There’s snow everywhere.
And it’s cold.
It is days like this when people look at Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth and wonder where all the global warming is and can we get more, please, now.
So let’s talk about global warming. First, we have to call it “Climate Change” now, because global warming implies that everywhere on the globe is warming and we can look out our windows right now and sincerely doubt that.
The fact is simply that the globe as a whole is warming. That fact is indisputable. The fuzzy parts are how long it’s been warming and what the rate of acceleration is. And then there’s the really fuzzy part about what causes it.
We can prove that the current warming trend has been going on for a while–a couple centuries or so. That’s also an indisputable fact. We can prove it chemically and because there were people with thermometers who took notes. 2010 and 2005 were the warmest years ever recorded for the planet as a whole. They were not the warmest years ever; those were way before people killed off the dinosaurs. Yes, that last line is a bit of a joke. You can laugh. No I don’t believe people ever killed or rode what most of us think of as dinosaurs. Those people who say otherwise, and you know who I’m talking about, are just plain silly. Very Silly. In fact they are so silly, I can honestly say, as a child, I thought those people were among the silliest and I watched them all the time. You know, Fred, Wilma and Pebbles. Who did you think I was talking about?
The vast majority of scientists will say that man’s activities are causing the current warming trends. I’m more like the other scientists in that I don’t know enough about it to really say that I’m sure the vast majority are right. I do know that Al Gore used some awfully fuzzy logic and that he is heavily invested in companies that promote things like carbon-credits and “green” stuff other companies can buy. So in the end it seems Al Gore was trying to boost sales for his businesses in a roundabout kind of way. That doesn’t mean that everything he said was wrong. It just means his reasons for saying it are suspect. I am not an expert, but I can say with certainty that An Inconvenient Truth is somewhere in the middle of truth and lies.
But, none of that matters, really. Climate change is happening. On the global scale it looks like warming but when certain places in the world get warm, they change the direction of the global weather patterns and it makes some places get colder. But if the warming trend continues, and history on a geological scale tells us the climate could change drastically, people would be unable to live outdoors and living indoors would require immense amounts of energy to maintain a comfortable habitat.
What that means is we’d better get off our butts and figure out how to actually control the trends of “climate change.” Does this mean we should just buy into the idea of manmade carbon emissions and curtail them? Actually let’s not answer that. Look at it this way: Much the stuff that causes carbon emissions is in short supply. We’re going to run out of oil and coal someday. It would be better to start transitioning to green energy as soon as possible rather than wait until OPEC gives us the call that they’ve run their wells dry.
Weather is a big thing. I mean really big. Not as big as say, space, but big. It’s everything from the Earth surface until you get to space. Think of the biggest man-made thing you’ve ever seen. That is microscopic compared to weather. If people built a hurricane, like Katrina, it would be bigger than everything else mankind has ever built, combined. (Maybe not entirely true, we make a lot of things we don’t really pay attention to, but you get the point.) They did studies and decided that a nuclear bomb would have only a negligible effect on a hurricane. So, controlling weather is going to be tough and weather is just a part of what makes up climate. Our only real option is to do it slowly, over time.
If we could figure out what chemical to release into the atmosphere(or take out of the atmosphere), it would take a long time, but we might be able to change the chemical make-up of the atmosphere so it handled heat differently. I think it’s an idea worth looking into. And given the scale of things and how long we expect it will take, we should probably get started.