Monday, June 18, 2007

Global Warming is Beneficial, Naturally

(In a letter to the editor of our local weekly newspaper, the Independent Coast Observer, Gualala, California, I remarked that scientific consensus once held that the Earth was flat. When he ran my letter, the editor remarked that there never was a scientific consensus that the Earth was flat. Apparently the editor's history reference materials don't go back far enough.

Which really is not the point of this post. The point I really want to get across is that there is abundant proof that global warming has been beneficial, and none that it is not.

The only significant negative that I have seen proven so far is that the seas are rising.

True. In fact, they have risen over 400 feet since the end of the last glacial period [Ice Age] 21,000 years ago. During the past century of increasing warmth, the seas rose about six inches, which is about what they have risen each century for the past 8,000 years. Before that, sea levels rose much more rapidly as the Ice Age reversed.

Here begineth my letter.)

Concerning scientific consensus on a flat earth: “They all laughed at Christopher Columbus, when he said the Earth was round” (as reported by George & Ira Gershwin, 1936). In early Classical Antiquity, the Earth was generally believed to be flat. Egyptians, Babylonians, and ancient Hebrews so believed, and the Bible implies a flat Earth.

We still speak about going to "the four corners of the world."

When we reach them we will find global warming is beneficial, naturally, as always.

“Elections” have already been held in the United States and Canada, and the populace voted overwhelmingly for global warming as evidenced by rapid population increases in southerly states compared to colder regions. In effect, people voted with their feet to live where temperatures are much warmer. They weren’t going to wait for global warming to get to Michigan or Minnesota when they could enjoy it by living in Florida, Arizona, Texas, or in hot and smoggy California.

Humankind flourished during previous warm periods, enjoying better health, abundant food, and milder weather. After the benevolent and prosperous Medieval Warm Period (AD 800-1300), diseases such as malaria raged through malnourished and impoverished populations during the Little Ice Age (1300-1850). Crops failed and livestock perished as global temperatures plummeted, ice sheets advanced, and growing seasons shortened. Increased thermal differences across latitudes fueled more frequent and powerful storms.

Now we are in another period of natural warming, with large increases in the early 1900’s, reversed briefly from 1940 to 1975 (triggering a global cooling panic, remember?), and now warming again, although not as rapidly as before 1940. Prosperity and the good health that goes with it now reign wherever personal and economic freedoms are enjoyed.

We should “make hay while the Sun shines” though, because soon the next Ice Age will be upon us.

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