Sunday, July 13, 2008

We Can't Change The Weather, No Matter What Pat Robertson And Al Gore Say

Here are the non-scientific reasons that I am an AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) skeptic.
Define anthropogenic: adjective - meaning that it's all your fault.

1) It's a fashionable belief. Most fashions fall from favor quickly. We'll see.
After a while, though, the list of things sloppily attributed to Global Warming becomes unintentionally hilarious.

2) When I was in elementary school, I remember a group of my uncles discussing Hurricane Camille, the devastating hurricane that hit the Mississippi gulf coast in 1969. There had been several other severe storms and hurricanes in that time period.
One of my uncles floated the idea that the weather patterns had been severely altered by our exploration of space during the Apollo missions. After all, it seemed that "every time we went up there" there was a storm afterward.
I couldn't yet articulate the concept that correlation is not causation, but I knew that sending up spacecraft wasn't causing hurricanes.
People have a need to believe that everything is about them. It's nice to believe that you're the center of the universe, that God stays up late to admire you, that gays and lesbians in New Orleans could cause Hurricane Katrina, and that we can change the weather. I don't think we could change the weather even if we tried, much less change it by accident.
Why is it ok to ridicule charlatans like Pat Robertson when they threaten to bring down tornados and hurricanes on Disney World and Dover, but when Al Gore threatens to raise the sea levels, he gets a free pass from people who should know better?

3) I remember sitting in the North Sunflower Academy library in the mid-1970's, and reading reports, perhaps this one, about the dangers of Global Cooling. Yes, Global Cooling. Scared the hell out of me.
This article has been reprinted numerous times by other skeptics and mockers who enjoy throwing rotten eggs at Al Gore's chapel.
I love the last paragraph as much, or more, than anything ever printed. Remember, this is about Global Cooling:

Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to allay its effects. They concede that some of the more spectacular solutions proposed, such as melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot or diverting arctic rivers, might create problems far greater than those they solve. But the scientists see few signs that government leaders anywhere are even prepared to take the simple measures of stockpiling food or of introducing the variables of climatic uncertainty into economic projections of future food supplies. The longer the planners delay, the more difficult they will find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality.

Yes, we need to act quickly. We need to melt the Arctic ice cap. We need to panic. The sky is falling, the sky is falling.

4) Speaking of panic, the primary evangelists of man-made climate change are set to make a fortune if we panic and Congress subsidizes their alternative energy start-up companies. Hell, they're going to make a fortune just doing the lobbying and doing shakedowns of the existing manufacturing companies. It's a win-win.

5) Anthropogenic Global Warming advocates are starting to acknowledge that we're probably going to have a ten-year period of Global Cooling. This cooling is also supposed to be a sign of warming. I swear I don't sit around making this stuff up. I just copy it or link to it.

6) At the end of the last ice age, approximately 11,500 years ago, temperatures spiked upward 22 degrees (F) in 50 years. This didn't happen because Fred Flintstone's foot-powered SUV had an excessive carbon footprint. It happened because that's what our planet does. But I bet that various witch doctors were throwing virgins into volcanos in an effort to please the gods and stop global warming.

7) Speaking of Greenland, from the year 800 to 1300, it had a much calmer climate. The climate change at the beginning of this time period was not caused by Viking oil tankers.

8) Thousands of websites and editorials have predicted that it will be possible to navigate across the Arctic circle by the end of September, since the ice cap will be gone. I was going to bet $100 that it won't happen. This guy beat me to it. This is a new site, the guy is very very funny, and his site is already getting lots and lots of traffic. I hate him.
I'm still good for the bet if anyone wants to take me up on it.

9) The guy who runs The Coyote Blog doesn't think we're having an impact on the climate that is larger than the natural temperature swings. He's right about everything else, so I'm siding with him.

Gore cartoon lifted from Pete's Place.

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