Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Global Warming

You can spin the facts, but you can't escape them.

Call me a sap, but I think I just trust NASA more than I trust these guys:

The first piece of evidence that the warming over the past few decades isn’t part of a natural cycle is how fast the change is happening. The biggest temperature swings our planet has experienced in the past million years are the ice ages. Based on a combination of paleoclimate data and models, scientists estimate that when ice ages have ended in the past, it has taken about 5,000 years for the planet to warm between 4 and 7 degrees Celsius. The warming of the past century—0.7 degrees Celsius—is roughly eight times faster than the ice-age-recovery warming on average.

The second reason that scientists think the current warming is not from natural influences is that, over the past century, scientists from all over the world have been collecting data on natural factors that influence climate—things like changes in the Sun’s brightness, major volcanic eruptions, and cycles such as El NiƱo and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. These observations have failed to show any long-term changes that could fully account for the recent, rapid warming of Earth’s temperature.

Finally, scientists know that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and that it is released into the air when coal and other fossil fuels burn. Paleoclimate data show that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are higher than they have been in the past 800,000 years. There is no plausible explanation for why such high levels of carbon dioxide would not cause the planet to warm.

You can, of course, find people who believe that climate change is not caused by man, that the whole thing is a hoax perpetuated by the likes of Al Gore and others to make money.  Of course, it is logically possible that Al Gore and his ilk can simultaneously make money and be correct about global climate change, just as it is possible that a company can make huge profits while paying its employees more.  Not to pick on climate change denier Larry Bell in particular (a man chosen at random by yours truly), but the reviews of his book, "Climate of Corruption: Politics are Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax," include a few gems that speak to the genre at large:

"Issues of debate cannot be resolved by claims that a consensus among authorities has settled the matters so long as a minority, even a small one, believes other-wise."

This quote is the crux.
Bell is unhinged. 


There's nothing wrong with a critical look at the science supporting the global warming argument - but for me the author's credibility became suspect when he indicated that the global warming lobby is a socialist conspiracy of the UN, the EU, the WWF (including polar bears) which is determined to undermine capitalism and US world dominance.

Yup.  If you believe International Socialism is using global climate change fear mongering to the extent that NASA is in on a conspiracy to undermine capitalism, there is certainly nothing I can say that will change your mind.

Enough of that dead horse.  Here's a very dry but very informative article on recent Fed moves by former Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, a man who was slow to recognize the threat of the bubble that led to the Great Recession, but probably did more than any other political figure in the United States to combat its effects.

I urge you to read it, as dry as it is.  I'll be back tomorrow with a fuller analysis of it.  It deserves its own post.  In the meantime, in the off chance this sort of thing floats your boat, here's the trailer for the new Legend of Zelda game, which absolutely melts my eyes in a good way, and has nothing to do with climate change (although Hyrule is not looking so good, is it?).

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