For the past several days, even as winter has arrived and temperatures have dropped pretty much all over North America, there have been a flurry of stories in the press regarding global warming.
It seems our fearless scientists have been busy studying bubbles. No, not the ones inside the Aero bar, but real bubbles. I myself am not a bubble expert, and only worry about them when I am fixing drywall, when I paint, or when I blow through my straw into my milkshake.
I have stated in the past that I believe that we are going through a warming period, but that it is not manmade. The studies that are now being touted do nothing to change that view.
One key analyst, Pennsylvania State University geoscientist Richard Alley was quoted in a Bloomberg story as saying “I don’t think there are any serious questions of the scientific credibility that big temperature variations move together with greenhouse gases.” I believe that Mr. Alley is absolutely correct. The measurement of greenhouse gases has been intense and there is much data to support this line of thought. He goes on to add, ” Humans are moving the world out of its natural variability.” It is with unsupported and irresponsible statements like this one that I take issue with. There is absolutely no empirical data to prove absolutely that humans are the cause. Mr. Alley is combining good science with political conjecture. As for the world’s ‘natural variability’, would someone please explain to me the parameters that we think the world can handle and how we arrived at those figures. The simple truth is that science learns new things about the earth everyday and theories are constantly revised to reflect the newer data. To say that any theory is absolutely correct is simply a falsehood.
The name of the Bloomberg article is what caught my attention, and reveals a truth that science is reluctant to acknowledge. The article is entitled “Earth’s Warm Cycle May Last 18,000 More Years, Bubbles say.” It goes on to say that this information was extracted from bubbles more than half a million years old, and that this information pointed to warming trends that last approximately 28,000 years. So what? What is the point? We have been told that global warming is being caused by man. If that is the case, then no previous data on warming trends is relevant, as we are entering a whole new era, that of manmade warming. If this is the first time that we have done this, then there is no previous knowledge or information of how long it will last, nor of the effects.
By stating that scientists now believe that we are 10,000 years into a 28,000 year warming period, does that not, in itself, remove manmade environmental effects from the equation? If they believe that we are going through a warming period such as happened between the last two ice ages, then where does the argument that man must change course gain credence?
Edward Brook, another geoscientist quoted in the Bloomberg article, states that “At no time in the past 650,000 years is there evidence for levels of carbon dioxide or methane significantly higher than values just before the Industrial Revolution,” Now this is interesting. You see, if the Industrial Revolution has contributed to global warming, and if things are getting worse, then why are the highest readings in the last 650,000 years found before the Industrial Revolution? This just doesn’t make sense for the argument of a manmade dilemma, and it has nothing to do with my viewpoint.
The only thing I or anyone else is certain of is that we have had some scorchers in the last few years. Perhaps the planet is indeed in a warming trend. I believe that it is a natural phenomenon and that there is nothing you or I can do to change the course we are on. In the 1930’s, the American Midwest went through the Dust Bowl Drought where farmland dried up. We can all remember seeing the pictures of farms that looked like deserts. Have a look for yourself. Can you imagine how the scientific community would spin that today? They would have us turn off our life support systems. The point is that the earth is a complex system, with many variables and variations. Take for example long range weather forecasts. With all of our knowledge, computer models, and long range projections, I find it hilarious that the Farmer’s Almanac is still more precise than what the weatherman tells me is only five days away. Those forecasts are rarely accurate. The reason? There are just too many things that can alter the course of the weather.
The one thing that seems to be true in all of this is that with each new piece of data and information that we acquire, the less we appear to really know. I guess that old saying is true. Knowledge has absolutely nothing to do with wisdom.