Thursday, February 11, 2010

Global Warming?

We're suffering a heinous cold snap that has Houston raining ice chips instead of water, and has stranded travelers, closed airports, and delayed flights from cold-weather issues. Endangered manatees are suffering cold-weather injuries in Florida's waters. Naturally, it's a fine time for pundits to issue a seasonal zinger on climate change policy. I mean, you really think it's getting hotter?

With Japan having already announced the conclusion that manmade global warming is as scientific and as grounded a theory as ancient astology, one wonders where the political and ecological pendulum will swing. And whether they will swing in concert, or in diametric opposition.

In the meantime, the music is good and the lyrics fun.


Anonymous said...

You are confusing short term weather with long term climate.

In any case, the earth warming can create weather abnormalities (this is a long held belief of scientists who know about such things). Your interpretation is much too simplistic. This isn't a simple problem that can be solved by simple observations on a tiny slice of the time scale. The trend is definitely toward higher overall average annual temperatures, worldwide. Variability has been and will always be normal within that trend. Just like in the markets for securities.

Try to apply the same analytical mindset that you apply to economics and investments.

Jaded Consumer said...

The fact that entertainers use a cold snap to lampoon certain global warming theories doesn't mean I believe the doubts about the theory are confirmed by the cold snap.

In fact, the complex relationships in nature between the aspects of our ecosystem that are involved in climactic trends are part of why I believe the simplistic notions of certain views are to be disregarded.

What I'd like to see is serious study. Instead, we hear discussion of "consensus" -- as if truths of nature and the laws of physics were a sort of beauty pageant, and a majority of qualified voters could crown a theory "true". This, at base, is why I am offended by the way manmade global warming theorists have framed the debate. It's not about the evidence, it's about the "fact" that "only a fool would disagree." Since "everyone who is respectable" agrees you should, too, eh?

The New York Times' position on manned flight to the moon certainly changed. It's easy to claim the world is about to be destroyed by the machines of man, but before we go back to living in caves (and starving most of our population as a consequence) I'd like to see a more careful study than the sort of farce and pretend-science Michael Crighton repeatedly commented on observing in the manmade-global-warming camp.

We need science, not ad campaigns. People lining up to claim "science proves X" isn't science, it's a public relations campaign. But it turns out the truth isn't as believable as a good story.


Still, my position isn't to advocate a position on the state of the future of the climate, it's to advocate a position that policy directed at the environment should be grounded in scientific research rather than in a re-election campaign. Real resources will be expended, and it's important to know we're getting positive results instead of squandering funds that should be applied to problems that demonstrably exist and have known solutions.