I make a concerted effort to remain on a certain trajectory with this blog, but I make an exception today. That being said……
- Over the past year, anecdotal evidence for a cooling planet has exploded. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile — the list goes on and on.
- No more than anecdotal evidence, to be sure. But now, that evidence has been supplanted by hard scientific fact. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA’s GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.
- A compiled list of all the sources can be seen here. The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C — a value large enough to wipe out most of the warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one year’s time. For all four sources, it’s the single fastest temperature change ever recorded, either up or down.
I have pretty much sat, somewhat agnostically, on the sidelines whenever there is a conversation over global warming because I have nothing much to add to the discourse. However, I feel the urge to chime in here and now with some completely unoriginal thoughts.
- One, I am of an age where I remember the global cooling scare of a few decades ago. It seems we are always ten years from a climatic apocalypse.
- Two, perhaps I am a bit cynical, but I believe “science” is sometimes driven by political agendas.
- Three, I think it is the height of hubris, given a system so massively complex as the climate and given current limitations in our understanding of climate, to make dogmatic assertions regarding mankind’s impact on global weather systems.
- Four, in my gift for stating things obvious, I think that, in a culture where our window to the world is most often the monolithic media of television, a greater level of skepticism and critical thinking needs to be arrayed against what we are being fed by those with sometimes a less than transparent agendas.
- Five, (perhaps also a reiteration of ‘two’) while I cannot claim credit for the following analogy, I think that many on the leading edge of the climate debate are watermelons. They are green on the outside and red on the inside.
- Six, I think there is a presupposition by many that climatic conditions are persistent and we have recently been experiencing the ‘best’ climate. If nothing else, history illustrates the volatile nature of the climatic system.
- Seven, it concerns me when voices of dissent in the global warming dialog are sometimes compared to Holocaust deniers. I have heard this charge from people who should know better.
All that being said, what I am absolutely not advocating is environmental apathy. I do, however question the legitimacy of the philosophical foundation of some who issue environmental mandates. I addressed the issue of environment stewardship in a somewhat unfocused essay here.