Saturday, February 03, 2007

Global Warming Thoughts

In the light of yesterday's report on global warming (coincidentally released on the same day Punxatawney Phil predicted an early spring and just prior to one of the worst cold snaps in years), I would like to add my thoughts.

OK the planet is getting warmer. There is data that supports this and I will not question it.
We (people) are the cause of it. Well, maybe we are hurrying it along, but who is to say that it would not be occurring anyway? To determine that, we would have to remove all the people, turn back time, and see what would happen.

Our planet, at various times, has been both warmer and colder than it is now. There is fossil evidence and other data that indicates this. These warm and cold spells (ice ages) have occurred without the presence of humans on the planet, or at least before we were burning fossil fuels. These are natural cycles that the planet goes through over long periods of time.
Humans are not the only things that have impacted the climate and wrought changes in the weather. Volcanos have often thrown so much material high into the atmosphere so as to dim the sun and cool the earth for years afterwards. In addition, large meteors and asteriods have had similar effects.

My conclusion is what we are calling "global warming" is at least partly a natural cycle of the earth, climate and weather. Perhaps human activity is making it go faster than it would otherwise but I do not believe that we are completely responsible. That does not mean that we should not work on cutting back on our emissions and burning of fossil fuels. There are other compelling reasons to do this besides the global warming issue, such as availability and cost of these fuels (The fact that a small group of mostly unfriendly countries controls most the world supply). Just as importantly, if not more so, we need work on our adaptability if we are to survive as a species. As the earth warms, certain areas may become uninhabitable or unsuitable for growing food while other areas become better suited for living or growing crops. So we need to look for new areas to grow food and also consider the possibility of having to shift population from one area to another. This will require cooperation between nations, something that we, as humans, have not always been good at. But it is something that we will have to do if we are to continue to inhabit this planet.

So Sayeth The Shack


Jeni said...

Some very good points there John! Would be nice to see some of that at least come to pass too.

And, I see that the "Big Man" got the honor of being the first one inducted into the "Hall of Fame" in Punxsutawney yesterday too. Pretty wild, isn't it?

Bob Johnson said...

Jeni pointed me here after reading my totally unscientific analysis of the report. One of the scientists on the panel, Ross McKitrick, disagrees with findings, but wasn't given a chance to express disagreement. It makes one wonder if the report reflects science or politics.

Bob Johnson