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Guest Post: Climate Change. Just My Thoughts and Observations

A note from Madison: Just to clear up some confusion – This is a guest post. It’s not my article. My own opinion on things is a lot more woo-woo and probably a lot less “scientific”, in spite of my past history of a career in science.

To state my own stand on the issue of climate change… I do think there is climate change occurring. While I also think this change is a naturally occurring trend I believe the human impact on the speed at which it is happening is tremendous. I do not believe we can continue to take from the earth, use all of the resources, and not expect some sort of reaction.

I believe the earth itself is a living organism, that all of creation is part of a larger organism, and that just as we have organs/mechanisms in our bodies that science thinks is not important or is not understood (like adenoids, tonsils, appendix, “gut instinct”, etc.), I think humans are incredibly aloof to believe that we can mine the earth’s resources to the point of depletion and there not be a consequence. So on to Richard’s essay…

First of all I’m no climatologist, weather expert or MIT scientist, but it doesn’t take a genius to see what is happening (re: climate change). This is the legacy we will leave for our children if we don’t make drastic changes in the way we treat the place we live.

Just My Thoughts and Observations on Climate Change

We live for all practical intent and purposes in an enclosed system. This enclosed system is Earth. It may as well be a biosphere, which it is, or a box. Everything we do not only affects the earth, but because we live here it affects us, and every living thing on the planet.

To deny climate change is to deny the obvious. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the effects of our carbon emissions, concrete jungle, asphalt, farming, and deforestation.


A Climate Change Metaphor

In electronics there is a device called a Zener diode. A Zener diode is used for several things but its unique characteristic is its ability to control voltage and current at a specific point. It will regulate voltage in a circuit until that voltage reaches a critical point and then it will conduct current in reverse. This point is called the “knee” or “break over” point”. Our forests, ice caps, plant life, atmosphere, oceans, and ozone are a lot like a Zener diode.

When people say the weather hasn’t changed and it’s still getting very cold in the winter and “how can there be global warming” what they are seeing is the Zener diode effect. Here is what I believe is happening.

Is Climate Change Happening? A guest post by Richard Kestrel.

Carbon Emissions

Our carbon emissions destroy the ozone and form what is called a thermal blanket around the Earth. Ever hear of that “survival space blanket”? That is a thin sheet of Mylar that reflects your body heat and keeps you warm in an emergency situation. Don’t believe me? Just get a large trash bag and cut a hole large enough to stick your head through and pull it down around your body. In a few minutes your body heat will build up inside and after a while you will start to sweat. This is the same effect the pollution in the atmosphere causes. It reflects the radiation that gets to the earth from the sun and warms the earth. With the depletion of the ozone, this effect is even more pronounced, as it lets in more radiation. This same effect is used every day to finish cooking potatoes after they have been in the oven or microwave. The Aluminum foil wrapped around the hot potato will continue to cook it and keep it hot for a very long time, same as carbon emissions around the earth. WE are on that potato!

Petroleum Consumption

Current world wide use of just petroleum today stands at 96 million barrels A DAY! That’s 35 BILLION barrels a year and growing! Each gallon of gasoline produces 19.6 pounds of carbon monoxide and each gallon of diesel produces 22.38 pounds of CO2. Multiply that by 42 gallons in each barrel of oil then by 35 Billion barrels a year and that is how much we put in the atmosphere each year! And oil is not the only thing we use that produces CO2. The total amount we put in the atmosphere each year is far higher. This can’t help but contribute to climate change. (Here’s a link to consumption in the US alone.)


Deforestation and loss of plant life in general cause the carbon dioxide to build as that is what plants use to grow and perform photosynthesis. There is also less oxygen because that is what plants emit after using the carbon monoxide to grow. Don’t believe me? Think about the beach where there is no plant life. Ever walk on the sand that was so hot you had to run to get to the beach water or burn your feet? Now think of all the millions of miles of asphalt roads and hi-ways, sidewalks, concrete, buildings, and plowed fields after harvest that do nothing but absorb heat in the world. Plant life shades the ground, produces the oxygen you require to breath, and even clean the atmosphere. We have to have oxygen to live. Without it we will die.

All that deforestation, concrete, asphalt, open plowed fields, carbon emissions, and pollution contribute to the temperature change. The effect of all this heat and loss of ozone are causing the polar ice caps to shrink. The ice caps, forests, plant life, and ozone are the Zener diode I talked about earlier. They all regulate the climate we live in. White ice reflects sun light and solar radiation. Ice also cools the atmosphere and regulates some of our climate. Ever get a glass of tea, fill it with ice and sit on the porch outside on a hot day out of the sun to cool off? After a while if you didn’t add ice to the tea it would get warm again, and the tea gets diluted with the melted water.

