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Blind Chihuahua

More to religion
than pleasing
your imaginary friend

Everyone knows that global warming is caused by too much greenhouse gas (mostly CO2) in the atmosphere, and that this increase in world air temperatures is due to the ravages of industrial society. But is that the whole story? How much do you really know about where the energy sources are, what conservation can do, and what global warming is and does? Try this test of your environmental awareness, then check your answers to see if what you have been told is in agreement with the real world. You may be surprised by some of the answers. The questions, mostly, are taken from recent media reports and recognized technical journals. Are these trick questions? You bet they are. They are intended to trick you into thinking critically, into analyzing what you read about our Earth, so that you can make responsible environmental decisions.

Running on empty
1. In the oil business, the term "proven reserves" is a way of expressing how many years we can pump oil from known deposits at the current rate until we run out. What were the proven (measured) global oil reserves in these years?
2. Everyone knows that we are burning up our reserves of coal to make electricity (the most commonly used fuel for that purpose). At present rates of consumption, (and present prices) the proven (measured) coal reserves in the USA will last how long?
Too darn hot
3. List three episodes of global warming and give approximate dates.
4. Attribute probable or possible causes to the episodes of global warming you identified above.
5. The Earth is believed to be warming from its normal temperature to a temperature much above present conditions. According to recently published oxygen-isotope data (from ocean sediments, etc.), the average surface temperature of the Earth for most of the time during the past 65 million years was steady at about what temperature (in degrees Celsius) relative to the present?
The rising tide
6. The melting of the polar icecaps is a major concern due to the ensuing rise in sea level and potentially drastic changes in ocean current patterns (and thus weather). Polar ice caps are:

A. Robust, and have been present ever since the Earth formed.

B. Delicate, but have been present most of Earth's existence.
C. Rare phenomena absent for the majority of Earth's history.
D. A government hoax. Scenes of polar expeditions were faked by NASA.
7. Oceanographers estimate that the melting of the West Antarctic Ice Cap will raise world sea level by about 6 meters. About half of the world's population live at elevations less than how many meters above current sea level?
Waste not, want not
8. California, land of smog, commuting, and automotive idolatry, has had energy shortages in 2000-2001. Perhaps Californians simply consume too much energy. Where does California rank among the States in terms of energy consumption per capita (1st would mean they consume the most per capita, and 50th the least)?
9. Automobiles are recognized as terribly wasteful of the Earth's resources. Of the total weight of a car when it goes to the scrap yard (not allowing for zany British TV shows), about how much ends up being recycled into new cars or other useful things?
Location, location, location
10. More than half the Earth's identified reserves of natural gas are located in:
11. The largest known potential resource of fossil fuels is contained in:
A. Petroleum deposits in the Mid-East
B. Methane clathrate deposits on the ocean floor
C. Coal deposits in the USA
D. Natural gas deposits in Kuwait
It's all bad news
12. After the establishment of oil and gas drilling on the North Slope of Alaska in the 1970's, the number of caribou breeding there:
13. Increased CO2 in the atmosphere has been shown, by recently published data, to have what effect on the growth of wild forest trees?
14. In the Northeastern USA, what phenomenon is most responsible for killing saplings that would otherwise provide reforestation?
The winds of change
15. Global warming has recently caused a lot more bad weather, we are told.What was the worst hurricane year in the twentieth century?
See for yourself!