February 20, 2007

Here's a quarter.

Maybe you can buy a clue.

Why Americans are Skeptical of Their Role in Global Warming

I don't know about everyone else, but I look at it like this: 1) There are, despite the continued news stories to the contrary, quite a goodly number of climatologists (with just as many PhDs as the alarmists) who say that the data are not nearly so incontrovertible as they might seem, and that right now it's impossible to say for sure what might be happening. 2) There seem to be quite a few people who are, if not American enemies, then at least adversaries, with an economic motive that seems suspect at best for trying to hamstring American industry while simulataneously letting themselves off the hook for pollution. 3) There seems to be among those who are most vociferous about the peril a certain disdain, bordering on hatred, of anyone who would dare disagree with them on the issue, and their manner of debate has grown increasingly illogical and shrill. 4) The continued stream of panic and despair flows most strongly from those in the news media and from politicians. While I realize some people implicitly trust anything said by members of the media and politicians, I tend to look at it with a bit more circumspection. 5) Within recorded human history, the continents were covered with sheets of ice. These sheets of ice melted due to an increase in the Earth's temperature. It's quite possible that there were no factories or SUVs around when it happened, making it seem very likely that the last batch of global warming was possibly a natural phenomenon. 6) Further back in the geological record, it is evident that nearly the entire Earth was covered in tropical forests, and sometime later, it cooled off enough to create great huge sheets of ice nearly down to the tropics. Once again, the cooling-off happened before Halliburton was founded, and before America was ruined by greedy white people, meaning that possibly, THAT climatic event was ALSO maybe the result of a natural phenomenon.

SO then, the way I see it, the Earth may be getting hotter now.

Or not.

It could be caused by man.

Or not.

It's definitely being loudly trumpeted as fact by the press and the politicians, both of whom might have a financial stake in the controversy. And both of whom in the past have exhibited a level of collective intelligence and savvy approaching that of a common flea.

Pardon, then, my scepticsm.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at February 20, 2007 03:48 PM

During the Medieval Warm Period (around 1000 AD) it was so much warmer than it is now that England was the prime wine growing country, not France. And the Scandinavians had a flourishing colony in Greenland. (Where do you think that name came from?)

About 9000 years ago, it was warm enough that travellers went across the Alps on foot. That's where that frozen guy (Etzi?) came from.

Posted by: mike hollihan at February 20, 2007 06:55 PM

Danged filthy pollutin' Scandis!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at February 21, 2007 08:00 AM

On the other hand, I think something like Glenn Reynolds. Personally, there are things we can do short of wearing hair shirts that can decrease emissions and save us money, too.

Like replacing our windows. To that effect, I say, "For $29.99, I will offset your carbon emissions by buying the most attractive and up-to-date environmentally responsible windows on the market. I will provide receipts." Which is more than the racketeers who are gonna pick that little gig up are gonna do.

One of the things I am seeing, though, is that the "global warming imperative" is overriding other environmental concerns. Compact fluorescent bulbs have a tiny amount of mercury in them. If a state or nation changes to CFLs, that mercury can become a problem.

These hybrid cars have a battery that will need replacing sometime in the life of a car. What about the replacement and disposal of those things?

Posted by: Janis Gore at February 21, 2007 11:04 AM

Exactly right--there's no utility in being mindlessly wasteful or dirty if there are equally good or better ways to avoid it. But as you note, there is often a rush to do something without fully understanding all the potential drawbacks. The hybrid battery issue is just one such thing. Yes, they work great, but that's a LOT of bad stuff that will have to go somewhere after it's worn out.

No one wants to live in a cesspool and breathe dirty air, but there are also ways to achieve a smaller footprint on the Earth without resorting to hysterics to make the point.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at February 21, 2007 11:12 AM