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As I fully expected when I understook the task of writing a scientific essay for America's most controversial Weblog, reaction to the first part of my controversial essay Global Warming: A Proactive Solution was strong and varied. Exactly as I predicted, Liberals and Conservatives were both harshly critical of the piece, with the Liberals ranting that the essay was far too Conservative and the Conservatives believing that the essay was a piece of Liberal propoganda. This proves quite clearly one of the first points I made in Part 1: that the fracturization of the political landscape into warring camps is ultimately counterproductive and leads otherwise rational people to behave as political demagogues enslaved to their particular Zeitgeist rather than acting together in unity with the rest of humanity to solve the serious problems facing the world here in the first year of the 21st century.
I was not expecting, though, to have to deal with the number of mail bombings, death threats, harassing messages over ICQ, and harassing phone calls that I received over the past 36 hours. I knew that many people would disagree with my message, but it was silly of me to believe that those people would have the capacity to react to something they disagree with in a way that's tactful, productive, or even legal.
In addition to those who were merely fearful of my message of unity, there were several self-proclaimed "scientists" and "intellectuals" who challenged my well-researched scientific facts. Although many of these people were deliberately posting misinformation in order to cause trouble (such as those posting fake definitions of "aerobic" and "anaerobic" with the words reversed), some wrote some genuine, although often misinformed, critiques of the work. I spent a great deal of time researching each of the objections that was raised to determine which of them had merit and which did not, and my first objective here in Part 2 is to deal with those objections one by one before I proceed to the plan itself.
6: RESPONSE TO CRITIQUE
A general note to all the scientific "elites" who hold themselves above other people: your college degree does not make you better than other people. It does not mean you corner the market on truth. Just as Adequacy's Building Your Dream PC (which was a VERY helpful article intended to cut through all the technobabble and elitism and geek clique-ness) prompted a mountain of responses from pseduo-intellectual "Information Technology Professionals" telling the author how absolutely wrong he was about every tiny detail, so the same happened with my article. The "intellectuals" grew jealous about someone trying to bring their "exclusive knowledge" to the masses. With DMG's article, he was trying to bring PC building (formerly an "only for us!" hobby among elitist geeks) to normal people who have a life in the outside world, while my attempts to bring some scientific knowledge to normal people with real jobs and real lives who don't wear pocket protectors and run Communist OS's. This prompted outraged response from the scientific elites who were threatened that the scientific establishment's stranglehold on science might be cast into doubt. It's time for the elitism in the world to be torn down bit by bit. And if I get a few details wrong here and there, or forget to explain that the third coefficient of Martin's Conjectural Gravitational Formula has no positive cubic root over the domain where energy output is inversely proportional to the negative cotangent of the displacement triangle, it's because I'm writing for normal people who don't need to know every detail, they just need to know what's going on.
I believe that once I present the details of my plan, everybody who insulted me for getting one or two chemical formulas wrong is going to be feeling a little bit bad for having insulted the guy who disproved the Global Warming threat.
I will go ahead and correct a few specific errors I made, and respond to some of the other accusations that were made against me. I know that I'm not perfect. I did make several minor errors in my original essay. Although there weren't nearly as many as some critics would have had you believe, I do regret the errors I made, and I'm going to provide retractions for them now.
Logical Facilities: It turns out that I was in error about these. They're not actually called "Logical Facilities", they're really called "Logical Fallacies," and they're bad things, rather than good things as I originally stated. This was due to a simple misunderstanding during my research. The font size on one web site I visited was too small, and I misread "fallacies" as "facilities" and "they are to be avoided" as "they are to be avowed."
And to the person who called me "a [L]ibertarian whose first-year-philosophy-class ideals blind him to the fact that global warming will have huge impacts on the global environment and economy," I'll have you know that I am not a Libertarian with first-year-philosophy-class ideals. I dropped my first-year philosophy class because it was dumb.
Phrenology: I appreciate the (mostly) polite and friendly e-mails I have received from representatives of The North American Phrenology Consortium in the wake of my essay being mentioned on their weblog. The Phrenologists were quite eloquent and erudite in defending their science, and I'd like to issue a formal apology for lumping Phrenology in with the other junk sciences on my list. Although I'm still not convinced of the scientific accuracy of Phrenology, I now realize that there's room for ambiguity and disagreement on the subject.
And regarding the e-mail from the gentleman who told me I have the cranial curvature of an Italian Mafia goon with passive-aggressive tendencies, latent paedophilia, and a possible abnormal fixation with Volvos-- wow, that stuff really does work!
