Global Warming 101
Photo courtesy AMagill.
As sort of a prequel to the two-part Skeptical Beginner’s Guide to the Global Warming Hoax I wrote over the last two weeks, here is a really basic primer on terminology used in the raging debate (yes, there is a debate) over global warming.
Anthropogenic: Â a really fancy way of saying man-made.
Biofuels: Â an energy source, mostly used by automobiles at this point, which is an alternative to gasoline and is derived from biological sources. Â The most popular biofuel on the market today is corn-based ethanol.Â
Carbon Tax: Â an additional source of revenue for the government instituting emissions standards. Â A carbon tax is typically measured per ton of carbon dioxide and can be applied as an additional gasoline tax, for example.
Carbon Credit: Â a financial instrument representing a fixed amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Â Just as a stock represents a financial holding in a corporation, a carbon credit represents a financial holding in carbon emissions.
Carbon Trading: Â a market, much like a traditional stock exchange, where carbon credits are traded in an open market with prices fluctuating up and down, much like a stock.
Cap-and-Trade: Â a system by which individuals and/or corporations are issued a carbon credits from a finite pool. Â The individual and/or corporation issued the credits can only emit the total carbon value of the credits in the specified period. Â Those under budget can sell their credits to others. Â Those over budget have to purchase credits from a supplier.
Climate Change: Â a theory that the planet is getting warmer through man-made or natural means. Â See Global Warming.
Ethanol: Â a biofuel derived from oil and, most popularly, corn-based additives. Â The most recognizable blend of ethanol is referred to as E85, which means it’s comprised of 85% ethanol, but this can be as little as 70% during certain parts of the year.
Global Warming: Â a theory that the planet is getting warmer through man-made or natural means. Â The global warming theory most prevalent in the mainstream media is one touting anthropogenic origins, meaning it’s man-made. Â The theory says, in layman’s terms, that the planet is getting warmer based on carbon dioxide emissions, which will lead to rising sea levels, an increase in number and intensity of droughts, floods and storms. Â Global Warming is now being referred to more as climate change.
Greenhouse Gases: Â vapors that are released into the atmosphere that lead to the greenhouse effect. Â These vapors can originate as carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor or other substance.
Greenhouse Effect: Â a system through which heat is trapped between the ground at the top of the atmosphere by greenhouse gases.
Geothermal Energy: Â electricity generated through the capture of natural steam processes from within the Earth.
Revenue-Neutral: Â a new tax that is offset by reducing some other form of government revenue in a different sector, rendering the new tax a zero offset. Â
Solar Energy: Â electricity generated through the capture of sunlight.
Wind Energy: Â electricity generated through the use of wind.Â
Any other terms in the world of global warming that I haven’t defined here? Â Leave your suggestions in the comments and I’ll add them.Â
Keep up-to-date with the latest at Skeptics Global Warming!
Subscribe to my FREE RSS Feed in your reader today!
Or, subscribe to FREE updates in your email.
Alternatively, you can follow me on Twitter.