Enough With All This Bad Mouthing Of The Greenhouse Effect
Lets give some good press to the bad press of gloabl warming.
On a slightly chilly, autumn afternoon, you may find yourself being grateful for the greenhouse effect and the fact that large scale industrial pollution is putting tons of more and more CO2 into the atmosphere every day to trap in extra sunlight. Why is that? If you’re smart enough to have left your car sit outside during the day with the windows rolled up; when you get inside you will find that its nice and toasty warm. Refreshing! Careful, don't touch the steering wheel just yet!
The experience is almost like being wrapped up in a cozy, sun-kissed blanket, provided by Rush Limbaugh for all his humanitarian work disputing the facts of global warming. Oh wait, that’s right, Limbaugh and his nutty entourage don’t actually believe global warming is really happening, so we can’t thank him for this. (Though he probably drives around in an old tricked out Cadillac town car from the 1970s to put more than his fair share of pollutants into the air anyway).
Are there any other really neat, fantastic things we can look forward to as the planet continues to heat up from all those excess greenhouse gasses we are pumping into the atmosphere? Let’s take a look.
One that comes to my mind is sea level rise as the polar regions of ice melt, causing widespread flooding. Flooding is a good side-effect of global warming to look at because about 50% of the Earth’s population lives within close proximity to a shoreline now. This could be a real great boon to you if you are one of these types of people.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the US estimates that more than half the American population lives within range of a shoreline and that this will be 60% of US homes and businesses by the year 2015. On a worldwide scale, over 3.5 billion people live within 100 miles of a shoreline. Within another 30 years that is expected to jump to 75% of the world’s population.
Now if you’ve ever booked a “ocean view” hotel room in Florida or Hawaii for a vacation at bargain rates, you know that just a few hundred feet alone, (not to mention 100 miles), can make a lot of difference in what ocean view really means. When that high rise in front of you is blocking your ability to see spring-break-bikini-clad-tourists with your high powered binoculars from your twentieth floor window, you have to wonder when global warming is going to fix this extreme annoyance for you, don't you? It's a serious problem, the blocked view.
Never fear! As the process of heating up our planet progresses and more and more greenhouse gasses are pumped into the air, that ocean shoreline is going to come to a fresh new beach near you sooner than you think. This will also make it much easier for you to do a handy spot of fishing now and then, without having to cross all those pesky freeways in flip flops that they put near the shore these days. Once the freeway is under water, who is going to drive on it after all? Maybe Arnold Swarzenegger will in his fancy Hummer with the built-in drainage holes for crossing water, but who else?
Ice is melting in the Antarctic and Greenland regions at such a record rate that a recent report by Norwegian and British scientists claimed that the melting is unprecedented in the last 1,500 years of normal ice fluctuation patterns. They described it as a “huge dramatic change in the system.” Pretty big fightin words there, for those laid back scientific types!
The melting of the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet will raise sea levels by a projected 16 feet alone they tell us. This was originally projected to be a process that might take centuries to occur, but now it seems to be happening at a much more rapid rate. So we don’t have to wait so long for our homes to become ocean front property after all.
Sixteen feet of sea-level rise is probably still a dream we can’t hope for in our lifetimes however. But if we are diligent about pumping as many greenhouse gas chemicals as we can into the air, scientists say we can expect perhaps a three foot level rise in the near future.
This would make some major US cities into their own island nations, such as downtown Miami, New York, Boston, Washington D.C., San Francisco and Philadelphia. Break out the bathing suits and fishing poles! Other cities internationally that would also benefit from becoming up front and personal coastal property include Tokyo and Osaka in Japan and Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
They say we could prevent such a travesty in the US by building a seawall around each city. Another option being considered is to include all the barrier islands we claim off the East coast and build a seawall along the entire eastern border of the country that would run for 3,500 miles from the New York City region all the way down to Mexico. (Not into Mexico though, let them solve their own flooding problems, right?)
Where’s the fun in building seawalls, you may be thinking? Well, there isn't any. Its hard work and it probably doesn't pay well. After all, do we really want to keep all that delicious, salty tasting ocean water out and wall ourselves in? Why not let the beach come to us? Global warming is fun and exciting, and I for one can’t wait until we have more island states to fly to for vacation instead of just Hawaii. Plus, I bet my car will be even toastier on cool autumn afternoons. Can’t argue with that.