Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fire in the Sky

Happy Earth Day! I did not do anything noteworthy to celebrate today, other than driving my car around needlessly and flushing the toilet a lot. I did see an interesting story in the news this evening regarding the Sun emitting less heat than previously recorded. Satellites have confirmed that there has been a recent lull in solar flares in recent years. I did take Introductory Astronomy in my freshman year at University, but I was unaware that solar flares operate cyclically. When I first saw this story break, my initial reaction was that it was going to be used to explain why global warming has stopped despite Co2 levels continuously rising. Anyone who experienced this past winter in the Northern Hemisphere knows what I'm talking about. In Vancouver, spring came 3 weeks late this year (thus trees are cranking out pollen at an accelerated rate, and my allergies are going bananas). Lest we forget that Al Gore won a Nobel Prize convincing us that there was a direct linear relationship between Co2 in the atmosphere and temperature, where global average temperature has not increased since 1998.

Who could have guessed that there exists a relationship between temperature on the Earth and the amount of "cosmic magma" that our great ball of fire in the sky shoots in our direction? The Sun fires star-matter at us and it gets hot, it stops and it gets cold. Fantastic, where's my Nobel Prize? Am I suggesting that the Global Warming movement has been debunked, and anyone who advocates their position is misguided? No. What I am saying is that the debate is not over. We need healthy skepticism on both sides of the aisle to discuss healthy and constructive solutions to real problems.

For example, I would like to stop buying oil from the Middle East and Russia. Venezuela, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and other mischievous potentially destructive regimes are almost solely dependent on oil exports to fund their governments. I would like to cut off their source of money. In order to break the dependence on crude oil, we need an alternative source of energy. In the near term, that has to be electricity. However, if we want to put an electric car in every driveway, we need to dramatically increase our capacity to produce electricity. If the demand for electricity grows exponentially faster than our ability to produce it, the price of it will go through the roof. I support an "all of the above" strategy on electricity. More nuclear, more wind turbines, more solar panels, more everything. As it stands, Canada benefits greatly from the sale of oil, but we also have a lot of uranium. Pound for pound, exploding atoms are the most efficient means of producing energy that we currently can produce. Let’s produce more. That concludes what I have to say on Earth Day…


  1. I hope the scientists are right that the sun will continue to provide heat and light for millions of years. If not, it will be a cold day in outer space for all the earth's living creatures. The inanimate objects will not notice.

  2. I also did a lot of driving.I never thought of the toilet flush thing.Sorry to hear about your banana allergies.