Thursday, December 06, 2007

Explaining Global Warming to the barmaid

Over on openDemocracy discussion of global warming we have got onto science, and how it should be possible to explain it to a relatively sober and open-minded barmaid.

"Carbon dioxide (the gas that fizzes your beer) and methane (the gas that people fart) and CHCs (what used to come out of spray cans until it got banned for wrecking the ozone layer... yes it does both, everyone gets confused over that) these gases trap the sun's heat, like a big fat duvet around the earth, or like a greenhouse, where heat comes in through the glass and can't get out again.

This is happening big time, because we are releasing all the carbon dioxide gas that was stored as oil and coal in the earth millions of years ago. If it continues, the earth will get very hot indeed, so the weather will change, with more extreme events like floods and droughts. We are seeing this already, the recent floods are as predicted, and the icecaps and glaciers are definitely retreating, but unless we react, it is going to cause BIG problems for our children and grandchildren.

We can do something about it - I hope I am not boring you, by all means serve that gentleman, oh no he's got a drink already, he was just scratching his nose - we can do something about it, but it means changing our way of life, getting our energy from the sun, walking and cycling more and hopping on the bus, but that's all right because buses will be more frequent and go more places and we will all be much slimmer and fitter, not you of course, because you couldn't be more slim and fit if you tried. Another pint please, and have one for yourself if you like.

What's holding us up you say? Well the scientists are all agreed, but the oil companies are fighting a desperate rearguard action using the media and that idiot Bush...and lots of people believe them because they do not want to change their way of life for the sake of their children... I dunno, maybe they haven't got any children, or maybe they just don't care. It's a mad world isn't it? When do you knock off? Five minutes? D'you want to come for an Indian? Brilliant.

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