Mirrors coated with Ozone: Well, according to several websites, I was right about this, but in the name of scientific accuracy, I found an old handmirror and cracked it with a brick. I couldn't find any evidence of Ozone. Maybe I was wrong, or maybe there are just different kinds of mirrors.
Newton's Laws vs the Laws of Thermodynamics: I feel really bad about this one, because I consider Thermodynamics to be one of my major areas of expertise. This was a very bad typographical error on my part.
"Dealing with Depression" in New Hampshire: Your e-mail brought a tear to my eye. No, it's not wrong of you to avoid dating so soon after your terrible loss. Your friends are doing you a great disservice by not respecting your wishes in the matter. I'd suggest you steer clear of those friends and get involved with like-minded social groups in your area. You can't take away the pain or hide from it, but seeking out new hobbies and companions in life can help you to heal. It's normal to not want to seek out a new romantic relationship after such a tragic loss of your beloved, and you shouldn't do anything that feels wrong. You have to give yourself time to mourn. That may take a week or it may take a decade. In matters of the heart, your heart is the only guide. If in the future you do strike up a new relationship similar to your old one, get the goat vaccinated for Rabies early on to prevent this tragedy from happening again.
Now, on to some of the other critiques I have received:
Nitrogen is the inert buffer gas in our atmosphere. Oxygen is about 20%, and CO2 is less than 1%This is why gaseous-state psychics is so complicated. When you say "how much" of a particular gas is in a mixture, there are several ways to measure that, and there are several complex factors involved. Different gasses have different densities, gas can compress into a very small volume or expand into a very large volume, etc. Depending on what measurement system you use, both the critic and I are correct. I should have made the ambiguity clear in my original article.
Nitrogen is used by every plant and animal on this planet. This should be obvious since it's a fertilizer.I was referring not to various Nitrogen-based compounds, including the amino acids you mentioned, Nitrite, Nitrate, etc., but to elemental Nitrogen (N2). Yes, Nitrogen compounds are certainly important to life. I'd never say otherwise. But molecular Nitrogen certainly is not.
The Strong force is what holds together nuclei, not what causes chemical bonding. A description of what causes chemical bonding would take far too long, but the short version of it is: It arises only from the potential you would expect from Coulomb's law (the law which describes attraction of charges), and it's a quantum-mechanical consequence of solving the Schrodinger equation.I won't dispute that this is correct if you define "Strong Force" the way you do. However, you may not be aware of recent developments in Quantum Gravitational Theory discoverd by researchers at Princeton University that tie certain manifestations of the Strong Force inextricably into the Schrodinger Equation in way that's far too complex to explain here. Just last week, the Nobel Institute called this discovery one of the most important steps toward a Unified Field Theory, so you may want to read up on it. Sorry if I jumped the gun a bit on that and didn't provide the correct background information.
Ionic bonding can be described as "stealing" electrons. Covalent bonding is "sharing", not stealing.Once again, this is partially a matter of semantics. Over the past four years or so since the debut of Napster, the Slashdot crowd of anti-corporate pseduo-Libertarians wants us to believe that "stealing" should be referred to as "sharing." I don't by into the hype: if we're going to antropomorphise, I call co-valent bonding is "stealing" and ionic bonding is "commerce." Ionic bonding is "commerce" because one atom has something it needs to get rid of (one or more electrons in its outer valence), and another atom needs those electrons in order to complete its own outer valence. A fair exchange is made in which both atoms are enriched by making a fair exchange. In co-valent bonding, two or more atoms "communally own" one or more electrons. "Communal ownership" is one of the tenants of Communism, in which the public steals all private property "to serve the public good," and the cries of "information is owned by all of us" is the mating call of the sexually repressed Geeks who are trying to undermine intellectual property and put content producers out of business.
Water is not a form of oxygen. It contains oxygen. That is not the same thing as BEING oxygen.You're absolutely right. I'm sorry if the wording I used in my essay made this unclear.
A greenhouse gas is one which has certain absorbance/emission properties when exposed to infrared radiation.Of course greenhouse gasses absorb electromagnetic radiation in the infrared range. Otherwise the electromagnetic radiation would just pass through rather than being absorbed.
Some greenhouse gases exist which are not lighter than ozone.If they're not lighter than Ozone, they won't rise above the Ozone in the atmosphere. Hence they won't be able to prevent the Ozone from reflecting (or as you put it, "absorbing") the electromagnetic radiation. I think you may want to think a little bit about the logic (or lack thereof) behind your statement.
and some gases which are lighter than ozone don't absorb radiation in the sun's wavelengths, and therefore don't cause emissions.This is scientific elitism again. There's ALWAYS some substance that doesn't follow the rules. There's always an exception. There's no need to explicitly mention that fact, though. I think most people will know that already. We still say "anything with mass cannot travel at or beyond the speed of light," even 22 years after Fermilab proved the existence of the Tachyon, and we still speak of "centrifugal force" even though we now know it's only an abstraction.
