Global Warming

by w3woody

No Need to Panic About Global Warming

Three thoughts.

(1) If you want to engage in carbon sequestration in a cost-effective way, stop recycling paper and bury it instead. Paper pulp is often farmed trees, and farming trees, using the product for a time, then “sequestrating” the carbon in that paper by diverting it to a dump somewhere where the paper does not break down–that actually would help to sequestrate a lot of CO2.

That this suggestion makes “greens” blanch shows just how much the “green” revolution is based around aesthetics rather than around science.

(2) Much of environmentalism has been kidnapped by elites who are looking to impose their own aesthetics onto the unwashed masses, and in part by protecting the aesthetics of their own environment (their mansions in the hills, their ranches, their large estates) from the unwashed masses. Often in local land-use battles, the biggest supporters for prohibitions against land development on the city periphery are those home owners who own mansions right on the periphery who are seeking to protect the view from their kitchen window.

And while I don’t have a problem with this, the more economic solution would be for those home owners to bear the cost of protecting that view by buying the land themselves, rather than demanding the rest of the taxpayers in that city subsidize their lifestyle in the name of protecting some random critter who those mansion owners would just as soon shoot the moment they start eating the shrubs.

It’s why the elites will never act with the urgency they suggest the rest of the unwashed masses act with. It’s why Al Gore will continue to jet around the country in private jets, while imploring us to ride bikes instead of driving, while heating his multi-thousand square foot mansion yet telling the unwashed masses to huddle together agains the cold in multi-story apartment buildings.

(3) I am genuinely concerned about the debate surrounding the science. It’s hard to get good readings, and the sorts of data that we’re talking about gathering here involves fractions of a degree over the span of a couple of years: values well within the error bars of typical temperature measurement instruments, hidden by the local variability of the weather. Often those within global warming rely upon computer models–and as a software developer I can tell you a computer model is just a very expensive and well-conceived mathematical and software fantasy, whose semblance to reality is often tenuous at best.

Which doesn’t bother me: the science is hard, but well worth doing–if only because having a way to do medium-term forecasts of climate would be extremely helpful to agriculture and urban planning.

But what does bother me is the degree of heat brought to bare when discussing the science. Language such as calling critics “deniers” (in the same vein as Holocaust deniers), accusations of corporate funded bias, of outright corruption, seeking to destroy both well established historic facts (such as the IPCC’s drive to “wipe out” the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age)–it has made discussing the science a political mine field.

Hell, we’re far more likely to toss out Einstein’s Theory of Relativity based on a couple of anomalous measurements in one experiment–a theory that has otherwise held up to a hundred years of very accurate, and very well reproduced experiments held across the world, a theory that has even been used to properly calculate the time dilation effects of GPS satellites to get nano-second time accuracies required to locate your car on a city street.

And that strikes me as very strange: we’re free to doubt one of the best tested theories in modern physics, one that has held up to nano-second accurate tests and millimeter accurate measurements repeatedly by literally thousands of scientists for a century. But the moment someone wonders if the Little Ice Age was deeper than suggested by the IPCC, or suggests perhaps sunspot activities are a better predictor of future climate change than CO2 concentrations, or suggests that perhaps the computer models constructed to “show” man-made global warming may not be as accurate as people assert, you’re immediately labeled a hack who has the IQ of a neanderthal.

This is not to suggest that global warming is not happening. But I am saying the science is so far from conclusive it’s not even in the same zip code.