Scientists and computer simulation scenarios offer up scary possibilities for the future of global warming. It is important to be stewards of our earth and society. But it is also important not to make more out of the earth's warming and cooling cycles than there really is.
A $60,000 climatology study was recently unveiled in Park City, Utah, and the news is not good. According to a computer modeling scenario, the temperature of earth will rise 6 to 15 degrees by the year 2100, and that means next to no snow for Utah's ski industry.
Computers have been known to make mistakes, especially when they are programmed incorrectly, and when they are fed incorrect information. And even more especially when they give man more credit than he deserves and nature less credit than it deserves when it comes to warming and cooling cycles.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts a severe increase in earth's temperature by the year 2100 (1.4 and 5.8 °C increase) based on an increase of less than 1 degree Celsius in the last 150 years. Yet, in reality, not only do media and many politicians overlook that fact that IPCC's predictions are based on computer models, the theory of Global Warming is hotly contested.
Solar flares have had a distinct impact on the rise and fall of earth's temperatures, as has been measured over the last few centuries. The earth's temperature has increased and decreased in the past. Glaciers have covered much more and much less of the earth than they do now.
The IPCC's predictions of Carbon Dioxide increases and contribution to the earth's warming have been contested by reputable scientists as well.
One of the effects of global warming is the melting of the earth's ice fields and the concomitant increase in the level of the earth's oceans. The United Nations Environment Programme has this to say about a rise in ocean level:
Over the last 100 years, the global sea level has risen by about 10 to 25 cm. It is likely that much of the rise in sea level has been related to the concurrent rise in global temperature over the last 100 years.
But then it admits:
Sea level change is difficult to measure.
The end result? It's important to understand our earth and its environment, but it's also important not to exaggerate man's ability to affect it. It might mean a lot less money for James Hansen, Al Gore, and the environmentalists who have a stake in global warming, but it will make a lot of the rest of us sleep a little easier.
I would much rather rely on observation of what has actually happened than on computer models that predict, based on assumptions of what's happened, that the sky is falling.
Other insights into the economics of global warming:
- The new movie "Mine Your Own Business: The Dark Side of Environmentalism" suggests that rich environmentalists encroach regularly on the ability of the poor to improve their lot in life.
- When NBC's Brian Williams tried to suggest that global warming was to blame for the record heat in the eastern United States, Dennis Feltgen, from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, answered, “It is not global warming, Brian. It is El Nino, El Nino, El Nino.”