The hype over the global "climate crisis" is almost entertaining to watch... I was on www.carbonfootprint.com today and I found a section on "global dimming." According to that web site:
"It's now established that when particulate material (e.g. soot and carbon products), generated from vehicle exhausts, aircraft and industry, enters the atmosphere, then less light reaches the ground - this is known as 'Global Dimming.'
"Since the 1950s, sunlight reaching the Earth has significantly reduced. In Israel, where the first measurements were taken, sunlight intensity has reduced by some 22% and in the UK it has reduced by about 10%.
"Why is this important? Global dimming causes a drop in temperature around the world that can upset established climates - altering season length and characteristics, and change the Earth's monsoon patterns. Scientists believe that global dimming was a key cause of the Ethiopian droughts back in the 1980s.
"Does Global Dimming counteract Global Warming? Global Dimming can, and actually has, slowed the effects of Global Warming. However, the Earth's population is now doing something about the amount of carbon particulates being released into the atmosphere, by fitting catalytic converters to cars and reducing emissions from power stations, etc. Many scientists now believe that the rate of global warming has been significantly underestimated because of global dimming, and global warming will accelerate giving us even less time than originally thought to take action."
So let me see if I understand this right. Global warming was being counteracted by global dimming until we started to try and correct our emissions -- and then by our NOT putting as much pollution into the air we accelerated global warming? Of course, the solution to the "crisis" according to this particular web site is that we are all supposed to go back to an early 1800s lifestyle and purchase offsets from them as well.
Why do I make that nasty remark about the early 1800s lifestyle? Well... in calculating my "secondary carbon footprint," I came across questions such as:
I am a vegetarian
I eat mainly fish
I eat mainly white meat
I eat a mix of white and red meat
I eat red meat every day
I only buy organic food
Some of the food I buy is organic
I never buy organic, or I don't know what I buy
In season food:
I only buy in season food
I try to buy some in season food
I don't try to buy in season food
Imported food and goods:
I only buy local
I mostly buy local
I prefer to buy closer to home
I don't notice where things come from
I only buy second hand clothes
I buy new clothes when I need them
I regularly shop to have the latest fashions
Furniture and electricals:
I only buy second hand furniture and appliances
I mostly buy new but generally keep things for more than five years
I like to have the latest technology and latest home fashion
I only do zero carbon activities (e.g., walk and cycle)
I occasionally go out to places like the movies, bars or restaurants
I often go to movies, bars or restaurants
I enjoy carbon intensive activities (e.g., quad biking, sky diving and flying)
I don't own a car
I own one car
I own two cars
I own three cars
...and on up to ten cars
Finance and other services:
I don't even have a bank account
I use the standard range of financial services
So, apparently, it's not even green to have your money in the bank anymore. No... probably much better to just give it all to Carbon Footprint! So maybe I was generous when I said they would allow us an early 1800s lifestyle. I mean, I'm pretty sure there were banks around even then!
This same web site encourages us to catch our rainwater and home treat it so that we can "save on water." Does this actually make sense? If we catch it and use it, we're taking it from sinking into the earth... how is this actually saving any water? And why do we really need to save it? I think I'm getting very confused... Not that I have a big problem with having a rain barrel outside my door. I think it might be a handy place to cool off my kids when they're fighting.
Also, I have to be a vegetarian. I have to only buy local, organic food in its season. I always have to wear hand-me-downs. So do my children. So does my husband. Somebody else always has to have used my furniture before me. All my recreational activities have to be carbon free. No electricity, no going out. Walks, bike rides, and reading only, please. I can't own a car. I can't use financial services. Hey... wait a second!! I don't have to live in the 1800s! I just have to be a hippie!! I'm surprised there's not a "no shaving" rule...