With some of the debate happening on this site, and with my promises to review a global warming book and Mr. Gore’s movie, I thought a little explanation of my own thoughts on global warming may help for the coming articles. I don’t claim to be a climatologist. It seems like every news agency has a complete staff of those, so we don’t need any more. I have read a few books on global warming, I have studied geophysics a little, and I enjoy reading articles that appear in the news about global warming. I am not paid by any oil company, research institute, or President (current or former). However, if anyone out there knows how I could get paid by these groups for my opinion, please let me know.
First, there is no consensus about man-made global warming. If you don’t believe me, check out my global warming tag and see how many comments I get on my global warming posts. Most of them are quiet heated (on both sides). Even if there was consensus, science has nothing to do with consensus. Political policy involves consensus, but not science.
Secondly, there is a lot about the Earth’s climate we don’t know. Scientists don’t understand how clouds form or their exact effect on climate. They know clouds effect the environment, but they are not sure to what degree. Global computer models that are constantly sited are only as good as the assumptions the programmer puts into them. The data we do have is very small and incomplete (accurate hurricane measuring didn’t really start until 1944) when compared to the age of the planet. For every study citing ice cores or tree rings as evidence for global warming, I can show you another study that says the exact opposite.
Third, there is no proof that global warming is a bad thing. If the planet was to increase its temperature by 1 degree over the next 100 years, that might be beneficial. It could cause an increase in plant life and human life. Hot weather kills less than cold weather. If we knew a 1 degree increase might cause an additional 1000 deaths in the summer, but save 10,000 lives in the winter, would that be bad?
I believe that the Earth is getting warmer. I am just not sure how much of that is man’s fault. The Earth’s climate is constantly changing. It has been since before man got here and will be for a long time after we are gone. Just by existing on the planet, man has some impact on his environment, as do all other creatures that inhabit the Earth. The question is: what component of the Earth’s warming is our fault? Various sources claim the Earth has gotten warmer over the last century. The amount varies from less than 0.4 degrees Celsius to about 1.0 degree. I don’t believe all of that is man made, but how much of it is?
I also believe that most “solutions” currently offered by environmentalist are unrealistic. Many of them would cost a tremendous amount of money for very little real benefit. The more extreme solutions even wish to implement a population control with no settlement having more than 20,000 people. Think of that the next time you are in
We need real research to solve what component of the current climate is a result of man. Then we need to decide if there is anything we can actually do to change the Earth’s climate. We need to figure out if we should change the environment, and if the change is worth the cost. If the best we could do is to lower the temperature by 0.01 degree at a cost of $100 billion would that be a good investment?
I hope I haven’t rambled too long. I also hope this helps clarify my views on global warming and gives my readers a base line for the upcoming book and movie reviews. As always, I welcome comments about this or any other post.