Taking a Sober View on Climate Change
by Lewis Loflin
What does Al Gore say about the 'science' behind so-called climate change?
"As it happens, the idea of social justice is inextricably linked in the Scriptures with ecology."
Introduction: Environmentalism is a very complex issue more about politics and religion along with polar bears and trees. There are certainly many that care about the environment, etc. but the fact is most inject their own politics, religion, and social views into the mix, making that their primary concern. Others have simply hijacked the issue for political and financial gain.
So here is the view of this website in no uncertain terms: climate change is real and it's a normal part of the earth's process. That change has always existed and is the driving force behind evolution. It's all through the historical record and is beyond dispute.
I'm not skeptical of climate change, but I'm skeptical of the people involved in the issue such as Al Gore. I don't care about the religious or spiritual views of others towards nature, but don't impose it on me and keep this nonsense out of politics. Human welfare trumps nature.
Does human activity impact climate? I say yes, but not to the degree climate alarmists claim at present. There is simply no way to separate human activity from natural variation. And yes there is natural variation. We must be cautious of the potential later problems later on, but not wasting resources on "pie in sky" green energy scams. The trouble is with these alarmists and their endless "sky is falling" proclamations is when a real issue comes up the public won't act on it.
Is this good or bad for the earth? First of all people come first, not the earth as many environmentalists seem to advocate. The "earth" in in no manner a being or organism as James Lovelock seems to suggest and Gaia is simply a myth. The real question is how does natural variation combined with human influences effect the overall picture?
Simply legislating artificial shortages and strict government control over all human activity is just eco-fascism. Many of these activists seem ignorant of science, engineering and refuse to consider economics. They drag in a lot of emotion and treat the issue almost as a religion.
Let me be clear in that the endless spewing of gasses into the atmosphere must be curtailed, but in a reasonable way with new technology and not using the issue to re-engineer society along desired political lines. These eco-idiots while screaming and demanding we reduce the use of fossil fuels have sued to block geothermal projects in California, power lines from solar farms, and the development of newer, safer nuclear plants.
If human activity causes warming, but this mitigates global cooling, that is a good thing. Global cooling through human history has contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire, upset agriculture in the Middle Ages (Little Ice Age) leading to famine, war, etc. This followed the massive warming period (900-1300 AD) that allowed the European/Asian populations to recover from the ravages of Justinian's Plague, etc.
Extra carbon dioxide enhances plant growth, which is a good thing. What is wrong with the frost line moving north opening up millions of acres to agriculture?
Then there are other unpredictable factors such as volcanic eruptions that can play havoc on climate sometimes lasting years or decades. In one case we have Laki, Iceland in 1883. To quote,
The Laki eruption lasted eight months ... Haze from the eruption was reported from Iceland to Syria. In Iceland, the haze lead to the loss of most of the island's livestock (by eating fluorine contaminated grass), crop failure (by acid rain), and the death of one-quarter of the human residents (by famine). Ben Franklin noted the atmospheric effects of the eruption (Wood, 1992). It is estimated that 80 million tons of sulfuric acid aerosol was released by the eruption (4 times more than El Chichon and 80 times more than Mount St. Helens).
Another massive eruption was Mount Tambora in 1815 in Indonesia:
With an estimated ejecta volume of 160 km3 (38 cubic miles), Tambora's 1815 outburst was the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history. The explosion was heard on Sumatra island more than 2,000 km (1,200 mi) away....
What if we have the eruption of the super volcano that some scientists predict someday for Yellowstone National Park? Geological studies of the Permian Extinction 250 million years ago is believed to have been caused by the eruptions in modern Siberia (Siberian Traps) covering an area the size of the US in several feet of basalt.
Could the wrong combination of human and natural factors trigger this kind of chain reaction? It's certainly possible.
There are many other natural phenomena that simply can't be predicted. Cosmic rays striking the atmosphere create aerosols which with clouds reflect sunlight and cause cooling. (Nature, Cloud formation may be linked to cosmic rays, August 24, 2011.) This is under dispute as is the fact solar radiation has increased since the 1970s. What effect do these factors play when combined with human activity?
My point is there's so many things going on that collectively could mean anything good or bad. Science has become too politicized and too busy chasing government money. We have every right to be skeptical, but to treat honest skepticism and demands for proof as some form of religious heresy is crossing the line. Scientists shouldn't be allowed to become a type of priestly caste all their own dependant on political largess to support themselves.
Should we get away from fossil fuels and use alternative energy? Absolutely yes! I dislike coal and oil production myself, but other than nuclear we have no real alternatives. I also have a big problem with nuclear waste, which is not a technical problem, but a political problem compounded by corporate greed.
Why not go check out the recent studies on how wildlife is flourishing in the areas surrounding Chernobyl? Why not check out the flourishing wildlife at Bikini Atoll that saw the testing of over 30 nuclear detonations in the 1940s-1950s? What about Hiroshima and Nagasaki that are both totally rebuilt and nobody would even know of any nuclear detonations outside the memorials? It's time for reason, not unfounded ignorance and hysteria.
Windmills and solar panels as much as I like them are not practical on a large scale. It's very energy intensive to manufacture the silicon and the powerful, light-weight magnets in the windmills (and electric cars, etc.) have to use fairly rare metals such as niobium to be practical.
Nonsense such as "environmental justice" and attempts to redistribute wealth via international taxes and regulation is just more rehashed Marxism and is to be rejected outright. Attempts at nonsense such as giving the earth or nature "rights" is simply religious nonsense and has no place in politics or science. It's time to get back to real science without the politics. We must stop tying the award of research grants to desired outcomes.
I hope that makes my position clear. I live in a rural area and do a lot to keep my local environment clean and take great care to guard the animals and plants on my small piece of the earth. At the same time I do not worship it nor will I allow people living in urban America tell me how to live my life or what to do with my property. If they are so damned determined to "protect" nature, then I suggest they live like the Amish people or shut up.
How climate change has altered history:
Scientists Excited by Arctic Ocean Ridge Finds This illustrates again just how little we really know about the earth when a series of new volcanoes formed under the Arctic.
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