Monday, October 30, 2006

Global Warming, Chicken Little

British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned that global warming will ultimately result in "green taxes". Just in case you forgot how liberals view taxes as the solution to everything. Before we all get our shorts in knot, let's get some facts straight.
  • The climate has warmed almost a full degree in the last one hundred years.
  • NO ONE knows for CERTAIN why this is so.
  • In 1883 when Krakatoa erupted it snowed in July in New England.
  • Volcanoes have been unusually quiet in the last 100 years.
  • Our planet is supposed to be 5 billion years old, don't you think jumping to conclusions based on 100 years of data, some of which is suspect, is a little rash?
The Krakatoa eruption in 1883 caused upwards of 25 cubic kilometers of volcanic debris to be blown into the atmosphere. To put that into perspective, that's like twelve 1968 Chrysler Imperials running non stop for 6 hours. This was not the first time this volcano cooled the earth, there were events in 416 a.d. and 535 a.d. which caused global cooling and famine.
My point in bringing up Krakatoa is that long before we have to worry about our atmosphere heating up dramatically, I would wager that we will have to endure a few non-summers due to volcanic activity. When I was in high school, all the science magazines were blathering about the coming Ice Age, since we are long, long over due for one. How do you think we would do if the grain fields in Canada were once again under miles of ice and if July snow storms in New York City never melted? Call me an optimist but I prefer what we have right now.


Anonymous said...

Should we follow this ostrich like wait and see approach or should we in try to reduce the impact of fossile fuels etc on the environment? I think it is naive to assume that there will be no long term impact on the environment due to expected expotential increases of fossil fuels etc in the near future.

El Duderino said...

I don't care what we do, so long as we don't cripple the world economy and empower eco-chiselers based on supposition. I think it's presumptuous to assume that we have anything to do with climate change whatsoever. Do you really think that all our carbon emissions multiplied by 5000 comes close to 25 cubic kilometers of volcanic debris? I would find this global warming talk so much more believable if some of the most prominent eco Chicken Littles didn’t travel by private jet and motorcade, and own multiple heated and air conditioned 5000+ sqf homes, RFK jr. , Algore, Babs, etc.
What you presume can be likened to a drunk waking up at noon and then deciding at 12:01 that drinking causes the day to come and that it will keep getting brighter. Then you run around knocking the drinks out of everybody’s hand so that the sun will go down because you have a hangover. Yeah, we should do something about global warming, but giving money to the government is the last place I would start.

zaphod said...

Global warming has occurred. The $60,000 question is why. The current warming trend began sometime in the early 19th century - long before the use of fossil fuels could have possibly played a role. If you're going to address a problem, it's important to first understand what the problem actually is.

As for reducing the impact of fossil fuels on the enviroment, well, who is against THAT? Nobody is. The problem is how do you do that? Our energy needs will rise - not just us but China's and India's too. If we were on track to meet Kyoto's goals, the reduction in carbon emmissions by us would have been completely overwhelmed by the increase in emmissions from China and India. The problem, you see, is economic. Unless technologies are developed that make it economically viable to make the switch from oil, the switch WON'T HAPPEN. Even at today's prices, oil is cheap energy and we know how to harvest it.

Too much of the debate about energy and the enviroment is NOTHING more than cheap posturing. The problem isn't political. It's a technological problem. Cracking THAT nut is the only thing that will make a difference. The rest is just people pointing fingers - pretending to care about the enviroment.

CultMan said...

Zaphod's got it, in a nutshell. I agree with El D about the fact that we've just refused to look at long term trends in the environment (and being someone who has studied the period of 300-1500 AD extensively, I would tend to agree that the 'warming' alarms are a little bit shaky), however, Dexter is absolutely right -- why not start now, and use a little bit of $investment$ in R&D to virtually do away with the fossil fuel component in teh Western Democracies?