We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, December 31. 2007
Climate: The Big Picture
Re-posted from February 13, 2007
I stumbled into an online petition yesterday entitled "End Climate Change Now!" Such foolishness makes me laugh and cry. If every human on the planet were to sacrifice their lives on the altar of Gaia today, the climate would continue to change. Who do we think we are, anyway? Climate is always going either up, or down. It never stands still, but zigs and zags, like every natural phenomenon. But it led my thoughts to lovely, remote Greenland.
The population of Greenland is 56,000, about 85% Eskimo. As you recall, Denmark "owns" Greenland, but they are mostly self-governing. The imperialist Eskimos invaded pristine Greenland around the same time that the imperialist Erik "the Red" Thorwaldsson began to bring settlers to Greenland, in the late 900s.
At that time, Greenland had far less ice, was green, and was warm enough for farming. By the 1300s, Greenland had become too cold for the Norwegian Vikings, and they all returned home.
Earth has been in an Ice Age (mostly Pleistocene - previously the entire planet had been tropical for a long time) for 3 million years ("Ice Age" defined by ice on both poles), with repeated advances and retreats of the ice sheets, and repeated micro and macro fluctuations which are just trivial blips on a giant chart.
We only know a lot about a few of these blips, such as the "Little Ice Age" of 1000-1350s, and the "Medieval Warm Period" (1400-1900), when it was possible to grow all sorts of crops in England.
Major "cool periods," or Ice Ages, occur about every 200 million years, and last several to tens of millions of years. The most recent advance of our current ice sheet peaked about 10,000 years ago (this one tends to advance and reteat every 15-18,000 years). We, in our micro view, often term the most recent advance "The Ice Age" - the one with Wooly Mammoths etc. But we are, historically, in the middle of the big one now. Will another little ice advance occur and bury NYC? Definitely. We are in the longest cold period in the earth's history.
Stop climate change? Heck no. It's freezing out, sleeting and snowing, and we are, in fact, in the middle of a darn ice age. A bit of a warm spell should be welcomed as a blessing. No, I will sign no Stop Warming petition, but I'd sign one to stop tectonic plate movement. I do not want MA to reconnect itself to Africa just now, and only Halliburton could move those things.
Check out this site for historical climate changes. As you can see by the graph on the right from Scotese, we have been in a heavy duty cold spell for quite a while. When our climatologists look at climate, they tend to look at the micro picture, but that is like trying to predict the stock market by looking at one day's fluctuations. It's meaningless. And apparently most folks, other than the loonies, have figured that out.
Problem is, we have another blip of a serious Ice Age coming on our path to our return to the normal Pleistocene tropical climate. Can we handle it?
We will survive; we can cope, but just as surely we will all die off, in time, in whatever apocalypse the future has in store for mankind - even if we last long enough to see the sun fade out. That is history's lesson, and the lesson of science.
Image of Mammoth: Moravec does excellent prehistoric paintings. Check out his cool website.
Posted by Bird Dog in Our Essays, Politics at 10:15 | Comments (23) | Trackbacks (0)
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Nice pic--dead ringer for ex-mother-in-law. hahaha (sob).
Meanwhile, it's warming up in Katmandu, first snowfall in 60-some years!
Valentine's Day blizzard smacks Northeast
ALBANY, N.Y. - A winter blast roared out of the Midwest and swept into the Northeast as a Valentine’s Day blizzard, causing hundreds of flights to be canceled, schools to close and half of one city to lose power.
Tens of thousands of people had lost electrical service in the cold weather. At least nine deaths were blamed on the huge storm system.
What is this winter doing to ALGore's data points on GW?
I hear he can'r give away tickets to his presentations in Albany, NY. Ihear he's moving the entire operation to Costa Rica.
Time to get down there and open up that snowshoe rental shoppe. Or snow shovels--that way you can keep your sidewalk clear AND mound up the manure.
Al should see our weather up here today. Glorious snow and sleetstorm. Just magnificent. No need to waste power on A/C.
Al needed another Katrina last season. Poor guy--bet he was disappointed.
IMHO blizzards and ice storms that result in cancellations and traffic chaos should forevermore be known as The Algore Effect.
Love these winter "storms." Wind, snow, sleet, powerful wind, frozen rain - nature's violence, grandeur, and beauty. Like nature - like Aslan - like God. Will miss it when the Warming descends upon us.
Will need to move to the North Pole, if Santa has any spare bedrooms.
Either that, or work on my abs and pecs (and bi-s), and buy some bathing suits or loincloths.
Yea, but isn't extreme cold weather events a result of climate instability due to global warming? "Laugh'a while you can'a monkey boys!" Who can name the movie and the actor who said that line?
It was John Lithgow as the evil Dr. Emilio Lizardo in The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai Across the 8th Dimension.
Your paleomap tickled some unused brain cells.
Camels Often Sit Down Carefully. Perhaps Their Joints Creak?
(Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian....Cretaceous).
Yesterday Instapundit linked to a page
about having a debate about science among the presidential candidates.
One thing I noticed about the comments is that the same people who criticize Creationists for believing in a "Young Earth" themselves ignore 99.999999% of the Earth's history when the subject of "Global Warming" comes up. On that they talk as if Earth is less than 100 years old.
Actually time started when Bush Chimpler took, I mean stole, the oval office. Since then there has been only bad things and they all are his fault since time started with him, dig?
I don't want climate change stopped until it's better than now.
Trouble is, though, that Mother Nature scoffs at petitions, and sometimes (just for laughs) sends a little flood or a few lightning bolts at the petitioners. Funny old girl, she is.
Historically, I thought global warming/cooling was a give/take kind of thing. For every Florida that got drowned there’d be a Sahara that became fertile again, etc.
A correction: The Medieval Warm Period was from 1000-1300 and the Little Ice Age was from 1400-mid 1800's, not the other way around.
this correction to the time line is accurate, do you plan on implementing the change to the article ???
Al Gore could have picked up much good will if he had donated his estimated 100 million dollars he has picked up from "An inconveniant Truth" to climate change research. Instead, he has merely lined his pockets in his quest for self-actualization. His ten thousand sqft home, private jets and limousine service are clear signals of his true self. It would all be laughable if he had not sparked a very active campaign of do-gooders who will try their best to impose their view of world order on the rest of us. BTW, we will have to pay for tilting at the global warming windmill. Perhaps mother nature's lack of cooperation with global warming will put an early end to this fraud. Even so, a lot of work will need to be done to stop the carbon taxes that are on the way. Yet another shackle that the liberals here at home and abroad wish to impose on working people.
Excellent resource site. Thanks for all of the info.