Sunday, January 10, 2010

Extreme


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Today's Sunday Scribbling prompt is Extreme, some thing I know a lot about right now!
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As extreme weather goes, the extreme weather in the UK in the past few months has been extremely extreme!


We were warned that the climate was changing. We got a collective slap on the wrist for flying in planes, using old cars and striking a match. We were told that it was out fault the world was heating up. As a result sea levels would rise, and in the near future the shape of the UK would change as the oceans marched landward. In the future the only way to visit some of our favourite seaside resorts would be by submarine – a fuel efficient submarine that is.


And why would the sea rise? It seems that the polar ice sheets and the icebergs will melt creating more sea water. I had a theory but apparently it doesn’t hold up. Consider this. An iceberg sits nine tenths below the surface of the sea, and ice has more volume than the water it produces when it melts. Surely, if it melts it simply fills up the hole left in the water when it melted! Same with the ice sheets. But what do I know?! I do know however that the sea has been rising at 1.8 mm each year for the last 100 years or so, and that’s not changed despite Wikipedia’s claim to the contrary.


Where were we? Oh yes. We were told that we would experience a slow but sure rise in air temperatures, year on year on year. Soon our (new) beaches would be lined by coconut palms, and rabbits would be replaced by hippopotamuses (or is that hyppopotamusi?)


Last summer was a write off. Apart from on a few odd days, the idea of having a barbeque in the garden was joke. Summer simply didn’t happen. And before we knew it, it was winter. What ever happened to the long hot summers of my childhood?

In recent weeks we have been in the grip of the coldest spell for over thirty years. The country has been brought to a standstill by snow, the amount of which hasn’t been seen for decades. Trains and planes stopped (yippee, less emmitions!) We are about to run out of salt with which to treat the roads. There are claims that within weeks we will run out of gas with which to heat our homes. One newspaper today predicted 60,000 deaths due to the big freeze.


Right now I bet you are tut-tutting at me and telling yourself ‘he doesn’t understand’. On the other hand you may be nodding in agreement with my suggestion that the experts aren’t making an aweful lot sense! Some people think that the whole global warming thing is a deliberate attempt at changing the way we live in order to suit big business and politics. Who knows?


I love a good conspiracy theory. Did man land on the moon? I have my doubts. Did the Titanic sink? Almost certainly not, more likely it was its sister ship the Olympic which was the subject of a failed insurance claim at the time. Did you know that Elvis faked his own death and the plays supposedly written by Shakespeare where actually the work of Francis Bacon?


I admit that I’ve written all of the above with my tongue stuck firmly in my cheek! Is global warming a fact? Probably. Is the extreme weather the result of global warming.? Just possibly. I simply don’t know, but I need to be convinced.

19 comments:

  1. I keep joking that it's so cold now because the melting ice caps have caused a rise in temperature.

    (Okay, so I'm not particularly funny.)

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  2. All I know is that the extreme heat we have been having every summer reminds me of my childhood, as did the snow of the past two years.... so far no snow here, but winters not over! I'm as stumped as you!! Great post by the way!!

    Hugs Giggles

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  3. I reckon you're right about icebergs, but what about the land-based glaciers that are disappearing...?

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  4. Phew, I think I NEED a pint now Keith, I think these things are cyclical and that we're heading for another ice age, of course down under they're having a heatwave right now.But they're further from the south pole than we are from the north pole although, we're a little further away from the icebergs than we were this time last year. Look what you've started...

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  5. Keith! I saw Elvis just yesterday in one of our local diners. We talked for a bit. Man that old guy loves to chat. He was pretty old and bent and the guitar he was carrying had seen better days but it was nice to see that the old man was still kicking.

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  6. Gonna stoke up the BBQ, wanna join us.......?

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  7. I'm with Patois - if they call it global warming then why is so freaking COLD?? I don't understand it at all but I understand enough to pray folks will have enough gas to heat their homes. Keep warm Keith!

