that regular can people can visually see on a regular basis, and it is information that is constantly in the news. The only thing she adds that is new are odd comparisons to different images, which adds nothing to her argument. She is basically trying to entertain everyone.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Global warming and its happenings

Elizabeth Kolbert is fantastic at what she does. She is very passionate about what she is writing about and it can be seen in her work. It is what retains my attention and keeps me reading on. She is able to really set in the scenery as she goes from town to town, discussing how hunting is used for necessary purposes, and then describing how the melting glaciers effects the every day people as they look out from their homes. The different words used to describe the condition of the ice and how it is softening much sooner than normal..

She also introduces the topic of permafrost with Romanovsky. I was actually unaware that the shrinking of permafrost is what gives way to huge gaps in the ice. It is also interesting to note that the warming of permafrost is a good indicator that global warming has occurred because while the top layer of permaforst is supposed to be the coldest, it is warm while the middle is colder.

Albedo, which is the division of incident light and reflected light, is apparently a large cause of the Arctic circle warming very quickly. More specifically the ice-albedo which is the open water that is exposed when the snow melts. This to me, was a very interesting process that was explained, and that the open water transfers a lot of heat the goes into the ocean because of the process. Kolbert is able to make something that could be very complicated and simplify the process for many people's understanding.