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Showing posts from March, 2010

Government Based Upon Natural Law - (Part 11) - Global Warming

What is global warming, anyway?

It is the warming of the lower atmosphere over the entire Earth, averaged over a long period – at least a few decades. The Earth always warms in some areas and cools in others, even when no global warming or cooling is occurring. Thus it is important to realize that to say that global warming is occurring, it must be a warming of the entire Earth.

What are the causes of global warming or global cooling?

There are many factors that can cause the Earth to warm or cool, and it has done so throughout its history. From the amount of radiation given off by the Sun (which can vary) to volcanoes, to cloud cover, to eccentricities in Earth's rotation and orbit, many factors contribute to the Earth's temperature.

There are gasses called greenhouse gasses because they keep some of the Sun's energy from leaving the Earth. These can cause global warming. The main greenhouse gas is water vapor (the invisible water in the Earth's atmosphere). It has been e…

Government Based Upon Natural Law - (Part 9) - Environmental Policy

Rational Environmentalism Everyone wants clean air and water - who wants pollution?  The reality is that there will always be pollution, man-made or not.  Humans certainly pollute, but so do volcanoes and animals. What distinguishes rational environmentalism from the usual brand of environmentalism? When rational environmentalists make decisions with regard to the environment, they take into account all of the costs of that decision.  For example, we humans give off a lot of carbon dioxide when we burn fossil fuels (Carbon dioxide is a minor greenhouse gas, the major one being water vapor). I and others would like us to give off little or no CO2 from burning fossil fuels. Some environmentalists wish to implement a 'carbon tax' that would tax each ton of CO2 that our energy industries give off. But this is an irrational policy. Such a policy would have an insignificant effect on the amount of CO2 the world emits, but it would raise the price of energy, whi…