At the outset, let me make it clear that I don’t completely discount global warming. But I do see outside of the theory enough to believe that global warming is probably a load of crap. Not that the theory is completely impossible, but rather that it’s almost certainly been given more credibility than it deserves.
Here’s why I think that…
We Had a Record Breaking Winter in Our Neck of the Woods
Despite the incessant chatter about global warming, New England had it’s coldest winter on record. Now I’ll concede that severe cold in one region of the globe doesn’t necessarily signal a reversal in the overall trend. But it does raise the likelihood that global warming – if it’s real – is hardly linear in its progression.
And that’s really the point. Trends are almost never absolute, but rather a culmination of sub-trends. What we can never know is when a sub-trend might morph into something much more substantial. And that means that we can never predict the future with absolute certainty, as global warming advocates are given to do.
Where Are All the Sunken Cities???
Ever since the global warming platform attained center-stage status sometime during the 1980s, it’s been predicted with confidence that the melting polar caps would cause coastal regions – and especially some very large coastal cities – to disappear into the rising seas.
That outcome has been predicted for more than three decades. And despite the claims that the Artic/Greenland ice pack has shrunk by as much as 50% (there’s no agreement on exactly how much it has shrunk), we have to ask an obvious question: Where are all the sunken cities?
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina caused large parts of New Orleans to be flooded. That gave the global warming advocates “evidence” that their melting polar cap theories were right on target.
But it’s been 10 years since that event, and the city of New Orleans has recovered from the temporary deluge. It’s also worth noting that New Orleans is and always has been largely below sea level to begin with. What happened there has less to do with global warming, and more to do with a city constructed in an unsound location.
However, none of the other dire predictions of great cities going underwater came to pass, despite regular reports of the shrinking polar caps. Long ago, we were promised that low-lying coastal cities, such as Miami, New York, Venice, and Amsterdam, would be underwater – it was just a question of time. But those cities and many others are still very much standing.
That fact alone should cast doubt on crystal ball gazers of all stripes.
Not So Long Ago “Scientists” Saw the Trend Going the Other Way
I’m old enough to remember that back in the 1970s, it was widely predicted by scientists that we would soon be going back to the ice age of old. Not global warming, but a full-blown Ice Age!
Question: Were scientists wrong back in the 1970s about the new ice age? Which begs yet another question: Could scientists be just as wrong today about global warming?
Not All Scientists Are On the Global Warming Bandwagon
Just to be fair, not all scientists are on the bandwagon with global warming. Some are still calling for the next major weather shift to go in favor of an ice age.
It’s possible that both camps, global warming and ice age, will be proven wrong with time. But a big part of the beauty of predicting the future is that if you predict it far enough out, you won’t live long enough to be proven wrong.
In the meantime, us mere mortals are left trying to make sense of the shifting sands of scientific theories.
Though it may often seem as if the scientific community is united in its belief in global warming, that’s hardly the case. New Climate Paper Gives Global Warming Alarmists ‘One Helluva Beating’ was published early this year, as just one example of the doubt that surrounds the global warming theory.
It’s obvious however that counter theories don’t get a lot of traction in the mainstream media. But have you noticed that the mainstream media has very much become a den of conformity?
Rather than following its traditional role of challenging the conventional thinking, the mainstream media now very much supports conventional thinking. That’s what happens when the vast majority of the mass media, including the local media, are under the control of just six major conglomerates. It’s called GroupThink.
Take anything you read in the mainstream media – especially those reports that are repeated – with a very large grain of salt.
What History Tells Us
It’s commonly accepted that the Earth experienced a major ice age several thousand years ago. Generally speaking, Earth has been warming ever since. As much as can be measured from history, it’s generally accepted that temperature patterns have ebbed and flowed over the centuries.
Most of the change took place prior to the Industrial Revolution and the arrival of the internal combustion engine that powers our cars. So exactly how much of global warming can be attributed to human existence is very much an open question.
That said, I’m going to interject a specific personal opinion here. We live in the Age of Apocalyptic Thinking. Now the Bible tells us that the end of the age will happen. But what’s changed in the past 50-60 years is that apocalyptic predictions are no longer limited to faith. They now seem to be very much man-centered.
Whether it will happen through the accidental release of a killer virus, a nuclear holocaust, environmental or global destruction, an extraterrestrial storm, or even a massive computer malfunction, the common theme is that man will be the source of the destruction, and/or that man can prevent the destruction.
I think that man-centered apocalypse is the result of two occurrences since World War II:
- The creation of the atom bomb – which caused humanity to realize that it did in fact possess the seeds of its own destruction
- The decline in reliance on religion – as all things became man-centered, the responsibility to avoid an apocalypse became part of civic duty
In effect what has happened since 1945 is that Man has become his own god. Thus, it is assumed that we have the power both to destroy the world, and to prevent its destruction.
Any theory or major event that fits neatly within this narrative grows legs and becomes part of “conventional wisdom”. And so it is with global warming.
It’s Time to Admit that We’re Not as Smart as We Think We Are
The scientific community, academia, and politicians have been gradually converting “global warming” to “climate change”. I think there’s something very significant about the conversion. Global warming refers to a specific outcome, while climate change holds the possibility of both significant warming and an ice age – or any variation in between, as long as it promises to be cataclysmic.
But as a humble blogger, I assert that terminology that allows you to have it both ways – to be right no matter the outcome – must cast doubt on the underlying claims. Either you are sure that the world is getting warmer, or you are sure it’s getting colder. Trying to have it both ways is completely ridiculous. How many of us can be remotely credible if we claim to be right, no what happens? What’s wrong with simply saying I don’t know? Human vanity makes little room for official professions of doubt.
That’s an important point. All scientific theory is limited by current knowledge and understanding. It is and always will be subject to change in the future. Scientifically and technologically, we may be more advanced than we were 50 or 100 years ago, but that doesn’t mean that we possess absolute knowledge.
As an example, I was drawn to an article that came out last year, due to the magnitude of its claim. Massive ‘ocean’ discovered towards Earth’s core reports there is evidence of an enormous body of water deep in the earth.
Given that this is such a significant discovery, how come we didn’t know about it five years ago? And how can we be certain – short of sending probes down into the core of the Earth – that such an ocean actually exists?
We can’t, and so it is with most scientific theory. The most brilliant scientists in humanity are limited by the chronic lack of absolute knowledge. A single change in one of the variables of the theory could blow the whole thing out of the water.
It’s not even inconceivable that in 20 years we will be enveloped in a surging ice pack, after spending the previous two decades preparing for the opposite outcome.
I’m not predicting it, I’m just saying that it’s possible.
What Do You Think About Global Warming?
Part of the difficulty in assessing the validity of global warming is that it’s become “part of the curriculum”, so to speak. Politicians, college professors, teachers, and many scientists and citizens speak of it as if it’s a done deal. Most of us lack sufficient confidence in our own convictions to stand up and say “I object”.
That lack of confidence is not without cause. Due to the fact that our society is so highly regimented, we dare not ever challenge conventional thinking. If everyone from the government on down believes global warming is inevitable, who are we to say otherwise?
But that’s not good enough for me. I count myself solidly in the camp with the global warming doubters. I’m not saying that I see it as impossible, only that there’s too much room for a different outcome. And as I wrote above, all theories exist within the confines of the limits of human knowledge and understanding of the time. Translation: We claim absolute knowledge far more than can demonstrate it.
What do you think about global warming?