Ozone does not absorb in the visible rangeI know perfectly well where visible light and infrared radiation fall relative to each other on the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation. Some people will say that the word "light" refers only to the visible wavelengths, while some people will say that all electromagnetic radiation, even microwaves and radio signals, can be called "light." Again, pure semantics. I generally refer to visible radiation as well as infrared and ultraviolet radiation as "light," but that's purely a matter of opinion. Also, using terms like "visible range" smacks of Species Elitism. What we call "visible light" might be entirely invisible to the population of Alpha Centauri, who may very well be able to see only X-rays. We never know. "Visible" is merely a semantic name we give in order to make things easier on us, it in no way represents truth.
Algae is NOT a fungus!That depends on how you define "fungus." Toxonomy is a science that's subject to much debate and elitism. I'd argue with you further about this, but you're too much of a fun guy.
The polar ice caps are HUGEThe reason you might think this is that you've been looking at maps, not globes. Trying to project an entire three-dimensional body onto a two-dimensional surface is a science in and of itself, and most maps are wildly inaccurate because of it. With most common projection methods, the shapes and sizes of objects near the equator are displayed fairly accurately, whereas the sizes of objects closer to the poles are often grossly exaggerated in size. Since the ice caps are located at the poles, they look gigantic on a map, and even globes distort their size to some degree because of the non-spherical shape of th Earth. In reality, the North Polar Ice Cap is about the size of Nebraska, and the South Polar Ice Cap is about the size of Texas or Australia.
(As an aside, some newer map-making projection systems that have recently been developed allow maps to be drawn that are more accurate than was ever before possible. However, people who see these maps often say they look unfamiliar, distored, or just "wrong." I think anything that makes Canda look smaller has my ringing endorsement.)
Ozone does NOT stand for "Oxygen Zone"According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it does. Thanks for playing.
I think I've covered most of the objections I've received in pretty good detail. Time for business.
7: THE PLAN
First, I'll list all the some of the problems that this plan will solve, in order to give you a rough outline of how it's going to go.
Problems caused directly by Global Warming:
Other problems that are facing our world:
Now, the plan:
STEP ONE: Desalinization Plants. "Desalinization" is the process of removing salt from ocean water to create clean, drinkable fresh water. The first step is to build lots and lots of Desalinization Plants on all the major coasts. The United States's President Bush is probably going to refer to "desalinization" as "desaltering", and since the United States is the only country with the economic resources and infrastructure to build the number of plants required, we'd better get used to that name. From here on out, I will refer to Desalinization Plants as Desalterizers.
If you've ever played Maxis's fine simulation game Simcity 3000 Unlimited (or this version if you're one of the 57 people in the world using Lignux -- this is one of the 3 games that's available to you, published by a now-bankrupt company, so you're not getting any more), you'll know that there are three basic ways to get fresh water: drilling down to the water table (expensive and inefficient), building pumping stations near a body of fresh water, or using Desalterizers. Desalterizers are able to turn salty, poisonous ocean water into safe, pure Dihydrogen Monoxide in a clean and efficient manner. They're the key to this plan.
STEP TWO: Melt the polar ice caps. This is going to happen anyway. All we have to do is wait. As the ice caps start to melt, the Liberal god "Gaia" will try to "punish humanity for not living in harmony with nature," but we'll have proven ourselves smarter than some metaphysical slut. We've got our Desalterizers, and as the ocean starts to rise, we simply turn them on.
OPTIONAL ALTERNATIVE STEP. Instead of relying on our Desalterizers alone, we can instead build pipelines directly from the poles inland. Since the ice caps are already fresh water (salt falls out of suspension when water freezes), we can simply pump water directly from the ice caps as they melt, before the newly-melted water mixes with the salty ocean.
STEP THREE: What to do with the water. Remember when I mentioned that a large portion of the Earth's surface is useless desert? It doesn't take a Kreskin to predict the water's future. From our Desaltifiers and from our polar pipes, we channel the water into rivers that flow through the dessert. We build massive lakes in previously barren areas, we build massive subteranian pumping systems, and we engineer crosshatches of rivers that will result in every single square meter of the Earth's surface becoming arable land. Even already-arable land will benefit by having a couple new rivers run through them: more water is good for agriculture, for health, for sanitation, for industry, and for people.
