Did You Turn Up the Thermostat?

| April 16, 2007

Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Global Warming

Global warming – one of the great questions of the year, and maybe of our generation. The press is giving the topic a wide amount of coverage, and most of the headlines are grabbed by modern day prophets of doom. People proclaiming to be experts and bringers of truth cite number of people who will be killed, damage to the planet, calamity to humanity and civilization.

The business of forecasting the end of the world as we know it ™ is neither new, nor has it stopped being an effective means of leverage over people.

After one of my favorite channels on the air, the Weather Channel, switched to beating the drums of climate doom, I decided that it was time to do what all good citizens who have concerns should do. Look for facts and do a bit of honest research, and then make up my own mine about what is happening and if it matters. In what should work out to be a multi-part series, I am going to present my ideas on climate change, and how it might just be a really good thing.

1. The Earth – It’s A Nice Place, Right?

Planet Earth

I always like to start on a weird problem from an extreme edge. Lets talk about our shared home, planet Earth. We love this place, as well we should. Without it, we could not exist. We did not make it and likewise we cannot, by present means, destroy it. Now if we wanted to, we could make it look ugly for a few thousand years, and make it so that most of what lives here now would die off or have to change radically to survive (not the first time that happened by the way). Even if all of the mighty nuclear weapons all nations hold were to be set off, within 10,000 to 50,000 years, life would be back on earth bubbling right along, probably much sooner.

How and why does this happen? For starters, the basic elements of life are always giving it another go in one form or another. No matter how hard the planet crashes, eventually it recovers. Part of this is because the energy to drive life and all of the processes around it, keeps coming in. Thats because the Sun, our local star, is always bathing the earth in radiation.

One of my favorite fallacies of modern man is our tendency to apply linear thought and linear predictions to inherently complex and dynamic systems. Dynamic systems of unfathomable complexity such as a star and our complex planet. In the several billion years our world has been orbiting our sun, it has been much colder, and a great deal hotter. What surprised me was to find out that in the grand scheme of things, the current temperature of the earth is below the long term average. The graph below is merely an estimate based on chemical analysis – which may or may not have been impacted by funding from various sides of the climate debate.

Estimated long term temps on earth

Graph from Wikipedia.

Natural global warming, and global cooling have been the standard throughout the history of our planet. This natural climate change typically wipes out huge sets of species – as evidenced by the fact that we don’t have saber tooth cats roaming around Sacramento these days, and 10 foot long millipedes are not frequent household pests.

Therefore – if the planet is getting warmer, that would seem to be a natural and predictable thing. Likewise if the planet were getting cooler that would seem to be well within the range of normal. In fact scientists suggest that we are still within an epoch of glaciation, and over the next 10,000 years the climate may turn aggressively cooler. This was the big scare back in the 70s, the next ice age was going to make us all move to Florida.

What does this mean? From my studies it looks like whatever changes might be taking place are well within the natural order of things. Man’s impact on the climate is therefore irrelevant. Furthermore to suggest that anyone knows that Man is causing climate change implies that they somehow have divined what the climate would look like 10, 100 or 1000 years from now with enough clarity to see that we are deviating from it.

Today’s Key Points
1. Earth – a great place to be and be from
2. The Sun – where all energy (save nuclear) that we enjoy comes from
3. Climate – always changing. In the past it has been much warmer and much colder
4. Man’s Impact On The Climate – Irrelevant at this point because the climate was probably changing anyhow, because it is the natural order of things to do so.

Next installment – who is part of the big global warming rouse, and how they benefit from the chaos

Be Sociable, Share!

Category: Climate Change, Environment, Main

About the Author ()

Bruce Henderson is a former Marine who focuses custom data mining and visualization technologies on the economy and other disasters.

Comments are closed.