Wednesday Afternoon Ramblings

Perhaps I’m growing too intolerant of ignorance as I age, but I really get sick of people making the stupid jokes that go something like, “This Global Warming sure is making things cold” or “I need to go run my car to warm things up.”  Most of these jokes are from conservatives who seem to gravitate towards derision to explain away complexities they don’t want to spend the time to learn well.

It’s cold because it’s winter in the Northern Hemisphere.  This has to do with the tilt of the earth on its axis and the duration of sunlight each day during these months.  In the Southern Hemisphere right now, it’s summer, and on the continent of Australia, there has been an epic drought for most of the last decade.  This year, they happen to be getting record floods.

The phrase Global Warming was part of the title of a 1975 paper by Dr. Wallace Broecker, “Climate Change: Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?”  Mass Media focused on the phrase Global Warming because it’s sensational and sells more newspapers than Climate Change, but most scientists I know prefer the latter because it is more accurate in its description of the situation.  The hypothesis is that greenhouse gases generated by excessive use of fossil fuels have caused the earth to trap more heat from the sun, thus warming the oceans and creating unstable weather patterns across the entire planet.  Most scientists who do not let their political beliefs cloud their objectivity agree that something is happening to the climate that is unusual.  The only real debate among scientists either not on a payroll of an oil company or on the grassroots campaign trail for Jeb 12 is whether or not these changes to the climate are part of a natural cycle or caused by man’s activities.  My guess is that, like most things, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

5 thoughts on “Wednesday Afternoon Ramblings”

  1. Please, my friend, don’t even throw out the “JEB ’12” as a joke. <>

    I work at a faith-based liberal arts college and am friends with many of the science faculty. I really have to concur with your assessment and say that even here, where all the scientists also happen to be Christians, they consider both the reality of significant climate change as well as it potential effects something to be taken seriously. I can think of only one dissenter, who is a hard-core creationist. His issues are less with the situation itself than with the causality of greenhouse gases and carbon emissions.

    There’s a terrific article today about another climate. Our poisonous partisan political climate. That’s one climate change I think we should all get behind. We’re losing good people within the system who are walking away out of frustration.

    1. You are so correct. I’m guilty myself of conservative-bashing because I’m so frustrated by their holier-than-thou, non-compromising, we’re right and you’re wrong attitudes. I don’t consider myself a liberal and tend to have many moderate conservative views about many topics, but the true conservatives who lean far right have become pretty toxic to the system.

  2. A survey found that 98% of the world’s climatologists believe in Climate Change and that human activity has something to do with it. Of course there are non-human factors as well, natural cycles and whatnot, and the real debate now is how the causes break down percentage-wise. Is it 70/30 in favor of human causation or closer to 90/10, etc.?

    Another debunking tactic you will come across is the claim that “the data actually show a slight cooling trend recently.” The Associated Press hired 4 statisticians to crunch the numbers without being told what the numbers represent. All 4 found that the numbers were trending up, not down.

    I turns out the debunkers were comparing data from 1998 to data from 2008 ignoring the intervening years. Sure enough, temps for 2008 were slightly cooler than 1998, but there’s no way in hell that qualifies as a ten-year cooling trend. Actually, the most recent data show that the last decade was the warmest on record.

  3. All I will say is to proceed with caution regarding a number of governmental and corporate agencies that see Climate Change as both a golden goose and a mechanism for establishing major regulatory powers over individuals. Follow the money and control trail. I can almost guarantee you that many of the “advocates” for major new controls and regulations are themselves not too worried about their carbon footprints. I’m not stating who is right or wrong in this debate, but proceed with caution and skepticism.

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