Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Global climate change: Just to put your mind at ease

Are we heating up or cooling down? Here's a 1974 Time Magazine article that tried to scare us.

Here's my favorite paragraph from that story and the reason why I shut out the noise about the current global warming debate:

"Whatever the cause of the cooling trend, its effects could be extremely serious, if not catastrophic. Scientists figure that only a 1% decrease in the amount of sunlight hitting the earth's surface could tip the climatic balance, and cool the planet enough to send it sliding down the road to another ice age within only a few hundred years."

That's what many scientists believed just 35 years ago. Pssst! Here's a little secret from me to you, they don't know what is happening. They are just guessing. I'm all for saving energy and recycling, etc., but don't do the scare stuff, it's silly. Remember Y2K? Another media scare that fizzled.

Besides I enjoy driving my gas guzzling Chevrolet Tahoe. When Al Gore gives up his private jet and energy inefficient home, I'll think about down sizing my travel mode.


Anonymous said...

Don't forget Bono, lead singer from the group U2. Bono typically devotes 10-15 minutes out of every concert telling his audience how to live their lives. Of course, this is the same guy who got caught clear-cutting a hundred or so protected trees in front of his estate on the French Riviera (they blocked his view) and had to pay a stiff fine.

Funny you mention 1974 and that era's climate frenzy. I was a sixth grader in 1974-75, and had this science teacher who was right out of college. Of course, his primary goal in life was to save the world.

One week-long diatribe dealt with "holes in the ozone" and the evils of aerosol cans. Fair enough. Makes sense.

But THEN he had the gall to put a 3-paragraph protest letter on the overhead projector (just think "really old version of PowerPoint," young people), asked us each to copy the letter in our own handwriting, sign it, then send it to Proctor & Gamble in Cincinnati!

Two or three of us worked up enough courage to walk up to this guy after class and say, "This isn't our letter. Why are WE signing it?" He stammered something about the letter not being required work; I ripped mine up and threw it in his waste basket on my way out the door.

Jim of L-Town said...

Do as I say, not as I do, never works for me.

Kevin McK. said...

The Time Magazine article is based on a hypothesis that didn't stand up to peer review. Not so with climate change theory.

You're comparing apples with rocks.

inky said...

Regardless of whether you agree with global warming, there are a lot of reasons to re-evaluate our driving habits; perhaps the greatest one being that the cheapest-to-pump-from-the-ground oil is mostly owned by regimes that hate our guts. We need energy security, and we simply consume too much oil to obtain it cheaply or safely from offshore drilling.

Another reason is that we have a moral obligation not to sock our children and grandchildren with unstainable energy costs.

Jim of L-Town said...

I think I'm comparing hypothesis to hypothesis and the fact that the scientists have been caught with their hand in the Internet cookie jar manipulating the numbers and trying to hide them says all that needs to be said about the validity of the new hypothesis.

There's a lot of revisionist history going on about the cold climate chicken littles of the 1970s and the their global warming counterparts in the 2000s.

What I will agree is that it certainly doesn't hurt to conserve and seek alternative energy sources, but not on a panic basis that we are somehow destroying earth.

It doesn't seem to bother Al Gore to fly around in private jets or live in his mansion while he tells the rest of us how to live. There was story today about how the big limos for the Copenhagen climate summit are being flown in for the delegates. Sheeesh.

Kevin, what does that big rig you drive run on? I don't see an electric Peterbilt anytime soon. We can wish and hope that we can all plug in and drive, but that's a long way off. We need a plentiful supply of domestic oil now.

There is plenty of oil shale and Alaskan oil we haven't tapped yet before we even have to go off shore to drill. That said, I say drill it all.

At the same time, sure develop alternative energy (see if you can get the Kennedys to allow the big windmills on Cape Cod - they fought that you know - didn't look nice for the rich folks), make it affordable and do away with oil as much as you can. I'm all for that.

As far as our moral obligation to our children, the first moral obligation I think we ought to work on is having the government quit printing money and loaning it to China so we can save rich bankers and investment types.

The burgeoning $12-plus trillion debt in our country is going to be born by our children and grandchildren. Maybe they'll have to sell our oil reserves to pay it off.