Ice Caps, Climate Change, Zener Break Over

The ice caps are shrinking at an alarming rate. Recorded ice cover on the polar caps prove this. Glaciers worldwide are disappearing at alarming rates. Glaciers that have been around for thousands of years. All that ice has to go somewhere. Usually into the ocean. The greatest part of the Zener diode. That ice water right now is cooling the oceans. This is the “knee” of the Zener diode. It does cool the planet causing the cooling effect and making some believe that the planet is actually cooling. But, when that ice has finished melting and the polar ice caps reach a point to where they are no longer cooling the oceans and the oceans start too really heat up again the Zener diode will “break over” and conduct in reverse.

Hot oceans produce massive hurricanes. Melted ice produces higher ocean levels, hotter temperatures produce more humid climate and accelerate global warming. Global warming (climate change) causes deserts adding even more to the warming. Deserts are growing as the ice caps shrink. Our “bread basket” in the central United States is shifting farther north every year. All the water under the ground in the central plains is becoming harder to get and wells have to be dug deeper than ever to reach the water that took thousands of years to build up. When all that water is gone how will we grow our food? Deserts require water to produce food. Without food we will die.

So, still don’t believe global warming is real, or that we should be concerned. What if it is? When the Zener diode breaks over it will be too late and there will be nothing we can do. The future is uncertain and we still do not understand all the dynamics involved with all these things. Do we really want to take that chance and leave such a future to our children?

What We Do Know

One thing we do know is that something unprecedented is happening. All these indicators are there and mean something. What we do know is that Mother Nature has a way of balancing everything. It usually comes in the form of eliminating what was causing the change. In this case WE are what is causing the change. Oh, and remember that enclosed system I talked about in the beginning? It’s called a “Bio-Sphere”, and it was an experiment to see if we could live in an enclosed dome and provide all the things we needed. It was a dismal failure and we would have died if we had to stay there much longer. We’re not smart enough to reproduce what nature has perfected over millions of years.

It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature. She has a way of fooling you back. Maybe that is why people still believe there is no global warming. Isn’t Mother Nature perfect!  Still don’t believe? You must believe the earth is flat too, but that’s another subject for future thoughts. Just my thoughts on this.

Comments? Leave a reply for Richard below or find him on FB.

Richard Kestrel is the woodworker, homestead engineer and jack of all trades at Wild Ozark, and syrup cooker for Burnt Kettle.

10 thoughts on “Guest Post: Climate Change. Just My Thoughts and Observations”

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  1. I do apology Richard! I just assumed Madison wrote the article. I missed the part about a quest writer. That’s very cool. I appreciate you sharing your insight and feelings about this topic. You may not be a MIT Phd or Harvard scientist but there are plenty of them out there who have in fact done years of research on this environmental concern. There are those on both sides of the political debate who agree on that global warming is real. Not political all, and again I did not take your well written article as such. Heck, don’t ask the politicians their view, go for the facts! lol We all breath the same air. I am a high school drop out but did finally find my way! lol Self-Educated in many aspects. The woods and streams have thought me more than I could have ever learned in a class room as a young lad. Just the path I took. Like you, I most certainly respect higher education and highly encourage all formal education. All three of my adult children have advanced degrees. But’s its not the end all. My honey bees have taught me much about life and how things should work. And it is for the
    the good of all. Not just a few, left or right rich, or poor. ALL> I suppose pesticides and other harmful agents that are killing our bees is political as well. I was disappointed that Charley wanted to leave Madison’s blog just because of a different of opinion that was perceived as political. He threw the baby out with the bathwater and will now miss Madison’s writings. In due respect, that does’t sound like a sound educated thing to do. But what do I know. The older I get the less I seem to know. Can’t wait to get with my bees in the spring. You have good work going on down there! Thanks again. Stay with it. Ray

    1. Ray, No need to apologize, no offense taken. Was just trying to clarify that point for another reader. I don’t share my thoughts very often and I welcome other view points, All view points. But, I prefer “other view points” be stated when they say something. It makes it easier for me to understand their view and why they agree/disagree/are indifferent. I too was greatly disappointed that the other person just decided to leave the blog without stating what they felt was not to their liking about my post. But, no matter. That is the foundation of discussion. When things are discussed everyone learns something. When we learn something we can better understand it. While I don’t have a degree I do have over 132 hours of college classes and 34 years in the IT, communications and electronics fields. Politics today are diluted with hidden agendas, biased opinions and motives as well as religion aspects intertwined. Our Forefathers realized we needed to remove some of those things and separate them from Government which they did and it’s even stated in our constitution. A wise decision. Our Government has become all powerful, in my opinion. A wise man once said “When you give up freedom for security you are neither secure nor free.” The world is in enough trouble without having to worry about our destruction of the resources that sustain us. I agree with what you say. The more I learn the more I realize how little I know. I salute you for being a bee keeper. Those skills, and what they bring only help us. Without bees we would loose the majority of our plant life including our crops. From what I understand our bees are dying at an unprecedented rate. By the millions as I have read. If they fail, we are in more serious trouble than climate change. Just another part of the “zener diode effect”. Thanks again for commenting Ray, and have a great life! Richard.

