Monday, April 19, 2010

Czar Of Explaining Basic Scientific Principles To Mrs. Hillbilly Mom

Did you know...

*The most commonly-used password is 123456?

*The world record-holder for the longest ear hair is named Radhakant Baijpai, and his auditory tresses stretch the light fantastic at nearly 10 inches?

*You could grow enough food hydroponically on the rooftops of New York City to feed its entire population of 8.3 million people?

*That Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is reaching for a subject to blog about this evening?

Now before everybody panics and shouts, "My password has been published on the innernets!!!" and then runs to the mirror to check for sprouting, out-of-control, Chia-Pet-like ear coifs, and starts researching real estate in The Big Apple...take a deep breath. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom broke out the Earth Day edition of Scholastic Science World this afternoon. You know, mainly for the article on global warming, so her classroom wouldn't feel so cold to some people.

I am no Einstein, but I am having trouble with a couple of tenets of this global warming scenario.

First of all, if the polar icecaps are melting, how does that raise the level of the oceans? When my Sonic Diet Coke with lime sets too long, and those fantastic little ice pellets melt, it does not raise the level of the soda. Ice, you see, is not as dense as liquid. Water expands when it freezes. And contracts when it melts. So the level of the seas should not be rising simply due to ice melting.

Secondly, along that vein, this Science World informs us that Lake Chad has shrunk 95% since 1963. OK. If Lake Chad has been evaporating because of the global warming, wouldn't the oceans also be evaporating? Not getting deeper? That water is going somewhere. There's this newfangled concept called the Water Cycle. Water evaporates, then falls as precipitation. Or animals (people are animals, too) drink it and pee it out, or exhale it as water vapor. Evaporation and condensation will balance. It's a cycle, for cryin' out loud!

Perhaps mankind's raping of the earth has caused more runoff. Water can not percolate down through the soil and rock into the aquifers, but is instead given the bum's rush straight to the creeks and streams and rivers and flung willy-nilly into the oceans. Perhaps that is what is making sea level rise at the rate of .04 inches per year. Or maybe man is filling up the ocean with trash and nonbiodegradable garbage that raises the water level.

One of my students declared that global warming is causing the glaciers to melt, and this water running off into the ocean is what makes the sea level rise. I will give her credit for thinking outside the box, even if she DID use a red pen on a test two years ago.

Here's the thing. I asked it right out loud. Haven't glaciers been melting since the end of the Ice Age? Seriously. There were no people pumping out sulfur dioxide with their factories back then, or cruising around the globe in their Tin Lizzies belching out carbon monoxide. Or squelching their armpit stench, ratting up their hair and affixing it like a helmet, or cooling their cold cuts with chlorofluorocarbons. History not being my strong suit, I asked my students what decade the industrial revolution kicked off. Heck, I would have been satisfied with which century. Alas, they were as ignorant as I, and having no projector to project my internet research, I declined to sit down with my back to the class and look it up on my laptop. I'm guessing the mid-1800s.

My point is...the climate has been warming since the Ice Age. Sure, there are fluctuations over 20-30 year periods due to solar activity. But you don't hear of NEW glaciers forming after the Ice Age. They have been melting for quite some time now. I call shenanigans, and request a simplified explanation to my questions. We can't all be unemployed rocket scientists, you know. We need a Czar of Explaining Basic Scientific Principles to Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. Because I'm losing something in the translation.

I'm not takin' the rap for global warming.

1 comment:

Stewed Hamm said...

With all the shenanigans that have been proffered to the world as actual research, I wouldn't trust those climate sciency-tists to tell me if it's day or night. But, you know, the science is settled - or at least that's what The Goreacle keeps telling us.

Word Verification puts in its 2 cents: whedumb.