Thursday, July 26, 2007

Global Warming Throws a "Natural" in Las Vegas

"The scientific evidence of global warming is incontrovertible, and Nevada is feeling the heat more intensely than most of the rest of the U.S," said Stephen M. Rowland, Professor of Geology at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

I agree. The scientific evidence of global warming is incontrovertible, and is exactly what would be expected since we are coming out of a period of incontrovertible global cooling, the Little Ice Age.

Interestingly, the study cited by Professor Rowland looks at the warming trend of the past thirty years. However, his study does not mention that prior to this warming trend, there had been a cooling trend, and that the average maximum Las Vegas temperatures were higher in the 1940s and 1950s than in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.

I hazard an educated guess that the average maximum Las Vegas temperatures were also higher in the 1930s than 1960 through 1990, since the 1930s were notable for heat waves.

What, if any, is the significance of average maximum Las Vegas temperatures being higher prior to the 1950s than subsequently?

Glad you asked.

In case you haven’t noticed, the “humans are causing global warming alarmists” say that increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide resulting from combustion of fossil fuels is causing global warming. Further, this all started with the increased industrial activity following World War II. Therefore, it seems more than a bit ironic that the early stage of CO2 triggered global warming was actually a 35-year period of global cooling.

That’s not the way the alarmists say increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide will affect temperatures. The increased levels of CO2, according to the computer models, cause an immediate and direct warming effect. That’s not what happened from 1940 to 1975. CO2 went up, temperatures went down.

Actually, in Las Vegas, as average maximum temperatures fell, the average minimum temperatures increased.

What is going on in Las Vegas?

One possible significant factor is that the Las Vegas population increased from 16,414 to 1,428,690 in a 70-year period. Could the heat-retaining properties of an incredible increase of concrete and asphalt in the Las Vegas area cause the higher average minimum temperatures?

“Nevadans are starting to understand that global warming is affecting us right now, and that our elected officials need to start making some tough choices to protect our quality of life," said Kyle Davis, the Policy Director for the Nevada Conservation League and a member of the Governor's Climate Change Task Force.

As usual in articles of this nature, there was no example of what global warming was affecting negatively. There was a supposition that: “Warmer nighttime temperatures exacerbate the public health effects of heat waves, since people need cooler nighttime temperatures to recover from excessive heat exposure during the day, the study said.”

However, there was nothing in the article indicating that any damage had actually occurred to public health.

Nor were there any examples of the kinds of tough choices that elected officials need to start making to protect Nevadan’s quality of life.

From what I have seen, the only thing elected Nevada officials could do is to try to slow down, stop, or reverse the rapid growth in Nevada’s population. This they could do quite easily. They could adopt a Democrat plan of government: raise all taxes exorbitantly; stop new construction by requiring an endless series of permits and high fees; and continually add more regulations to business activities.

That would make Nevada Democrats happy.

Other than that, until elected Nevada officials have dictatorial powers over the economic activities of China, India, Brazil, and other developing nations, they can demand Nevadans stop using air conditioning, banish autos and trucks, close their huge casinos, and still not make the slightest change in weather (weather knows no borders, you know).

I would love to find out what Nevada officials are going to do to save Nevada from natural climate change. Maybe they could follow the lead of the huge casinos, where everything is enclosed in a gigantic windowless air conditioned edifice, and you can’t tell if it is night or day, summer or winter, or even where in the world you are.

Or maybe they can follow the daring and innovative leaders of California, and draft a law to outlaw incandescent light bulbs. I’m sure that would counter the carbon emissions of the new coal-fired generator plants, each large enough to power San Diego, that China is building at a rate of one every ten days.

Or maybe they could be sensible, realize that climate change is natural (and unstoppable), and “as Confucius say, ‘Relax and enjoy it.’”

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