Plunge Pontificates

A place for my thoughts.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Stop the Presses! Global Warming Stopped in 1998!

Yeah, not my normal thing to post about, but I'm one of these who gets annoyed at the sky is falling, global warming, left-wing, unbathed, unshaven ninnies. Anytime an article like this comes out I jump for joy, especially considering the fact that the author is an expert in the field of climate and climate change.

For many years now, human-caused climate change has been viewed as a large and urgent problem. In truth, however, the biggest part of the problem is neither environmental nor scientific, but a self-created political fiasco. Consider the simple fact, drawn from the official temperature records of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that for the years 1998-2005 global average temperature did not increase (there was actually a slight decrease, though not at a rate that differs significantly from zero).
How can this be?!? I thought we were burning up! A little aside here, but we are having one of the longest winters ever in my neck of the woods. I woke up to a fresh 6 inches of snow in my yard last week, unheard of this time of year! Anyway...

Yes, you did read that right. And also, yes, this eight-year period of temperature stasis did coincide with society's continued power station and SUV-inspired pumping of yet more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

In response to these facts, a global warming devotee will chuckle and say "how silly to judge climate change over such a short period". Yet in the next breath, the same person will assure you that the 28-year-long period of warming which occurred between 1970 and 1998 constitutes a dangerous (and man-made) warming. Tosh. Our devotee will also pass by the curious additional facts that a period of similar warming occurred between 1918 and 1940, well prior to the greatest phase of world industrialisation, and that cooling occurred between 1940 and 1965, at precisely the time that human emissions were increasing at their greatest rate.
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! Nothing more annoying than they hypocritical global warming nut. Almost as bad as the ultra right-wing, brown-nosing, Koizumi lover.

Since the early 1990s, the columns of many leading newspapers and magazines, worldwide, have carried an increasing stream of alarmist letters and articles on hypothetical, human-caused climate change. Each such alarmist article is larded with words such as "if", "might", "could", "probably", "perhaps", "expected", "projected" or "modelled" - and many involve such deep dreaming, or ignorance of scientific facts and principles, that they are akin to nonsense.
I love this man! He nails all the things that annoy me the most about these global climate change nuts!

The essence of the issue is this. Climate changes naturally all the time, partly in predictable cycles, and partly in unpredictable shorter rhythms and rapid episodic shifts, some of the causes of which remain unknown. We are fortunate that our modern societies have developed during the last 10,000 years of benignly warm, interglacial climate. But for more than 90 per cent of the last two million years, the climate has been colder, and generally much colder, than today. The reality of the climate record is that a sudden natural cooling is far more to be feared, and will do infinitely more social and economic damage, than the late 20th century phase of gentle warming.
Finally, a person of rational thought. I bow to him and to his courage to speak out considering what his peers must think of him. He must already be Wang-ta.

Read the entire article on your own and, if you have a moment, look up the good professor and drop him an email thanking him for bringing some rational discussing to this issue.