Is it real or isn’t it?
We are certainly seeing a lot of extreme weather all over the world in recent years, and it does seem to be getting worse. Tsunamis, dust storms, floods, earthquakes, tropical cyclones, droughts….
But hang on – hasn’t the earth always experienced these conditions? There have been some huge climatic changes in the past. It wasn’t human polluters who caused the Ice Age, for instance. There’s a theory that our earliest agrarian ancestors may actually have helped delay the onset of another ice age a few thousand years ago. Read all about it in Wikipedia.
Um, hang on again. If that is so, it does make sense to think we may have gone too far in that direction by now. It’s not all bad: we didn’t really want another ice age, did we? Maybe the planet needs that balance, but it wouldn’t be very good for us human beings. On the other hand, we don’t really want to be inundated by rising seas either. The inhabitants of small Pacific islands particularly don’t want to be!
But is it all a myth? I have a friend who believes that it is a lie. He says 1998 was the hottest year on record, so clearly the earth has been cooling down, not warming up, in the last decade. (I must say, in terms of planetary time, that doesn’t seem very long actually.) He bases his opinion on this story. Not actually conclusive as far as I can see.
He also thinks it’s a ploy to institute “a global tax (Cap and Trade) to pay for a New World Order, or One World Government whichever the turnout if we allow it to happen.” He’s by no means alone in that view!
Another friend counters:
Here's a condensed version of an article just published. No politics. Just thought it was interesting.
Global Warming Could Cool N. America
Kate Ravilious, National Geographic
September 16, 2009 06:16 AM
Global warming could actually chill down North America within just a few decades, according to a new study that says a sudden cooling event gripped the region about 8,300 years ago. Analysis of ancient moss from Newfoundland, Canada, links an injection of freshwater from a burst glacial lake to a rapid drop in air temperatures by a few degrees Celsius along North America's East Coast.
This event created a colder year-round climate with a much shorter growing season for about 150 years, from northern Canada to what is now Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The results suggest that North America's climate is highly sensitive to meltwater flowing into the ocean, said lead study author Tim Daley of Swansea University in the U.K. The work also means that history could repeat itself: Currently Greenland's ice sheet is melting at a rapid clip, releasing freshwater into the North Atlantic.
And where do I stand? I think climate change is real, that we have contributed to it, and we’d better find a solution very, very soon. The earth will survive all right; it’s likely we won’t. That’s why I’m participating in Blog Action Day. Anything that might conceivably help….