Saturday, April 19, 2008

Another dose of "global warming"

Here we are, at the end of April, and, instead of a nice spring day, we woke up to a scene reminiscent of two months ago. The camelia bush in our neighbours' garden is now in full bloom. This morning, it was crowned with a layer of snow. Looks like more evidence of global warming. The temperature at around 6:30am was a "balmy" -2 degrees Celsius (28F).
Well, notwithstanding the above, global warming is real. My concern is that our reaction to it, and the huge emphasis on the warming being caused by human beings, is more political than scientific. The earth has been much warmer than now, and has seen precipitous rises in average temperature many times in the past. We are extrapolating future warming trends based on less than 200 years' worth of reliable measurements, and on assumption-loaded computer model forecasts. We know little about long-term temperature cycles (say of the order of 10,000 - 100,000 years and longer), the effects of changes in the earth's orbit and solar flux variations, etc.
By all means, let us be careful in our production of "greenhouse gases", but let's stay logical, instead of spending huge amounts of money on dubious assumptions. Drive less, drive smaller cars, use public transport, walk, use a bike, use less electricity and natural gas in our houses - be "conservative", but let's not panic. I have no doubt that we are contributing to an increase in average temperatures - but to blame humanity for the entire effect is political, not scientific.