PROBLEMS SOLVED SO FAR:
We may still have some melting polar caps left over once we do this, though. Let's be ambitious. Let's do more.
STEP FOUR: Electrolysis. Electrolysis is the process of separating water into Molecular Oxygen and Molecular Hydrogen. Electrolysis is very simple: you pass an electrical current through water, and it separates into Oxygen and Hydrogen. I'm sure one of the "I'm a leet scientist dood" trolls will explain it in more detail in the comments, so I won't comment on the process further here.
This will allow us to get rid of any water we have left over after step 3. We'll be left with huge supplies of pure Hydrogen and Oxygen.
STEP FIVE: The new energy source. We have a bunch of new rivers. This next step is easy. To quote the Gnomish parable: "hydrodynamics!"
So that our new rivers will flow naturally rather than having to be pumped, which would require more energy than it produced due to entropy, we will build giant mountains with bowl-shaped tops. The bowls will gather rain water, and water will flow from the bowl/mountains into our rivers, downhill, where our dams will produce energy thanks to our no-longer-misunderstood-friend, Gravity.
I can't sketch out exactly how this will be done, but we'll find some scientists to work out the exact details. Just trust me on the concept.
STEP SIX: What do so with the Hydrogen and Oxygen. Our Electrolysis plants left us with massive quantities of Oxygen and Hydrogen. Now we get to put it to use.
The Oxygen is simple. We release it into the air to replace the Oxygen lost to deforestation. That's what we'll do with some of it, at least: with the rest, we can create more Ozone, and release that Ozone into the stratosphere to cool the world back down to its original temperatures.
STEP SEVEN: The future is today.
Today's Science Fiction is tomorrow's Science Fact.
The Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual tells us plenty of things we can do with the Hydrogen.
If I could find my copy of the Technical Manual, I would provide direct quotes, but I haven't seen it in years so I'll just have to go by memory.
DEUTERIUM - Deuterium is an isotope of Hydrogen. In Star Trek, Deuterium is the fuel source for the matter/antimatter reactor aboard the Enterprise, which is responsible for not only warp travel, but for almost all power generation on the ship. We can turn our Hydrogen into Deuterium and start building Star Ships of our own.
ANTIMATTER - The aforementioned matter/antimatter reactor, more commonly called the Warp Engine, is powered by the mutual annihilation of matter and antimatter, specifically Deuterium and Antideuterium. The Technical Manual describes how to turn matter into antimatter (there are schematics for a device but nobody has built one yet), but it's somewhat inefficient: ten parts matter transforms into one one part Antimatter. That's okay, though, because at low warp speeds, the Warp Intermix Ratio favors matter over antimatter. It's only at Warp 8 that a 1:1 annihilation ratio is required.
On Star Trek, Dilithium Crystals are required in order to contain the matter/antimatter reactions. I won't go into how this works exactly because it's very complex and I don't remember it. In real life, we may not need anything like Dilithium at all: human ingenuity will find a way.
WARP TRAVEL - Superluminal travel in Star Trek is dependant on the existance of Subspace. We don't know if Subspace exists in the real world, but many scientists have their own pet theories on how superluminal travel could be achieved, and if none of them work, we'll think of something else. We'll certainly have the energy required to move very, very fast thanks to our matter/antimatter drives.
MATTER REPLICATION - The Technical Manual also has specifications for a matter replicator that can be used to create anything from a bottle of liquor to a weapon of mass destruction. What does it create this stuff out of? You guessed it: Hydrogen
PROBLEMS SOLVED SO FAR:
All solved! I think we've about covered everything!
STEP EIGHT: Interplanatary Exploration. The moon, the asteroid belt, and other extraterrestrial bodies, there's a lifetime supply of ever element, rock, metal, or mineral that we could possibly need to survive. There's even water, although I think we have enough of that for now. Once we start mining the asteroid belts, there literally nothing that can stop us or threaten our survival. Our galactic expansion will become exponential after that, as we eventually colonize the entire universe.
What we do once the entire Universe is colonized is left as an exercise to the reader.
PART 3: CLOSING REMARKS
Simple, yet elegant.
The next time you see a Liberal crying "We're hurting Mother Gaia so we should all live in caves and eat nothing but berries and grass, and we should blow up all our cities and industry because civilization hurts Gaia," punch her in the face and show her this document.
I'm always open to feedback that'll help me expand and improve my plan. If you have constructive feedback, please post it as a comment. The Adequacy editors did a very good job yesterday of deleting most of the trolls from Part 1, so if you're just planning on trolling, you can expect the same to happen to you. I expect I've placated all the serious naysayers, but I'm always open to critique.
For a brighter future,