Sunday, March 11, 2007

Global Warming and Climate Change

I read another article yesterday that spoke of the imminent demise of mankind. This one said that we are on the verge of extinction ... thanks to global warming.

I look around me, and I see the signs everywhere that the world is undergoing massive climate change. This much seems apparent. But is this change necessarily "global warming"? Perhaps one part of the world is getting more rain, or rougher winters. I hesitate to use the term "global warming".

A couple months ago I wasn't so hesitant. Then I stumbled across the term "global warming denier", and at least one editor believes that global warming deniers are on par with holocaust deniers, "though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future." I wish I could believe that this editor - and others who use this term - just means that those who deny that the world is warming are as out of touch with reality as those who deny the Holocaust. But I don't. I see here a desire to control opinion, to shout out with polite pejoratives the skeptics, the doubters. And when I see that kind of knee-jerk reaction, that kind of attempt to quench contradictory thought, I wonder why.

What's wrong with thinking otherwise? Why can't people be as stupid as they want to be? Think what they want? If I believe that the earth is flat and the moon-landing was a hoax, leave me be. Thoughts are free, or they should be.

So now I avoid "global warming." I prefer "climate change" - it comes devoid of a political agenda. And thereby I leave open the options: climate change by an increasingly hot sun, by temperature cycles that are counted in millenia (not months), by fossil fuel emissions, or even by angelic trumpet or cup (cf. Rev. 8:6-13, 16:8-9).

- V.

1 comment:

les said...

The key to putting this all into perspective is reflecting on the recent discovery that the polar caps are melting on Mars as well.

You know, in all the tales of Martians that I heard growing up, they neglected to mention that they were oil-drilling SUV-driving capitalists. Another gap in my education I suppose. I may be wrong but I don't think they signed on to the Kyoto agreement either.

In all seriousness, in my life-time I have witnessed climate pattern change. In my part of the world, the largest influence on the local weather is the jet stream and at what latitude it passes over. This winter we are emerging from has been one of the shortest, yet nastiest I can remember.

But I am only just short of fifty years old. That is no time at all in terms of the earth's cycles and there is mounting geological evidence that everything that we see today has happened in the past at regular intervals. As for reasons, knowing what we know of Mars, the Occam's Razor explanation is the recent unusually active Sun. That is also documented. Couple that with what we know of the actual percentage of CO2 that mankind is actually producing compared to all the other "natural" sources and rational common sense makes me a skeptic, particularly when the impetus for the promotion of the apocalyptic scenarios comes in large measure from the extreme political left, whose totalitarian dreams I can live without.

One common expression we don't hear much anymore is the "greenhouse effect." Perhaps the reason is that many of us average people thought about that and realized that in a greenhouse plants grow quickly and voluminously, and what do plants return to the air? Oxygen. So if the globe became a greenhouse we could all expect to live in the tropics and have more oxygen to breathe. How is that a bad thing?

In this case I'm still from Missouri.