Time to start paying our way right now and not borrowing our on children's future.

But I appreciate the debate.

ed said...

Say the warming sham is all true.
what are you gong to do about it anyway? giveup your car? heat your home?
Ill think about giving up may SUV when the soon to be Billionaire Al Gore moves into a tent.
Ill use the last gallon of gas on earth before Ill give it to fat Al.

inky said...

Oil shale and oil sands are a terribly inefficient, dirty and expensive way to get oil when you can essentially put a stick in the ground in Saudi Arabia.

I don't plan to allow a bunch of hypocrites in Copenhagen deter me from being as good a steward of the environment as I can be ... and that includes making personal choices to consume less and conserve more. I do not want young men and women to die in the Middle East so that Americans can drive Hummers and Suburbans -- just because it feels good. We do not have a God-given right to plunder the world's oil reserves.

Jim of L-Town said...

Inky, I agree with you that conservation is a good thing, but let's get some good science before we change our economy.

My belief is we can do both. We can transition into new energy, but also wisely use the resources God gave us here to use.

I don't call that plunder, I call that good stewardship.

Back in the 1970s, during a manufactured shortage then, we were told all the world's oil would run out in just a couple decades at the rate. That was a lie.

All I'm asking is that we deal with facts and good science. Last I checked Al Gore is not a scientist. He invented the Internet, that makes him a geek, not a scientist.

Jim of L-Town said...

Good to see you back cat paws....

DashRipRock said...

Here's a question I have for all you little runny-nose liberals. Do you think if the Earth was COOLING you alarmists would recommend burning MORE fossil fuels, etc? Of course not! Man-made global warming is utterly impossible. Anyone with a basic knowledge of the Earth's history knows of numerous, cataclysmic climate changes the Earth went through long before Al Gore showed up. Mother Nature in one day can do what mankind does in its entire history. Remember the Mt. Penitubo eruption in 1991? Spewed more soot in the air in one day than all of the 100-year industrial revolution. It cooled the planet by 1 degree for over a year. I'm sick of un-informed and poorly educated people trying to tell OTHERS how they should live their lives. This is about punishing the U.S. for having the audacity to be the greatest experiment in FREEDOM!

Anonymous said...

I remember reading about the coming ice age in those "weekly reader" papers we would get in school and being afraid for us all. My Dad talked to me about it and said this wasn't something that was going to happen anytime soon, but I always remembered this and when I see all the global warming talk I think of it. The Earth's climate has always been changing, the last big ice age is proof of that.

Pam said...

But without fear and panic what will keep us glued to the TV news and sell more products?

(off the topic but I wonder how much Purell and hand soap sold during this H1N1 scare?)

And Y2K! Oh my gawd........

I'd forgotten the global cooling scare. Thanks for the perspective.

Kevin McKague said...

Like I said, the cooling article was a media sensation, not a scientific theory.

Anecdotal evidence is not science.


"As far as peer reviewed scientific papers in the 1970s, very few papers (7 in total) predicted global cooling. Significantly more papers (42 in total) predicted global warming due to CO2.

Jim of L-Town said...

Which is exactly the point of the skeptics Kevin. All we have for global warming is anecdotal evidence based on (now revealed) flawed and manipulated models.

No one (cooling or warming) can make a determination on the direction of the planet's climate based on temperatures from a blink of time in earth history.

In all the history of the earth there have likely been countless periods of wild swings based on nothing more than nature.

The idea that you can take 100 years of climate history and say for a certainty what is happening is not science, it's voodoo.

The hacked e-mails show that the skeptics were right about one thing, there is an extremely political - and not scientific - side to the global warming argument.

All that said, it certainly doesn't hurt a thing to develop alternative energy and conserve.

Skepticalscience.com is simply a part of the political process to deflect any dissenting scientific opinions for the current theory of human-caused global warming.

Besides, before we alter our way of life and economy based on theories let's see what the Chinese are going to do. They are certainly creating and emitting more pollutants without any apparent desire to control them, as we are.

Anonymous said...

a distinguished meteorologist friend once said his profession has a difficult enough time figuring out next week's weater, including temperature...much less accurately predicting long-range temperatures.....
me thinks he has a point