Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Global Warming the Cockles of my Heart

It's not widely known among my liberal friends, although I believe a few suspect that I'm a closet Republican, but I do not believe in Global Warming in the same way Al Gore believes in Global Warming.

I know that sounds like blasphemy coming from someone who voted for Obama and loves promoting solar technology and electric cars, but it is true. I do not believe that man-made global warming is actually occurring, or at least not in any significant amount to actually impact the environment.

Having said that, let me clarify a few points.

  1. Is the Earth getting warmer? Yes, I think that's easy enough to demonstrate.
  2. Is pollution bad and should we lower carbon emissions? Yes. Nature is a beautiful thing and we should do all reasonable things we can think of to preserve it and ourselves.
  3. Don't you love polar bears? Of course. I've loved polar bears since watching Binky the Polar Bear at the Anchorage Zoo throw a pink bowling ball around like a leaf.
So, why is the weather getting all crazy and why are temperatures so high and how do you explain increased carbon levels and polar caps melting?

A geologist convinced me, quite by accident, that most (99.99%) of the temperature changes we're currently seeing are related to natural occurring fluctuations in the earth's temperature.

The geologist was trying to explain why global warming was man's fault and I was quite eager to believe him. Up until this point, I did believe global warming was our fault.

Using charts and graphs, the geologist explained that every 100,000 years the earth goes through a long cycle of cooling (ice age) and warming (interglacial warm period).

Looking at the graphs, I thought to myself well then surely we must be in the warmest period of the Earth, thanks to pollution. Nope. Warmest period was a while ago (few thousand years ago, way before LA traffic).

Ok, well maybe we can see a trend shift where we should be in a cooling period, but we're not. Nope. We're actually right on schedule and in about 2,000 years should be heading into the dreaded ice age.

Well damn. So what's the problem again? Well there are increased carbon monoxide levels in the atmosphere and this was probably the only compelling chart in favor of man-made pollution having a global impact on temperature.

However, it wasn't strong enough to prove a direct causal relationship between pollution and global warming. If anything, the other charts proved yet again that man has overestimated his impact on the earth and mother nature.

So, I remain convinced that we should stop polluting, but also stop believing that we're baking the earth with greenhouse gases. We should stop polluting because it's killing our lungs and causing us to be heavily reliant on finite resources. However, way too much energy, time and resources are being devoted to something that is probably way out of our control.

Which leads me to the fun part. What should we be doing with those resources? Let's stop for a moment and assume that the extremists on both sides of the argument are correct and the world is doomed (either hot or cold).

Then perhaps we should be figuring out a way to live in that type of environment.

"we must not allow a mine shaft gap!"

Or we should concentrate on getting off the world and onto another planet where we won't freeze/burn and be able to grow something to eat?

Just a thought.


Rachel said...

Very very well written. I agree with everything you've said.

Blog Owner said...

Thanks Rachel. We may be in the minority, but at least we're in good company.

Michael Crichton did a lot of research for a science fiction book and came to the same conclusion.

Of course, there are some slightly more scientific resources:

Anonymous said...

And i suppose man-bear-pig is made up as well!?!?!?!

Leinad Nitram

Chip Hawkins said...

He's half man, half wait, he's half bear, half pig-man. I love it. Oh, and the Dr. Strangelove clip too!

Lisa Blair said...

I'll start by saying that I think that human-made global warming is a reality. It is scientific fact that greenhouse gases cause warming. I think what you are saying is that you don't think that there are *enough* human-made greenhouses gases in the atmosphere to cause a human-made warming trend.

I don't disagree that we are on schedule to head into an ice age, and that generally this is preceeded by a warming period. But I don't see how that theory in any way rules out or disproves that human-made greenhouse gases can, have, and will continue to increase the global temperature.

Both theories can co-exist. You do not have to deny one to believe in the other.