Thursday, June 15, 2006

Inconvenient Tidbits

I have no idea whether or not the climate is warming or not. Given that scientists were absolutely convinced that it was cooling only twenty years ago I’m pretty sure that they don’t really know either. What I do know is that government is very unlikely to actually do anything positive to fix the problem. I also know that the proposals that are currently on the table to “fix” global warming would do substantial harm to those that are least capable to cope with economic downturns – the miserably poor in 3rd world and developing countries.

That being said, I think that the press, in general, does an atrocious job of presenting a balanced presentation of what is known and unknown. So here are some tidbits of news that, for some reason, don’t make it to the front pages of the USA Today.

Only the truly faithful should actually take Gore’s Inconvenient Truth at its word. But then again religious fanatics are not known for their fact checking. Either way here [HatTip: Slashdot] are some scientists (real ones that actually, you know, study the climate as opposed to biology or linguistics) that tackle some of Gore’s assertions directly.

Speaking of the Inconvenient Truth, I guess it would have been really inconvenient to mention that, despite the movies assertions to the contrary, that Greenland’s icecaps are actually increasing. Or that the temperatures measured in Greenland are better over the last several years than they were in the early 1900’s.

Moreover [HatTip: Catallarchy], the conclusion that alarmed the team was that compared to its importance for air traffic (25%), the night flights accounted between 60% and 80% of the negative effects for climate. Winter flights were reported to have contributed with more than half to the annual warming, despite of the fact that their proportion is estimated at 22%.

So let me get this straight – the weatherman can’t accurately predict what the weather is going to be like next week, but some scientist thinks that he can accurately predict the impact of contrails on the climate? If that doesn’t strain credulity, I’m not sure what does.

I would be surprised if humans have not impacted the climate over the last 100 years, whether its warming it up or cooling or merely moving it from point A to point B I don’t really care. What’s the alternative? Horse & Buggies and a nation of farmers? No thanks. I would rather live in a world of modern conveniences where we will have to adopt to a changing climate than a world that looks like 1885 or 1985 for that matter.

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