Halfway! Also, climate change

This evening I attended my 16th class of 30, so I'm a bit more than halfway. Apparently it's normal that I'm sweating way more than I used to: my body is getting better at cooling itself off. I think today I also was still digesting lunch, creating more heat inside my body. I just wish it didn't make me slide around on the rug so much.

So there's been a lot of talk about the Global Warming/Global Cooling section of the Super Freakonomics. Most recently, Jon Stewart completely botched an interview with him. Thanks, bsom, for pointing this out first.

A summary: Super Freakonomics takes the fact of global warming--that the Earth is getting warmer. It doesn't question that this is due to human actions, like burning coal for power. But what the book does then is propose that rather than cutting carbon emissions, we could--and even should--just do things like make clouds to block the sun and thus cool down the earth. He then implies that this will get us over the hump until we figure out some other cool science-y way to fix the climate! Cool! (No pun intended.)

Levitt's first mistake is to jump to the most talked-about conclusion of the majority of climatologists: the world is getting warmer due to carbon output. He doesn't question this. But this focus on the single fact of global warming, with no regard for the other pieces of out of control carbon and methane emissions, is a wholly irresponsible way to approach the problem.

Imagine global warming as the Earth's fever in response to the disease of human industry digging up all of its stored carbon and spewing it back into the atmosphere. Now, if a person has a fever, two things are true: something is causing the fever (the fever does not cause itself), and the fever is probably not the entire problem.

In the case of the Earth, the warming atmosphere is not the only problem. The increased carbon levels are causing a whole host of problems. Scary, awful problems. For one, the ocean is absorbing some of this carbon from the atmosphere. This is causing the oceans to go acidic. Acidic oceans eat away at exo- and endo-skeletons of fish. Lobster shells will get softer, eventually becoming useless. The same will happen to tuna skeletons. With enough carbon in the oceans, we'll have nothing left but jellyfish. For another, once the atmospheric carbon levels reach a certain point (I think it's carbon, and not temperature), trees will start being carbon-positive instead of carbon-negative, and no longer be helpful.

So Levitt is looking at one specific problem, and essentially treating that one symptom. Going back to my metaphor, it's like having tuberculosis and treating it with cough syrup. It's not just Steven Levitt, and now Jon Stewart, who don't get it. Many, many people would love to—and many, many do—believe that technology will save us. Well, some technologies can help, but those include things like fluorescent lights and wind turbines that will help us reduce our emissions.

When it comes to the Earth, it's possible that we will have to turn to massive geo-engineering projects to cope. But we still need to cut down on the root problem—greenhouse gas emissions—if we're ever going to survive this with any semblance of the life we know now. And most people, and even more corporations (percentage-wise at least), won't do it unless forced.


Day 5-13

As Doyle pointed out, it's been a while since an update.

I just finished my lucky-number-13th class, and first back in the studio in NY where I go. Yesterday and the day before were up in Boston area studios, including one that my old yoga, and before that dance, teacher came to with me.

Last week I was weary. Just really worn out. But I think I've gotten over it, and yesterday's class was especially good. It was also with an especially experienced, respected teacher. And I was right in front so I got lots of helpful comments and corrections. After a really rough 6:30am class on Thursday, it was nice to have such a rewarding class on Saturday.


Day 2, 3, 4

So I've been doing fine with the yoga, but not with the blogging about it. No worries, y'all would be bored with daily "today I got a really deep camel" or whatever. The second class was a bit tougher, but part of that was mental because I knew I had swim class afterward. Day three was great--I thought I'd be tired, because my legs were feeling weary after two days in a row plus painting plus swimming, but then it was great. I balanced better than most days and felt really good. Yesterday, day 4, I both sweat way more than usual--there was literally a puddle on my mat; I was worried I would drown during the posture that involves putting your face flat down on the mat--and I also had to pee a lot. Could I have drunk too much water? Doubtful, but oh man it was hard work.

About to head off to Day 5. Already looking forward to eating dinner afterward =)


Day 1

First class! 9am this morning. I'm always a bit stiffer for the morning classes. Maybe that'll get better after 30 days in a row--probably majority morning classes no less. I'll see how the long-term goes as it becomes long. For now, I'm just getting used to planning my days around the classes, and vice versa.


Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday!

After years of my on-again off-again relationship with Bikram Yoga (I'm sorry yoga, I didn't mean to be distant, life just got in the way, y'know?), I've decided I'm going to suck it up and do the 30 day challenge already. 30 classes, 30 days.

Tomorrow is my day to get some healthy food back in my body after PPP, and mentally prepare and all that. Then Tuesday is Day One. I'm also going to blog about it. I'll try to keep the posts interesting to non-Bikramophiles, as that's my main audience. But I can't do all the classes in one studio, so I probably won't even be eligible for the free month you usually get for completing the challenge.

I just went to my first class back after about three months away from it. It felt amazing, and I had one of those stellar first-day-back-in-a-while classes (no idea why that happens). And now I'm all kinds of sore, but I always liked that weary soreness that comes from a really good workout. By the end of the month, I won't be feeling that at all! But I'll hopefully be feeling all kinds of energy and health and good nights' sleeps.