Thursday, June 07, 2007

Global Warming of Yore. Now & Yet to Be

Greenland was warmer in the tenth century than it is now. There were many islands teeming with birds off its western coast; the sea was excellent for fishing; and the coast of Greenland itself had many fjords where anchorage was good. At the head of the fjords there were enormous meadows full of grass, willows, junipers, birch, and wild berries. Thus Greenland actually deserved its name.

hat tip The Corner

For a word from the paleoclimatological perspective, you can visit them here. An excerpt from the "final word" section:

There are, however, questions remaining concerning global warming. For instance, what caused the warming and what are the implications for the future? The answers to these questions are not simple.

There is considerable debate centered on the cause of 20th century climate change. Few people contest the idea that some of the recent climate changes are likely due to natural processes, such as volcanic eruptions, changes in solar luminosity, and variations generated by natural interactions between parts of the climate system (for example, oceans and the atmosphere). There were significant climate changes before humans were around and there will be non-human causes of climate change in the future.

Nevertheless, with each year, more and more climate scientists are coming to the conclusion that human activity is also causing the climate to change. First on the list of likely human influences is warming due to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Other human activities are thought to drive climate as well. As the ice-core data show, the increase in carbon dioxide is unprecedented and well outside the range of natural variations. The recent increase matches the increase calculated from the fossil fuel emissions. There is little doubt that these gases will contribute to global warming, and here too the paleo record provides invaluable evidence regarding how much temperature change accompanied changes in carbon dioxide over the past several hundred thousand years. However, there is uncertainty about some issues.

Plus, hey, that whole Solar Systemic Climate changes thing. I know we didn't cause those, at least.

Now, if only those nifty "green" houses were more ubiquitous and affordable and the censoring tyrants would shut the F up. This is not the time to demonize properly raised questions or marginalize skeptics with scientific credentials and legitimate concerns. I do worry about the ones who just want everyone to shut up and join the celebrity bandwagon. Because I dont' trust celebrities to know where their butts are (except when they get em liposucked.) I do want to know what can be done that is REALISTIC and EFFECTIVE, or even if we cannot do anything realistically effective, and we're just blowing smoke in assorted eyes.

I like the idea of governments aiding the citizenship in more green activities. I like the idea of more parks, healthier building materials (ie, non-toxic like PVC), and learning to not waste (water, food, fuel, etc), of efficient cars and efficient homes. But doing it because it's right and beneficial (good stewardship of the resources God has given us and caring for our neighbors) is one thing. Doing it because a group has fastened to it like rabid leeches to bash other countries or political foes with it, well, that's spooky.

And I fear that a sort of zealot's single-minded approach--we did it, it's those evil gas-guzzlers (which, hey, it might be to a certain extent)--will endanger finding out the other causes that may, in fact, be more threatening (even if less contollable). We want to be able to control the climate. I don't know if we really can.

(Though, hey, I live in fricken hurricane alley. I WANT to control the weather! I want to be the Sorceress of the Storm! Really!)

Hey, I suppose someone could come up with a way to set off every volcano on the planet. That'll cool things off. I'm guessing some folks around the volcanoes would balk.

Oh, and please, can we stop with the Kyoto crap. If we're gonna get a green thing going, it's gotta be better than THAT.

1 comment:

Andy D said...

The CO2 levels aren't unprecedented. We have had CO2 levels many times higher than what our current atmosphere has