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Frank Koerner

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Popular Poetry (Science)
  1.  Illusions
  2.  Rosetta Mission





A Matter of Degrees
by Frank Koerner

Monday, July 11, 2011
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Frank Koerner
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Global warming is a concern that is worldwide. Its proponents maintain we are headed for a calamitous, climatological tragedy. Well founded arguments are made as to whether the impending disaster is predominantly natural or man-made. An entirely contra view takes a completely opposite meteorological position. Its proponents maintain that we are not headed for a global warming era at all. On the contrary, they maintain, we are headed for an ice age. Hang on, this hot issue may result in a pretty cool debate.


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What exactly is the Greenhouse Effect? What is it going to do?

Are we going to have more continents? Or will we lose a few?

After studying all the facts, those of a scientific mind

Should get to the core of the matter, leave indecision behind.

 

For years they've said conclusively that as the planet warms

The people of Chicago will go to the ocean in swarms.

It so happens the beach they'll have, the one to call their own

Will be the Gulf of Mexico. If so, let us now for sins atone.

 

But wait! there is a new belief, one not quite so harsh,

It says the other theory's wrong, what it postulates is farce.

The waters will not rise, for by analogy to water and rice

We'll end up with less water than thought, but more, by far, of ice.

 

This theory has as hypothesis that as the temperatures rise,

The atmosphere will hold more water and then it is surmised

It will cool over the polar regions, and fall as rain, then freeze,

Resulting in more water, for sure, but no flooding, if you please.

 

You'd think that all these theorists, pontificating such decrees

Would cease their foolishness and stop fooling us by degrees.

They can't even look at daily facts, to tell us if it will rain,

Yet tell us heat will produce more ice. It's "water on the brain!"

 

What if they're both correct? Then we're worse off than we think.

We'll toast Chicago's new shoreline with icebergs in the drink.

But I have a sneaking suspicion that neither camp is right,

Before we drown this earth'll succumb to some other major plight.

Copyright © 2011 by Frank Koerner 

 

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Reviewed by Ronald Hull 7/15/2011
Global warming is a lightning rod for opinion and much misunderstood, even by scientists as you so aptly point out. However, I do recall a guy named Galileo Galilei who had to wait till the last year of his life to publish his controversial theory or be burned at the stake.

We know that greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane will heat the atmosphere. The melting of the polar ice (which will not cause the oceans to rise) is evidence that this is happening. There's also evidence that the Greenland ice sheet and major ice on Antarctica is also melting (this water will cause the oceans to rise). What other effects of the weather will happen are not clear, but all indications are that there will be change and we may already be experiencing some of these changes.

Ron



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