Monday, July 30, 2012

Shocker: Environmentalists find conclusive proof for AGW where it doesn't exist

Belief in AGW (Anthropogenic, or human-induced, Global Warming) is a premise for most environmentalists' arguments. They often think that this is a conclusion, but it definitely seems to be a pre-existing belief on which they base their arguments.

More evidence that this is so comes from the most recent BEST (Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature) project, which claims conclusive prove that human greenhouse gas emissions account for the vast majority of warming in the past 250 years. There is, to put it mildly, no solid evidence for that position, however.

I've never understood why so many people are freaked out that the Earth has warmed over the past few centuries. We know that the 18th century was deep in the last Little Ice Age. (George Washington was able to carry thousand-pound cannons across a solidly frozen Long Island Sound during the Revolutionary War, for crying out loud. It was cold.) So even if the temperature today was the temperature it was before that Little Ice Age, it would look like things had warmed up even though they were just coming back to "normal." That is, the natural climate cycle spanning millennia would just be continuing like it has for millions of years.

It seems implausible in the extreme to say that the millions of tons of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses humans of put into the atmosphere over the past 100,000 have had no effect on the climate over that time. But given that a single large volcano eruption emits at least as many greenhouse gasses and particulates as the UK and the US did during the Industrial Revolution, I think it's safe to say that what effect we have on climate is relatively negligible.

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