May 21st, 2007

Inspiration

Newspapers: Why I'd be Willing to Pay ONLINE

Think for a moment. Would I be willing to pay for superb international coverage? Detailed National Coverage? Brilliant Pulitzer-winning articles?

Probably Not.

Why?

Because they're free online. And available from better papers.

What would I be willing to pay for, then?

Local news. The kind that is generated by a local reporter at the courthouse day after day who reads the sheets, calls the attorneys and parties, and tells about the dispute. The kind from the person who actually shows up at all those civic meetings where things are discussed (no, not just the "significant" ones -- all of them). The kind generated by reporters who saw a business moving and stopped in to find out why. The kind with an out of control letters to the editor section so I can find out more about what my neighbors think about things.

If you don't know that, you haven't been reading Howard Owens lately. But you should, even if he is in Rochester.
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Inspiration

A Short Illustration of Global Warming

From Strata-Sphere:

Let’s assume the earth’s atmosphere was a 6 ounce cup of tea. And let’s say we used a teaspoon of warmer water to measure in the last of the 6 ounces of tea and to heat it up. This teaspoon is the CO2 portion of the total green house effect.

Clearly the teaspoon’s worth of water would not change the temperature of the 6 ounces of tea much at all. That teaspoon is roughly 3.6% of 6 ounces, which is the C02 component (3.6%) of the greenhouse effect which is dominated by water vapor. But as the SCIENCE points out, humankind’s activities only account for 3.2 percent of the teaspoon. Since a teaspoon is equal to 5 ml, then mankind’s effect is like trying to put 0.16 ml into the 6 ounces of tea. If you have a medicine dropper in your house with tenths of a ml measurements you can visually compare man’s effect on climate with your 6 ounces of tea. That should help Caprio get his ‘mind around’ this siuation. Try it out. Try and cool of the tea or heat it up. I doubt you have a temperature measuring device that could detect the difference in temperature from .16 ml.


For reference, a drop of water is about .2 ml. Amazing what a sense of proportion can do, eh?