July 05, 2011

Global warming data down the memory hole

"The science is settled" they say. That translates as "don't look at the data too closely it messes up my grant money and my political party"

I'm old enough to remember the fears of the next ice age. We were all going to freeze to death. One scenario in particular was that when the Soviets nuked us the impact of those weapons would blot out the sun and we'd freeze and starve.

Then about 20 years ago, we were told we were going to melt and drown. All this warmingness was going to cause the sea to surge by as much as 3 inches in the next hundred years. Heaven forfend.

I'm not alone in my skepticism. Some oppose the idea simply because of who's supporting it. For me it's been about scale. Nature has a way of thwarting that which man often wishes to do. It adapts to changes in environment (often contrary to our desired ends). The Salton Sea is a prime example. It was initially an engineering disaster that spawned a unique ecosystem that is now valued and protected.

In recent years the refrain of "Global Warming" has become "Climate Change". Why? For one, the globe is no longer warming and they know it. Between the Hockey Stick graph and the "hide the decline" nonsense many believe the emperor has no clothes.

(Odd that people who's entire political platform for the last 30 years has been "change" are now fighting one particular type of change.)

Why is climate change so bad? Warming gives us more arable farmland. If climate change is bad, what is the optimum temperature? Is it a global mean? How is it measured? How is the proper temperature determined?

If indeed the Earth's climate cools beyond this magical mean, will these same people encourage us to drive SUV's and emit more CO2 to compensate?

Is there any solution to this problem that does not require restricting human behavior or increasing government power or both?

The Earth is not warming. It is cooling.

World temperatures did not rise from 1998 to 2008, while manmade emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuel grew by nearly a third, various data show.

The researchers from Boston and Harvard Universities and Finland's University of Turku said pollution, and specifically sulphur emissions, from coal-fueled growth in Asia was responsible for the cooling effect.

The study said that the halt in warming had fueled doubts about anthropogenic climate change, where scientists say manmade greenhouse gas emissions are heating the Earth.

"It has been unclear why global surface temperatures did not rise between 1998 and 2008," said the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States.

A peak in temperatures in 1998 coincided with a strong El Nino weather event, a natural shift which brings warm waters to the surface of the Pacific Ocean every few years.

Emphasis added.

Where was this reported? Was there any politician who's been talking about this? Has any of the Concerned Scientists (TM) retracted their earlier claims? Or asked for their signature to be removed from the Brave Statement About What Is To Be Done? No. To do so would jeopardize their grant funding and/or their politics.

"But Duffy, you're just a rube like the rest of them. Only lumpenproles and the low sloping forheads believe this."

No.

On the whole, the most scientifically literate and numerate subjects were slightly less likely, not more, to see climate change as a serious threat than the least scientifically literate and numerate ones.

It's about money and control. It has nothing to do with their desire to save the planet or anything of the sort. They continue to fly on private jets live in huge homes, drive hither and yon with impunity. (Frankly the only person I'm prepared to hear a lecture from about my lifestyle is Ed Begley Jr. He's the only person I see that's practicing what he preaches.)


Posted by Duffy at July 5, 2011 03:22 PM | TrackBack

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