I’ve been meaning to write again about global warming for some time now, and it’s about time I actually did so. I listened to the local liberal radio station on the ride home from work, and the host was going on and on about how Alaska has changed with the effects of global warming. Earlier this year I listened to a guest on the same radio station explain that the Inuit people of the Arctic areas of Alaska and Canada claim the U.S. is responsible for violating their basic human rights due to global warming. The guest made the comment that the Inuit people’s lives had been unchanged for millennia until the advent of global warming.
At this point I called the radio guest a barking moonbat because he clearly had no grasp of history or climate. The only constant about our climate is that it changes. Our planet has cycled between ice ages and epochs of extra warmth, and it will continue to do so long after the current generation becomes some future paleontologist’s exciting find. But someone must have sold this guy a theory of an unchanging earth.
Earlier today, I did a Google news search on “global warming.” It came back with an interesting listing of recent news reports. While I won’t go over every one of the dozen or so I read, I’ll discuss a few. In the first listing, the National Geographic Society reported that global warming might result in rivers in Africa drying up. Here’s the proof:
To predict future rainfall, the scientists compared 21 of what they consider to be the best climate change models developed by research teams around the world. On average, the models forecast a 10 to 20 percent drop in rainfall in northwestern and southern Africa by 2070.
I have only one issue with these climate models — they don’t work. The scientists run models and make predictions for the future based on the results, but when they run these same models with a known set of data, like information from 1970, and run a simulation of the next 35 years, the models cannot accurately determine what the weather actually was in 2005. And if the models cannot accurately parallel known data, why should we trust their findings for the unknown future? This isn’t science — it’s religion!
A news article posted at KSL.com indicated that scientists in Utah were noticing the state getting warmer faster than they had first thought. While there are people who disagree with global warming and claim it’s all based on faulty science, I have no problem believing that climate change is occurring. After all, the earth has gone through many periods of hot and cold. I’ve asked quite a few people if they could name the primary cause of global warming. The answers have varied, but only one person to date has given the correct answer: the sun. And the sun has been rather active as of late.
So if people agree that the earth is warming up, then what is the primary concern? It sounds like the main argument these days centers around what to do about the warming. Since the sun provides our warmth, and it is rather difficult to turn the sun’s thermostat down a few clicks to reduce the heat, I don’t think there’s much we can do. But not everyone shares my opinion. The next news link issued the following mission statement on how to confront this problem:
Our mission is to use the strength of our numbers to urge:
1) Our government to join the rest of the world in solving global warming, and
2) American business to start a new industrial revolution and develop clean energy products that will reduce our dependence on oil and other pollutants that contribute to global warming.
I consider their first goal to be inherently flawed, since the main idea espoused by the world’s big thinkers is to jump on board with the Kyoto treaty. I’ve already written about why that is a bad idea. But people are free to petition their governments to sign the treaty. I’ll continue to petition for the opposite. To each his own, I guess.
If you think everyone is gloom-and-doom about global warming, you’d be wrong. Two other links took a different view. One had a tongue-in-cheek approach to global warming, considering that it would serve to warm up the bitter Ohio winters. Seriously, a warmer earth would do just that, and warmer winters would reduce deaths due to exposure and increase crop yields in the upper latitudes. The other article linked to a blog disseminating lots of recycling information and discrediting global warming itself. I don’t believe everything I hear or read from environmentalists these days, but I can’t deny that the earth is getting warmer. It just doesn’t necessarily follow that humans in general and the United States in particular are to blame for it.
I loved this quote from the next link: “Of course, global warming is no surprise to Southwesterners, where there has been no significant precipitation in four to five months.” The problem with that sentence is that global warming doesn’t cause drought in the American southwest. You can lay that squarely at the feet of La Niña. When El Niño is in full force, the southwest gets more rain than normal. Don’t bother to write and tell me that La Niña / El Niño are caused by global warming; that’s nonsense. These two weather phenomena are opposite ends of a normal weather cycle that has gone on for as long as people have cared to notice. Blaming this normal cycle on global warming is a common argument, but nonetheless an invalid one.
But global warming does seem to be a great catch-all explanation. If it’s rainy, it’s global warming. If it’s dry, it’s global warming. At the height of summer, you’ll hear reporters and politicians bemoaning global warming. But just as many will cry and wring their hands over global warming in the middle of winter. Some goofs even had the bright idea to hold a global warming conference in Montreal in the middle of freakin’ winter. Steven Milloy of JunkScience.com wrote a great editorial about how global warming fans point to simultaneous heating and cooling as being caused by people:
The British newspaper The Independent, for example, reported in its Nov. 30 article about the Nature study that “the real evidence does point to a possible one degree Centigrade cooling over the next two decades.” But the newspaper reported in another same-day article that “the [record hot] summer of 2003 was triggered by global warming caused by man-made emissions of greenhouse gases.” Such contradictory reporting casually ignores the reality that greenhouse gas emissions can’t simultaneously cool and warm Europe.
Cox and Forkum did a great job lampooning this attitude with the following cartoon: