Thursday, August 10, 2006

The condition of our air...

If you have ever stood outside next to your house air conditioner you can intuit what it is doing. That hot blast is heat from inside pumped outdoors. Great idea.

But as you have likely noticed from your power bill, all that pumping is not free. And it may not be a great idea in the long run.

Have you heard the news? Scientists have found a planet that can support life. Its atmosphere is too hot for year-round habitation, its gases impede breathing, and surface conditions are sometimes fatal. But by constructing a network of sealed facilities, tunnels, and vehicles, humans could survive on this planet for decades and perhaps even centuries.

The planet is called Earth.

If you've seen this planet lately, you know what's going on: temperature records shattering, scores of Americans dead. By summer's end, the toll will be in the hundreds. It's not as bad as 2003, when a heat wave killed 30,000 people in Europe. But according to global-warming forecasts, within 40 years, every other summer will be like that one.

The hotter it gets, the more air conditioning we install and crank down. This is called a positive feedback loop. And I'm danged if I can see any way out short of an economic meltdown.

Of course, human-caused global warming could be another hoax by the media (like the Moon landing). But every hot summer/mild winter brings more conversions.

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