Sunday, April 23, 2006

Global Warming, Ignorance, Economic Destruction and the New Dark Age

According to yesterday’s Utica OD our area is seeing signs of global warming. Yet the fact that only 3 months ago people in Russia were dying from record breaking cold that spread into Europe and caused the Prague Zoo to move its penguins indoors might suggest otherwise.

Per the OD: “Global warming is largely caused by the emission of so-called greenhouse gasses from cars and factories, said U.S. Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-New Hartford, who chairs the House Science Committee. Those gases eat away at the atmosphere's protection against the sun”.

“Greenhouse gasses… eat away at the atmosphere’s protection …” Huh? Did we hear that right? Or was the reporter just paraphrasing? Hopefully the Chair of the House Science Committee did not really say that. Greenhouse gasses don’t “eat away” at anything; much less eat away at “protection.” This statement evidences ignorance of how the greenhouse effect works, explained here in an animation (ignore the last two frames, which are propaganda).

While the greenhouse theory may be sound, the conclusion that gasses from cars and factories are the major cause of warming (called manmade or “anthropogenic” warming) is far from proven, although a consensus is claimed. CO2, the product of burning fossil fuels, is the culprit most cited along with the fact that a sharp rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration has been documented since the mid-1800s, along with a rise in average world temperature since that time. See Summary for Policymakers, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Although melting glaciers and rising sea levels are cited with alarm by the media as evidence of Global Warming, they are nothing new and, therefore, are not evidence that mankind has anything to do with Global Warming. Any geologist will tell you that Upstate New York was once under a mile-thick ice sheet as recently as 18000 years ago, the ice sheet came and melted four times, sea level was once 300 feet lower than now, and there was once a land-bridge connecting Siberia with Alaska. Obviously something caused the ice sheet to melt 4 times and the seas to rise -- but it could not have been man. These geologic facts seem to be ignored in most discussions of global warming. Against this paleo-climactic background, the current warming of about 0.6 degrees C over the last century and predicted consequences of more seem … ordinary!

Curiously ignored by IPCC seems to be the role of the most prevalent greenhouse gas, H2O in the form of Water Vapor, the effect of which probably overwhelms any effect of CO2.

Mr. St. John from Rome in a letter to the Editor of the Sentinel raises the sun’s role in warming, pointing to evidence of a warmer-than-now climate in ages past, specifically the Middle Ages Viking colony in Greenland that was wiped out by the “Little Ice Age” which followed. To this Fault Lines would add that Ancient Romans were able to grow wine grapes in present day England. These ancient warm periods, long documented in history, seem to have been conveniently ignored. Shouldn’t the sun’s role and the Medieval and Roman era warm periods and the retreats of the great ice-sheets be accounted for before mankind gets blamed? Indeed, the whole idea of overwhelming climate change appears to have been oversold.

Of course, Mr. St. John’s and Fault Lines’ opinions can be dismissed as being non-expert. But we apparently have learned enough along the way to know that we have questions that have yet to receive adequate, understandable answers. Given that Governor Pataki has signed New York on to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative based on a dubious theory, we along with all New Yorkers, face the potential of double-digit increases in our already too high utility rates. Are we not entitled to have our concerns accounted for before the last vestige of the Upstate economy is destroyed?

Unfortunately, people like Mr. St. John are too few in numbers to attract any serious attention. In a “dumb-downed” age where education leaders push students’ doing things rather than knowing things and grade on subjective “performance” standards, We the People have been increasingly conditioned to simply accept without question, and to do, whatever we are told by so-called “experts” based on “black box” modeling that we do not understand.

The whole Global Warming debacle seems emblematic of a much larger, world-wide, societal problem. Indeed, we seem to be entering a new Dark Age where knowledge is reserved for an elite and anyone who knows enough to question is marginalized.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have some interesting points there.