    2. Good day Richard,
      I wholeheartedly agree with your comments above. Yes, the bees are in trouble as well as many other insects, birds and other native species. I am just trying to do my small part for the good of the greater whole with my honey bees. All I know is what I have observed since a being a young lad. Water tables are way down, warmer winters, hotter summers and poorer air quality all over our county. Less wet lands, little water ditches are gone in many areas, spring seeps<hedge rows equal lost habitat. Something major is going on. The muskrat population is all but gone in many areas of our county. People may say, ah they are like rats who cares. When our important species die off such as bees, insects etc…we are next. As they say "some people can't see the forest for the trees. We are killing our environment " I will keep trying and remain optimistic. Thanks again for the format to learn and have a healthy discussion.
      Regards, Ray

  2. I liked your article Madison! It’s not political based at all In my opinion. But in fact climate change is based on scientific research on both sides of the asle. To deny carbon emission hasnt harmed our atmosphere is total denial at its best. It’s like saying fish don’t swim. Ask the people is China how they are doing with smog , pollution and their face masks. Wait , we don’t have look that far. Cities all over America have air / smog issues. The number of children these days with asthma is alarming. I believe weather events/ patterns have definately changed these last 65 years of my life. I suggest we think globally. The wind blows in all directions. Only one life , one Earth! I don’t want my grandchildren wearing masks when they go out to play. Plant a tree and chill. Btw.. I am not a tree hugger but tree lover ; I am a hunter, trapper , gatherer, fisherman , and I spend a lot of time in the woods and creeks. I have seen the changes first hand in my short life. Ray

    1. Hi Ray, thanks for your support. The article is Richard Kestrel’s, my husband. But I appreciate all discussion on this topic and am open to hearing anecdotal OR scientific comments on either side of the “aisle”. What we see and experience first-hand is often not something that has scientific “evidence” backing it but whether that’s because it doesn’t exist or because it hasn’t been studied, or because the studies were biased or squelched altogether is something no one really knows. The article wasn’t intended to be political in any way shape or form. It wasn’t intended to offer scientific proof of anything either. It was simply Richard’s summary of the things on his mind and that he has deduced and he felt it important enough to write it down. Either way, the things we see and know from first hand experience is very important, in my opinion. I think what he had to say was important to pay attention to. BTW, lol, he’s not a tree hugger either… but I might be!

    2. Ray, thanks for the comment. First of all, I wrote the post and not Madison my wife. She just posted it for me. I didn’t think it was political either. It wasn’t meant to be and I even stated it was MY views, ideas, and opinion. I believe in a world where we can all think, reason, deduct, expand and learn. Open and free thinking is the only way to do that. Everyone has an opinion and there will never be, or almost never, a 100% agreement on anything. Having said that I just felt I needed to put my thoughts and ideals down. I try, in almost everything I do, to sort out what is real, and what is not, or at least as much as can be sorted with the information I have, gather, learn and reason. If we do not have the ability to discuss, think, and form our own opinions then we are no longer free men. Oh, and BTW a degree does not an expert make. This has been proven over and over again through time. I’m not disrespecting a person who has taken the time, energy, money, and applied themselves to a higher education. Not at all. I respect them, and the piece of paper that they have. But the thoughts I posted are, in my opinion, facts. You can get the same information on a hundred different sites on the internet, in books, in articles, and many other places. I am also a hunter, gatherer, fisherman, and love trees too. All I am trying to say is we have to better understand what we are doing to the environment we live in. There has to be some consequences to what we are doing and what I see happening in the world around me convinces me that there is. I fear for my children and grandchildren’s future.
      It does not look like what I would want for them if we continue the way we are going. Thanks again, Richard. Oh, and I’m not a “tribal hillbilly” either LOL!

  3. While many of your concerns are things I am thinking about as well, I am greatly disappointed that. ” this is what I think, is a format to make global decisions on. It is very apparent that politics not science is the greater influence on the reality of climate change. We cannot, nor should we make changes on: what I think, false information, or political grabs for money and votes. The future should be held to a purer and more honest, scientific dialogue based on real science rather than the cravings of power by the right and the left. I am respectfully requesting you cancel my link to your letter. BTW. I am a bred, born, and raised Wild Ozarkian with a degree in applied science. My highest level of education was an 94 hour Master degree. Just so you understand I an not some tribal hillbilly.

    1. Hi Charley, I’m sorry you want to unsubscribe to the newsletter. I’ll see if I can unsubscribe you, but it might be something you’ll have to do. Will look into it now. The article is a guest post of Richard’s opinion and I hoped it would spark discussion. Opposing viewpoints are welcomed, and they open the door to sharing of information and knowledge.

    2. – re: unsubscribing you… if it’s the blog itself, where you get the posts in your email, I can’t do that from here. There should be a link in the email that will allow you to unsubscribe.

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