Thursday, July 7, 2011

Slaying the Sky Dragon Slayers

The climate change debate is really fascinating because of the opinions expressed and some of the really off the wall "proofs" that harmful warming does or does not exist.

This chart is pretty simple. It is just the linear regressions of the University of Alabama - Huntsville lower troposphere temperature data for the northern and southern extents (latitude 60 poleward), the tropics and the global temperatures in anomalies. The north pole is warming big time, the south pole not at all, the tropics and globally if they keep the current pace since 1979 will result in 1.5 degrees warming. Some warming due to CO2 increase does exist, only it is not performing as advertised. How much is due to CO2 is not easy to say. Because of the physics of trace greenhouse gases, it is hard to argue that nothing is due to CO2, but that doesn't stop people.

The religious extremes people go to press their respective cases is laughable. With current data it should be obvious that there is some climate change due to man, just not a solid number of how much or how much due to just CO2.

Back in the day, when the theory was proposed, the data was not all that great. In the early 1980's, the potential of catastrophic warming was real enough. The available data indicated something was changing and that is could possibly be very bad. It has only been the past decade or so enough data has been available to revise estimates. The data is still far from perfect, but the quality has improved enough to at least look at the potential differently than a decade ago.

That is the frustrating part. Scientists, that should be naturally curious, are not. They just doggedly preach the same gospel rarely looking impartially at the overall data. If it were my theory, I would be looking for real answers not excuses.

The debate has some virtue. It is forces more followers to become thinkers. Independent thought is moving many of the masses to the center where they should be. Not only with healthy skepticism of Climate Change, but alternate energies, nuclear power and realistic politics. A new wave of centrist questioners of the political norm. A very good thing.

Real change takes time. So it may be decades from now when centrist becomes a true political force, but that appears to be future reality. People that vote knowledgeably not emotionally. The day when voters demand information instead of motivational speeches. Fun times.

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