Bigger Telescopes are needed to Solve Global Warming

July 28, 2008 — On August 31, 1854, a Londoner living on Broad Street fell ill with cholera and died. In three days, 127 other Londoners would also contract and die of cholera. By September 10th, over 500 people had died and panic was setting in on the London streets. Doctors studied the dead but could not solve the epidemic.

Then John Snow, a British Physician, gathered a huge sample of data and determined that people who drank from a certain water pump on Broad Street died, and those that didn’t, lived. The well was boarded up. Problem solved.

Because John Snow studied a large sample size of patients, he was able to determine the relatively simple cause and cure.

If we’re going to solve the global warming problem we need data like John Snow’s. If Dr. Snow had spent all his time studying just one patient, whatever “cause” and “solution” he would come up with would likely have been incorrect. It was only after looking at a large sample size of hundreds of patients that he was able to come up with a cause and solution much more substantiated than a guess.Right now, nearly every global warming article I read about the cause, consequence, and solution, is guessing. In the global warming problem, the patient is the earth. Everyone is overanalyzing the heck out of one patient and as a result all the conclusions have as much bearing as random guesses.

If we want to take this problem seriously, we need to be like John Snow: we need to collect data on dozens, if not hundreds of patients. Only then will we be able to make rational decisions about the problem.

So, we need to start looking outward to other planets. We have some nearby data in the form of Mars and Venus. Mars is damn cold and there’s no life there, so likely a hotter planet is a positive thing to a certain extent. Venus is damn hot and there’s also no life there, so likely if earth heads in that direction we’re screwed. But that doesn’t leave us with a whole lot to go on. We really need to find patients more similar to us, and hundreds of them.

I know very little about astronomy or telescopes. But I’m pretty sure that those are going to be our best tools to fight global warming. All the doctors in the world couldn’t have stopped the cholera outbreak if they studied one patient. But one doctor, studying hundreds of patients, was able to solve the problem.

Likewise, if we can give one astronomer a big enough telescope, he could probably solve global warming for us. Maybe he’ll find out that the chances of turning into Venus are extremely slim and the problem isn’t a problem at all. Or maybe it is a problem, but other earth like planets have solved it somehow. It could be just as simple as boarding up a well.


Note: I imported this post from my original Wordpress blog.

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