Cold Facts, Part 2

Posted: April 3, 2012 in 1

Almost 70 years ago, England’s Royal Meteorological Society predicted that because of increased carbon dioxide emissions, a greenhouse effect had begun, and the Earth would heat irreversibly. Immediately, it got cooler. “The advent of the new ice age, scientists say, appears to be guaranteed.  The devastation will be astonishing.”  Gregg Easterbrook (Denison of the environmental movement) in “Return of the Glaciers,” Newsweek, November 23, 1992.

My earlier post made the point that there are 6 links in the daisy chain of Global Warming orthodoxy which need to be accepted in order for the US to engage in the wholesale funding called for, and the draconian reduction in industry and lifestyles that the Chicken Littles are now calling for. To review, here are the six: 1) the planet is getting warmer; 2) this warming is not cyclical, but one-directional; 3) this warming is global; 4) this warming is man-made (anthropogenic); 5) it is harmful to life on the planet; and 6) we can change it by changing our life styles. If any one of these proves not to hold up, it makes no sense to destroy our economy in the pursuit of colder temperatures. I continue now with point three. Is the warming a global phenomenon?

We are treated quite regularly to the projections that the polar ice caps are quickly vanishing. To buttress the point we are shown videos of large chunks of icebergs breaking free. I guess we are to believe that this is something that doesn’t happen every summer. But pictures are effective. Video convincing. It does appear that some retreat of the polar ice caps in the Arctic is taking place. At the same time, the polar ice caps in the Antarctic are growing. It appears to be a cyclical process. Likewise, the temperatures are slightly warmer in the Northern hemisphere, slightly cooler in the southern.

It is also known that the warming is taking place primarily in the night hours and in the winter months.

This global picture is also skewed by the fact that many of the colder measuring stations went off line in the 1990’s due to the collapse of the Soviet Union. You cannot eliminate some of the colder measuring stations from your data and expect accurate results.

Point 4: The warming we see is primarily anthropogenic. This may prove the most difficult proposition to prove. The main culprit cited by the alarmists for man-made global warming is CO2 (carbon dioxide). Never mind that CO2 is necessary for life to exist on the planet. Forget that plants survive on it. It is a greenhouse gas (GHG) and therefore evil. Of course, without the greenhouse benefits Earth receives from these gases, the planet would be uninhabitable. The greenhouse effect keeps temperatures moderate enough to sustain life.

Point 5: This last winter has been one of the most moderate that I have experienced since I moved here to Kansas City. It was quite nice. I heard no complaints. People actually enjoy warmer winters. I don’t plan on getting used to it. Next winter may be one of the coldest. Temperature averages are cyclical.

Historically when temperatures have been warmer, that has served humans well.

During the (now ignored) Medieval Climate Optimum, “In Europe the warm conditions had positive effects. Summer after summer the harvests were good and the population increased rapidly. As a result thousands of hectares were cleared of woodland and farmers expanded their fields high into the hills and on mountain slopes. It was even possible to grow successfully grapes as far north as Yorkshire.” Vikings populated Greenland, grew grain and raised cattle (http://www.eh-resources.org/timeline/timeline_me.html). The temperatures were warmer then, than during the 20th century. Though there was a large decrease in sea ice, making navigation of the northern seas possible, the land was not over-run by the seas (the chimera we are now being frightened with).

Point 6: The idea that we can appreciably effect global climate temperatures by reducing CO2 emissions is questionable at best. I’m being generous. Even the most optimistic among the Chicken Little’s believe that after spending hundreds of billions of dollars a year annually (yes, every year) we could perhaps reduce the warming by less than 1 degree Fahrenheit. I just reviewed many alarmist web sites and could not find any projections on how much we could actually reduce warming, by their estimates. I found many site that outlined how much we would need to spend, and how much we would need to reduce GHG’s, but did not find any current estimates of how successful such expensive efforts would be. The last estimate I found was something like 0.6 degrees Fahrenheit. After trillions of dollars of investment, the disruption of American industries and concomitant lifestyle changes required, we could only effect a minuscule and insignificant change. One site said that were we to add no GHG’s, global temperatures would still rise because we have already emitted too much into our fragile atmosphere. That leads to the question, “Why should we upend our way of life for the possibility that by doing so we might reduce global temperatures to so insignificant a degree?”

This is an especially significant question when taken with the previous points. If a slight warming of the planet may or may not be happening, and if it may, in fact, be beneficial for life on the planet, why would we spend such inordinate amounts of our resources and disrupt our lifestyles, on the quixotic hope that this might reduce the rise in global temperatures ever-so-slightly?

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