Sunday, January 10, 2010

Global Cooling? Yep!

I'm part of the increasingly loud segment of the population who thinks global warming is a hoax. While warming may have occurred, it was part of the normal cyclical order of things. Now even a UN scientist is admiting so-called global warming may be giving way to global cooling. From this map, the response across much of the nation is "Duh!".


Jon said...

You may be right – you may be wrong. I'm not a climatologist, and I do know there's considerable debate. I also know that there are lots of political implications that probably affect reason (both ways).

Here's what I do know. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. Carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere has significantly increased over the past century or so. Finally, small changes to the atmosphere can cause enormous changes down the line – that's the butterfly effect, which results from a chaotic fluid system (which the earth's atmosphere most certainly is).

It is not unreasonable, from this data, to conclude that the earth could be warming. Now, the problem is that the earth's atmosphere is so incredibly complex that it cannot be precisely modeled or measured, thus creating the uncertainty.

So let's avoid drastic claims such as the earth is inevitably warming or cooling (since you can construe data any way you like, but when push comes to shove, there's simply too much data to prove either position beyond a shadow of a doubt). Thus, we simply can't make a conclusion.

Now how do we make a political calculation based on an uncertainty? Let's say you're wrong. If we change nothing, we lose a lot and we gain nothing. Now, if we do change our attitude, perhaps we can capitalize on this. New (green) technologies aren't developed by or for the government, but the government can create incentives for them through tax initiatives, etc.

Private entrepreneurs could seize the opportunity and benefit from this. For the United States, this could be "the next big thing." America's edge in industries such as manufacturing is gone. Our edge in technology is disappearing. Where can we find the edge over the rest of the world?

What about "green" technology? There's a potential need, it provides jobs for ordinary Americans, brings us into the good graces of the rest of the world, it gives us a competitive edge over the rest of the world, and it potentially could clean up our country (regardless of whether or not global warming is true, pollution is a problem in many cities – Houston included). That sounds like a win-win(-win-win-win) situation for us!

And what if they're wrong? What if the naysayers are right? That does not take anything away from the advantages I just laid out, does it?

Alisa said...

I would argue green technology does have disadvantages and that it is, in some cases, also a hoax. It's the whole ethanol scenario - sounds good but in practice has LOTS of detrimental aspects.

I'm old enough to have seen all this before, Jon. In the 70s, I was taught to fear "the next ice age" the way today's youth are taught to fear the devastation of global warming. Our perspectives are limited by our personal timeline. This hysteria is not a new thing to me - I've seen it before and I know, from experience, it is overwrought.

Alisa said...

Have you seen this report?