Saturday, June 7, 2008

Who is responsible for global warming after all?

Standards of corporate social responsibility do not make business decisions any easier. In fact, they most likely complicate the decision-making process by adding on to more focused concerns for costs and prices a range of more intangible factors involving analysis of many circumstances outside the enterprise - like the future price of oil or the real demand functions of customers.

A recent article I read on global warming is a case in point. William Balgord recently wrote an op-ed commentary pointing out a link between sunspot activity and temperatures on earth.

It seems that past periods of cool temperatures on earth correlate in time with low sunspot numbers. And to the contrary, high sunspot activity leads to warmer temperatures here.

When there is weak solar activity - few solar flares sending "solar wind" to bath the earth protecting it from cosmic radiation, more cosmic rays (high energy protons) penetrate through and ionize oxygen and nitrogen molecules in our atmosphere. These ions then become nucleating sites for water vapor that so condenses into clouds. With weak sunspot activity, more clouds form on earth and reflect back more sunlight into space, cooling the earth.

In 2007 there were abnormally few sunspots. From January 2007 to January 2008, the average global temperature fell by nearly 1 degree fahrenheit. Rare snowfalls struck Buenos Aires, Cape Town, and Sydney. China was hit by a huge blizzard. Floe ice spread in the Arctic Ocean into the Bering Strait.

The inference for corporate social responsibility of all this would seem to be that, if sunspots are a major determinant of earthly warming and cooling, what is business to do about that? And, how much effort should be made to reduce emissions of green house gases from the factories and usages of human civilization in order to prevent global warming?

From whom should business learn how best to consider its long-term self interest upon the whole set of material considerations impinging on its prospects for success or failure?

5 comments:

jason said...

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Steve Jordan said...

Even more to the point, what if we solve the wrong problem?

We could be worried about carbon emissions when perhaps we should be thinking more about how cities serve as heat sinks.

Or we could be worrying about manmade climate change when perhaps we should be thinking about sunspots.

Or we might want to consider the effects of El Nino.

Simply put, we need to be careful about defining the problem we want to solve as much as we worry about finding the answers to the problems presented to us.

Preventing Global Warming said...

Great blog that is related to Preventing Global Warming that the periods of cool temperatures on earth correlate in time with low sunspot numbers. Further,
In 2007 there were abnormally few sunspots. From January 2007 to January 2008, the average global temperature fell by nearly 1 degree fahrenheit.

KellyGordian said...

I am responding to Steve Jordan's comment to Mr. Young's post on global warming.

Mr. Jordan, I actually find your response to be very "Hamlet." The young prince who overthinks his actions to the point of never achieving anything at all. To his own detriment, in the end. :)
Regards,
Kelly

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