Global Smarming

By: Eddie Clements

With so much cold in so many places across America and other places in the world, average temperatures must be slightly lower. So this is consistent with – global warming? The term is still bandied about like absolute fact, though the term global climate change makes an occasional appearance. Climate change would make more sense and seemingly easier to market, in the marketplace of ideas.

So one has to wonder – if the green agenda is implemented, including really bad ideas like the cap-and-trade proposal, how will we know it works? What is the established goal? Against what standards will scientists measure to determine whether the proposed change is having the desired effect? Will disappearing glaciers return? And during the process, what if we find goals are not being met, and average global temperatures rise, what then? Let’s discuss.

The difference between climate and weather is time. Climate must be measured in centuries or millennia, not decades. Short-term data over decades doesn’t provide a complete picture – like taking a snapshot of part of an elephant and trying to guess what the whole animal looks like. The analogy to climate is that current temperature data doesn’t prove Earth’s temperatures are not exactly where they should be, whether man were here or not.

The global warming hoax is defined in terms of rise in average temperatures. Solemn pronouncements are made, like how much additional ice will be melted should average temperatures rise by innocuous amounts, on the order of tenths of a degree. The argument goes that enough additional ice will be melted to cause sea levels to rise, flooding coastal cities. One could refute this argument with technical detail, which is not really necessary. It is easily arguable that if such small incremental increases in temperature would melt enough sea ice to contribute additional volumes of sea water, it is just as likely that the same temperature increases would create enough evaporation of sea water to form rain clouds.

“But that is part of the problem! Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) will be trapped by the cloud cover, creating the greenhouse effect, creating more warming, and then – we’re all dead!” Easy there, cow -boys and -girls. The clouds won’t stay – they will precipitate water vapor out as rain, and dissipate. See, we’re not dead yet. Whether CO2 absorbs enough heat to cause additional warming is suspect, though it is supposed to be the culprit causing this “warming” phenomenon in the first place.

Even if there is an ever-upward trend in temperature, the question remains – how will we know if Kyoto Protocol-like plans will work? The question is mostly rhetorical, because lowering Earth’s average temperature is not really the goal. Which brings us to the real culprit – nasty old capitalist industrialist MAN! Our alleged outpouring of CO2 being the cause, the natural solution is to stop pouring it out in such massive quantities. High-sounding phrases like “clean-coal technology” and “green power” are meant to downplay the reality of exorbitant – or maybe extortionist – costs. Significant economic impact and lower quality of life will result from shortages of electricity, such as higher transportation costs and loss of jobs, to name a few.

However, this simple picture has been cluttered with other sources of heat-trapping, such as methane – the stuff of “cow’s wind”. Bovine flatulation has now been identified as a “gas of interest” in the increasingly complex web of imminent death by choking, drowning, or heat stroke. This has the added bonus of playing to the vegetarian gallery and enemies of animal farming. Naturally, wild herds make no contribution to this phenomenon, it’s the food herds –again, man-made disaster-in-waiting. The vegans can claim superiority by contributing to … uh, well, global NOT warming.

In the end, all arguments in favor of global warming are spurious because the nature of the methods used to indicate it. Take the above discussion – temperature measurements, CO2 and methane as heat sinks, clouds – the Earth is much more complex than all that, containing numerous interrelated dynamics. A few can’t be cherry-picked to show this or that as absolutes in such a dynamic system as climate over the whole globe. Does man generate more CO2 than would be present in a purely pristine environment, absent industrialization? Of course, but that doesn’t mean we’re all gonna die from it. We introduce other pollutants but pretty much have them under control, where a little ingenuity and conscientiousness is applied.

Is environmental protection necessary, or desirable? Yes to both. I remember when the sky was brown when seen toward the horizon, where the atmospheric blanket you look through is thicker. A trip to downtown Kiev in 2000 reminded me of downtown Atlanta when I was a kid, seeing that brown stuff in the air and wondering what that was. Now we know, and we have pretty much cleaned it up, and we are better off for it. But the draconian measures proposed by global warming hyperventalists are not a cure, quite the contrary. Ukraine doesn’t have the economic power America has to pay for environmental cleanliness. Industrial production and trade produce the wealth necessary to make environmental protection possible.

The true goal of the global warming alarmists is to make us all reduce our demand for goods and services, which will be the result of cutbacks in industrial production. This will make us all poorer, a condition for which lower CO2 levels will not compensate. Widespread poverty is an incorrect answer to the question.

However, no one is asking the question, “How will we know that it works?” In any project, there has to be criteria to monitor its progress, else there will be no way of ensuring that the desired outcome will be achieved, or that you are even on the right track. If one strays off-course, corrections must be applied to get back on track, so the goal can be reached. Has a goal even been established, like “lower the Earth’s average temperature by 2 degrees?” The goal has been to lower carbon emissions, but will that actually achieve the desired goal of lowering temperature? Remember, we are supposed to be concerned about the temperature, supposedly the only reason we are concerned about CO2.

Climate has been changing since the Creation. To think man can alter the changes perceptibly is anthropocentric hubris. However, liberals have never been known to be diverted from their conclusions by introducing facts. We all need clean air to breathe and water to drink. What we don’t need is all this eco-nonsense, which should cause everyone’s “codswallop, piffle and balderdash” meter to peg to maximum.

Eddie Clements

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