26 August 2011

That Climate Thing

I just don't get it. There's a huge argument going on about climate change - it's either getting warmer, or getting cooler, or both. And this is a Bad Thing.

Really? The planet has been warmer. Why, back in the Cretaceous period when I was young, there were no polar ice caps at all. Antarctica had plants and trees and dinosaurs and everything! Then later during the Ice Ages, Downtown Houston Texas was covered by a mile-thick sheet of ice, and lemme tell you that made the walks to and from school a real pain in the ass. (Still in school 100 million years later? What can I say, I'm a slow learner.)

Within recorded memory, the climate in England has ranged from Scotland being an exporter of wine (made from grapes, rather temperature sensitive plants) to packs of wolves ravaging London and roaming the frozen Thames.

What did I do to cause that? And, for that matter, what's wrong with that?

The very smart guys at Watt's Up With That have pretty much convinced me that the DOOM- and - GLOOM- sayers are being shall we say less than perfectly honest in their -saying. At the very least the contemporary surface data is wonky (I first got interested by way of ground-station anomalies, which led to the Urban Heat Island phenomenon, and so on). Then we find out that there's been a lot of apples switched for oranges in the paleodata, built-in diddle factors, and outright fabrications. WUWT has the story in more detail than I can relay here, actually in more detail than I can follow in some cases.

The -sayers make no bones about it though. They revel in the notion that theirs is a critical discovery that will doubtless be proven by others later when they can be bothered to find out the actual, like, factual facts, that they will be Vindicated in the end, because this is so all-fired IMPORTANT that temporary expediencies (like making shit up) must be forgiven.

This ain't just me talkin'. Here's a think-piece saying just that, and there are many more.

But I still don't understand why.

Is it because global warming causes air conditioning, but global cooling causes organic hand knitted sweaters and erect nipples on pretty girls? Maybe because the Noble Wolf needs more tundra in which to pursue its prey. Or maybe the Polar Bears have forgotten how to swim. Or perhaps the Scots will switch back to making wine and not whiskey? (perish the thought!)

Obviously, though, it is essential that the climate be kept exactly as it is because..., well I'm glad you asked me that. Next question, please.

Seriously. Are we actually living in a Panglossian Best Of All Possible Worlds, and the climate is the absolute Platonic ideal?

And what's with those doom and gloom dudes anyway? Do they really think that the current climate is perfect and must be protected root and branch regardless of the cost? Are they afraid that their summer places in South Padre or Majorca are going to be lost in vast sudden floodwaters? Even their doomiest and gloomiest predictions are cast in terms of inches per century. (Er, excuse me, "centimeters per point one kilo-year", and I'll be damned if I'll reverse the "er" at the end of "meter".)

If not that, then what? Is it for the girls? We all know how all the hot chicks go for those nerdy science-y dudes, with their sexy pocket protectors and Volvo station wagons, right?

No? I knew it, it's the money. All the oil companies are secretly paying them via numbered Swiss accounts, right? 'Cause the oil companies have all the secret patents on all those sooper sekrit GREEN technologies and stand to make untold gazillions of dollars in profit! But if they do have all that sooper sekrit stuff, why haven't they already turned it into gi-hugic heaps of gold-pressed latinum?

Help me out here, kids! It's not pure love of Science Sweet Science, otherwise they wouldn't have turned it on the streets as a common whore. It isn't personal protection, it's not like they are losing their beach houses or anything. It's not for sex (although there's always Rule 34). And I realio, trulio can't come up with anyone who could have the sooper sekrit GREEN tech who would need to have this kind of cover.

Mother Mary and her seven dwarves, you'd have to be some kind of Neo-Luddite who thinks that technology reached its peak with the fire-hardened pointy stick as employed by Odysseus. Ah, for the simpler days. Sustainable agriculture. Gaia-friendly wind powered transport. Human-scaled culture, where everybody knows your name. It takes a village, y'know. Typhoid, diphtheria, and death in childbirth exert a Darwinian imperative. Bathing in cold water builds character, it's a well know fact. Hell, baths just strip the skin of its natural protective oils and bacteria! But with, like, Science, you know. But just Good Science, the Gaia-friendly type.

None of those nasty hydrocarbons, coal, gas, and oil, no no no. Hand carved wooden windmills transmitting electricity through naturally occurring copper deposits. Everything will be Artisanal! Vegan diets will liberate our evolutionarily challenged differently evolved former slave species, with the added benefit of improved bowel movements!

No, they can't be that stupid. Can they?


Anonymous said...

The 111 degree heat must be causing flashbacks. Wave

David Falloure said...


JC said...

Dave Wave - I just wish. As Phil Dick said: "Free movie tickets!"