March 27, 2014
I am an unrepentant capitalist and a global warming agnostic. As such, I have largely ignored all the whining and complaining about how we are ruining the planet. I have a bachelor’s of science degree, along with an MBA. The science courses I took to earn my degree did not include advanced meteorology or geology courses. Hence, I did not learn enough in science to have an educated opinion. However, my business background has helped me to learn how to do research and present a pretty good business case. So, here we go!
Global Warming Facts
Let’s start with some facts.
1.) First major point is that by scientific definition, we are still in the ice age that started 2.6 million years ago.
2.) The ancestors of Homo Sapiens began to appear in Africa about 200,000 years ago. 3.) Our modern ancestors began to collect in the Middle East about 125,000 years ago. 4.) What I will call the “real” Ice Age lasted about 110,000 years and ended about 11,000 years ago.
5.) The scientists say that we have been in an interglacial warm period for the past 11,000 years.
So, it is fairly reasonable to assume that humans did not cause the Ice Age as we generally understand it.
The following are Earth facts to consider.
1.) The Earth has about 29 percent land surface.
2.) Humans occupy about 3 percent of the land surface and approximately 1 percent of the total Earth’s surface.
3.) 95 percent of the population occupies less than 10 percent of that 3 percent of land space.
4.) Agriculture takes up 40 percent of the land surface.
We used to think that most of Earth’s oxygen supply came from the massive jungles of Brazil. Well, it turns out that most of our oxygen comes from sources in the 71 percent of the Earth that is made up of water. In my way of thinking, catastrophic changes to the composition of Earth’s atmosphere caused by human action on less than 1 percent of the Earth’s surface would be a truly amazing feat.
When Did Global Warming Start?
It certainly did not start forty plus years ago. In fact, Dr. Jim Hansen of NASA issued a major climate report in 1971. It stated that “human caused activities” were leading toward a catastrophic mini ice age. There was no further definition of “human caused activities.” The report did not state what those activities were.
In 1975 the National Academy of Sciences confirmed the earlier NASA report that we were clearly headed toward a devastating mini ice age. Wait, it gets better. The average temperature of the Earth was expected to drop so much as to make large portions of farm land unusable for farming activity throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and central Asia.
So, it was human fault, even back then, for the expected global cooling and devastation of humanity.
January, 2014 was the sixth coldest in the sixty plus year history of records at the Dayton Airport. Four of the five colder months were in the 70s. So, it seems to make sense that all that cold weather back then was, at least, in partial support of the 1971 NASA and the 1975 NAS report. If you check the details of the Dayton area’s coldest Januarys you will find that three of those were in the late 70s. By 1979 or 1980, the scientists must have been totally convinced they were on the right track.
So, How Did We Get From The Next Mini Ice Age to Global Warming?
The short answer is, slowly.
Around 1990 we started to notice some consecutive hot summers. Since we were told by scientists that we were headed to a mini-ice age, we needed an explanation.
Welcome El Nino! From March, 1992 to December, 1997 scientists tracked some unusually warm water in the central Pacific. The El Nino report explained the warmer weather and significantly different levels of precipitation in the United States were caused by this oceanographic phenomenon.
Around 2000, the El Nino “thing” was not working anymore. So, we came up with LaNina. That explained continued warm weather, but a change in the precipitation patterns in the USA, away from the El Nino weather.
No one takes credit for “discovering” global warming. I bet Al gore discovered global warming after he invented the internet. By the early 2000s we were in the middle of global warming. I did find that someone gave credit to a Dr. Stephen Schneider for identifying the “coming” global warming way back in 1976. Of course, that was in complete opposition to the imminent mini ice age predicted by his fellow scientist, Dr. Hansen of NASA in 1971, only five years earlier.
The absolute slam dunk on global warming was Hurricane Katrina. In 2005, hurricane Katrina came amongst more than a half dozen hurricanes to hit Florida, the Atlantic Coast and the Gulf Coast. This was global warming, at its finest, and would cause 2005 hurricane season to be the predictor of ever increasing major hurricane activity going forward for the United States.
That started the whole new set of predictions that global warning would lead to all kinds of horrible events. All the ice at both poles would melt by 2050. Coastal cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami would all be under water. Up to two-thirds of the peninsula portion of Florida would disappear under the sea.
Time out for a trivia question! How many major hurricanes (category three or above) have hit Florida since 2005? Answer! ZERO.
So, maybe this is when we decided to call this weather thing “climate change”. Climate change is perfect because we can go from predicting another ice age to melting all the ice in the world and climate change would still work as an appropriate term. It seems like climate change became the in-term because global warming was not selling as well as expected. I also believe that the true disciples of global warming still meant global warming after the name change.
When we had the first national winter blast this winter season, it was called, “polar vortex”. This term was used to show that the renamed global warming was still in place, but an excuse was needed for the extreme cold. Perhaps you noticed that as the second and third rounds of really cold weather came through most of the country the term polar vortex disappeared. I am guessing that is because the term does not apply to a quick excuse for really cold weather when all of the world’s ice should be melting. Also, if you Google the term and you will find that the definition has nothing to do with cold weather hitting the U.S. Polar vortex refers to a polar cyclone located near either of the poles. It does not mean cold Arctic weather hitting the majority of the continental United States.
A new satellite (CryoSat) in a stationary Arctic orbit, reports that while the ice surface remains near thirty year lows, the total ice volume has increased by fifty per cent in just the past year. In 2012 there were 6 million cubic kilometers of Arctic ice. Today there are 9 million cubic kilometers of ice. There is even worse news for Antarctica. The total ice at the South Pole is at the second highest monthly total in the thirty-six year history of record keeping. We are going the wrong way for global warming.
According to a googled scientific definition, the Earth is still in the “interglacial warming period” that has been in place, on Earth, for more than 11,000 years. So, “warm” is what we are officially experiencing.
I watched a Sunday TV show in which the presenter, from the “global warming is intuitively obvious crowd,” was saying that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was up 30%. This was truly proof positive of a catastrophic event.
The fact is that the thirty percent increase indicates that CO2 has gone from about 300 parts per MILLION to 400 parts per MILLION. So, stated another way, we went from 999,700 parts per million of non-CO2 in our atmosphere to 999,600 parts per million of non-CO2. That means the decrease of non-CO2 in our atmosphere is one hundredth of one percent. It is all in how you state your case.
I am OK with climate change as the term to describe the general direction of world-wide weather activity. When the dinosaurs were around there was no ice on Earth. During the ice age, the entire Earth was covered in ice. Most of the rest of the time we have been somewhere in between.
All that being said I am for a return to global warming. Here’s why!
The dinosaurs were around for a million plus years and global warming worked pretty well for them. Along came the Ice Age and they were gone in a heartbeat. Human beings have not been around anywhere near as long as the dinosaurs. So, my wish is to get that global warming back or we may go the way of the dinosaur and way sooner than they did. Agriculture is very difficult if 100 percent of the Earth is covered in ice.
If you recall, it was Al Gore, a politician that made the first really passionate play on the idea of Global Warming. Now we have a group of meteorological scientists also excited about Global Warming. I was always told that weathermen are right slightly more than 50 percent of the time. We all know the truthfulness of any politician.
It seems intuitively obvious to me that we do not have a problem.
Now that we have this situation solved Stay tuned! My next business case project will be to research and report on Hydraulic Fracturing. This activity is better known as “fracking.”