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  8. I know I should add a joke or two tothis discussion, but it too damned important that we believe in global warming NOW. The predictions are not that you, wherever you are, will get hotter or colder, but that there will be climate changes and that heat-related spells like the week that 30,000 people died in France will be increasingly common, as will extreme cold winters in some areas, as well as more frequent and severe hurricanes, floods rtc. And the reason to act on it right now, whether you believe in it or not, is that we are at or near a tipping point at which mankind can do nothing about it and the earth will transform itself into a dead planet much like Venus with its fiery surface.

    Sorry to get serious among the levity. And keep warm, Keith!

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  9. Don't know what is fact, fiction or supposition ... just know that, "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."

    xx,
    JP/deb

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  10. I will have to agree with you...it is very confusing! But here is what I tell people when they say the need to believe or not believe is a matter of life or death. It doesn't matter what you believe...the simple fact is we need to quit using the earth as a giant garbage dump. I don't really care if Hell Freezes Over...I just don't want it covered with plastic bottles and oil scum!

    Good post Keith. It got our attention.

    b

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  11. It's feasible and plausible Keith. The more the ozone widens the more exposure to atmospheric conditions the earth should never have experienced in the first place.

    then again, it could be the effect of man causing so much pollution the carbon-monoxide heavier than air sits stagnant ever collecting. This lends itself to many cause and effect theories proven and still lingering.

    I however don't know what I'm talking about and will say, I love your hypothesis of the hippotamoose.

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  12. one thing's a fact. weather patterns are changing. is it because of global warming? that i don't know either...

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  13. We're abnormally cold here, too, but I have to thank Granny Smith for articulating the case so well, now I don't have to. :)

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  14. I am not an expert but I have a friend who is into this stuff. You are right about the ice that doesn't make much difference but when the water warms up above I thought 4 degrees than it expands and that's why it rises. It's not one winter that makes a climate change but they look at the rise over long periods and it has been seen that the rise in the last 100/
    150 years has been a lot bigger (although in our eyes stil small) than ever before.
    so don't worry you won't stay in the cold forever and will warm up soon. Maybe this summer you can grow palm trees overthere

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  15. On the subject of environmental issues, I stood over my dustbin yesterday pondering. I'd thrown the plastic bacon container in there after checking to see if it could be recycled (it couldn't!). One little bacon container from one person x population of bacon eaters.... where does it all go? How can we expect to keep producing all this rubbish. Do you think they take it up to the moon?

    Nice post Keith. The more I read about global warming the more confused I get. What I do know is that what we're doing to our planet can't be healthy and for whatever reason we should start respecting it a whole lot more.

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  16. I must admit I am a greenie but I have doubts about the global warming story too. One point being everything that we have,use and make comes from the earth originally and has been here from the beginning of time, (including the water in those icebergs) but.... we are the ones who make the mess so we need to clean up.
    Did you know that Elvis had his 75th birthday party at Parkes in N.S.W. last weekend, clones were everywhere.They have a train full of them come from Sydney to invade the town each year to commemorate him. Dressed up and singing all the way. Funny.

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  17. I wish not approve on it. I over nice post. Particularly the designation attracted me to study the unscathed story.

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  18. weather unpredicatability is driving my hormones crazy!

    I am sorry for the late arrival to Sunday Scribblings but I had to pay you a visit :)

    Happy SS

    Extreme 'Caution'

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  19. My husband is fast getting into the alternative energy industry, so this is a topic that is regularly discussed at our table.
    As a Brit in NY< I can only look at the weather back home with amazement! We're still waiting for a real snow storm here, but I'm amongst the minority that want it.

    Very enjoyable piece Keith, I always like what I read here. My Sunday Scribbling is up- using last week's prompt of 'extreme'...I was too impatient to wait for the next one! I ahve moved by the way, I am no longer Bella Mocha...but you can find me here:
    http://bellasis.wordpress.com/2010/01/16/sunday-scribblings-no-197-extreme/

    I hope you'll stop by!
    Bella :)

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