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Thoughts Online Magazine
Collected Articles on Culture & Politics
Climate Change 
25th-Sep-2006 10:18 am
1. Mean Global Temperature (a notoriously vague statistic, subject to
a lot of discussion) has increased by one half of one degree Kelvin
from where it was about 1900.

2. Atmospheric levels of Carbon Dioxide have risen over the past two

3. Carbon dioxide is a "greenhouse gas" (a minor one, compared to
water vapor and methane from vegetable and animal sources) whose
increase is likely to warm the earth.
When I say minor, I mean
that DOUBLING the CO2 content of the atmosphere would raise Mean
Global Temperature by about ONE degree. Someone who focuses on
this greenhouse gas has never mastered basic statistical logic:
always focus on the two or three LARGEST contributors to any
expense, problem, or situation you face: whatever your percentage
of effect, it will be larger than if you focused on the smaller
ones. Anyone who has studied power laws will come
to this conclusion quickly. As noted before, climatologists are
not good at statistics -- and that fact should make those models of
theirs subject to more review than they are getting.

What is in bold above is perfectly true, and is the consensus. Richard
S. Lindzen, Professor of Meteorology at MIT, supplied some of the
wording above.

But these facts do not imply global warming. Two centuries ago
(before the increase in carbon dioxide noted above), much of the
Northern Hemisphere was emerging from the little ice age. A thousand
years ago, it was the Midaeval Warm Period, with temperatures higher
than now. Climate CHANGES all the time.

My own suggestion: the increase in carbon dioxide is Gaia's attempt to avoid another ice age, which, as pointed out before, we are due for.

UPDATE: Common sense breaks out in the Senate of the United States on Global Warming. Three cheers for Senator Inhofe! For those who need further scientific proof, check out this page

FURTHER UPDATE: Early snow this year. How warm can you get?

LAST LAUGH: Evidently I could be prosecuted under newfangled statutes for "climate change denial". If so, I may fail to defend by laughing instead of speaking.
25th-Sep-2006 08:38 pm (UTC)
It seems as if many of the political enviornmentalists (as opposed to environmental scientists) have a tendency to take actual observations out of context and either misinterpret and deliberately obfuscate thier actual meaning.

"Global warming" is an unfortunate case-in-point. Frankly, "warming" is a red-herring and most scientists in the field seem to have been saying it for over a decade. The true interest is (nowadays) directed at climate change, and what it means for any particular slice of geography. Unfortunately, it's much more difficult to predict and so one can't make generally-applicable statements with any certitude; some places may get warmer, but others may become more cool. The questions become whether climate changes will begin to occur more quickly than particular human societies can adapt (possible), and, furthermore, whether the biosphere itself is truly intrinsically "stable" or only "meta-stable" and subject to breakdown at a certain tipping-point.

Climate changes in some areas of the world are happening more quickly than they would normally, but so far only a few more microstates in the Pacific are proving unable to cope. Whether or not the biosphere is meta-stable is anyone's guess; I daresay there are a few things that could wipe-out all life on Earth, but I wouldn't say that it's likely humans could manage it by accident.
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