The Simple but Effective Truth

This winter was one of the warmest winters on record (actually, the second warmest).  The warm weather could be seen as a blessing in regards to heating bills. Warmer winters obviously mean less need to crank up the thermostat, and the less need for electric, oil, and wood fueled heat, the less carbon dioxide will be released into the atmosphere. So, warmer winters are good for saving money and they eliminate some release of carbon dioxide in the times of the year when there is typically more in the atmosphere. It can be agreed that those are some substantial positives.

 The above chart shows the impact of the emerald ash borer from the the heaviest hit areas (the darker areas) to the least hit area ( the lighter colors).

The destruction of trees leads to less sequestration of carbon dioxide as has been the case with other forms of deforestation. That makes the amount CO2 in the atmosphere as a whole rise, and that which once was a positive has pulled an Anakin Skywalker and joined the dark side. So, in short, warm winters are short term positive with a harsh long term negative.

The only mitigation that I see as potentially effective would be that which has already been stressed since the national awakening that has seemingly taken place in regards to global warming and greenhouse gases. We need to plant more trees, cut back consumption of nonrenewable resources, conserve whenever possible, and keep up ongoing research for cleaner energy (that which is, of course, feasible). In the end, the best mitigation strategy is not to switch or developing new ones, it is to escalate the concentration of them. Michigan specifically is in need of this escalation to counteract a possible, extreme threat: the ash borer. We are now left with a choice regarding this threat, and this choice carries much impact on us as Michiganders, Michigeese, and U.S. citizens in general. Pesticides (and the possible side effects that come with them) should be put on the wayside and, instead, conservation, alternative energy solutions, and planting trees are all options that must be seriously considered.

The news station I used
http://www.fox17online.com/news/fox17-second-warmest-winter-recorded-for-west-michigan-20120301,0,538

the newspaper I used
http://www.thetimesherald.com/article/2

this is the site for the chart i used
http://blog.mlive.com/advancenewspapers_news/2008/03/large_EmeraldAshBorerMap.jpg

Aric Ashby

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