Um, er, um — maybe it’s not all global warming’s fault

Boy, the discoveries just keep piling up, don’t they, all indicating that Al Bore may have been over-interpreting the scientific data, just a little bit:

Global warming may not be the only thing melting Greenland. Scientists have found at least one natural magma hotspot under the Arctic island that could be pitching in.

In recent years, Greenland’s ice has been melting more and flowing faster into the sea—a record amount of ice melted from the frozen mass this summer, according to recently released data—and Earth’s rising temperatures are suspected to be the main culprit.

But clues to a new natural contribution to the melt arose when scientists discovered a thin spot in the Earth’s crust under the northeast corner of the Greenland Ice Sheet where heat from Earth’s insides could seep through, scientists will report here this week at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

“The behavior of the great ice sheets is an important barometer of global climate change,” said lead scientist Ralph von Frese of Ohio State University. “However, to effectively separate and quantify human impacts on climate change, we must understand the natural impacts too.”

On a summer’s day, those polar bears may still get stuck, but maybe it’s not all our fault.

I’m a big fan of the Occam’s razor principle, which I learned (simplistically, of course) to mean that the most simple or, at least, the most straightforward solution is usually the best one. However, it is becoming apparent that, at least with Climate Change, the most simple answer — it’s all people’s; no, make that the West’s; no, make that America’s fault — is not an intelligently applied version of Occam’s razor, but is instead a foolish rush to judgment. Of course, in a rational world, where the climate has changed violently and repeatedly since Earth’s inception, an intelligent application of Occam’s razor might say that, as the causes before resulted from natural phenomena, so too they result from natural phenomena, at least in significant part, today.

And let me add my usual disclaimer for a climate change post: I would still love to see us get off fossil fuels, since doing so would de-fund large parts of the world that are most hostile to us (Iran, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, etc.), but that doesn’t make me less opposed to the hysteria about global warming. If the hysteria would take more practical turns, such as developing nuclear energy or using public schools to teach kids to turn out lights when they leave the room, I might be more interested in the whole thing. As it is, the misanthropy, the anti-Americanism, and the rank profiteering that characterizes climate change activism to me is a complete turn off, it’s not being used intelligently to deal with real problems and force real solutions, and I therefore resist it steadfastly.

UPDATE: Global warming temporarily canceled in Britain.

UPDATE II:  And of course, all my thoughts are with those in the Midwest currently victimized by not-Global Warming.

13 Responses

  1. It doesn’t have to be fossil fuels OR . . . . what’s wrong with a multi-pronged approach to energy by building more refineries, exploring and drilling off our own shores to increase domestic oil supply while we also ramp up the pursuit of nuclear and other power options? So much the better that this approach does not allow the world to get into our pockets to rip us off while we cower in guilt over our collective carbon foot prints.

  2. Here’s the problem as I see it: Yes, it looks like the globe is getting warmer, and yes, we humans may be contributing our mite to that change, but the major cause is a complex of natural cycles.

    And when we humans try to control natural cycles, we nearly always make them worse. That’s because by the time we notice a trend is occurring, the countervailing forces are already in place and beginning to act. Our efforts serve merely to strengthen them.

    So if our actions to halt global warming actually have an effect — which I doubt — but if they do, they will most likely make the next ice age even colder.

  3. I’m sorry, citizen, you are guilty of using Unapproved Terminology. The impending catastrophe caused by white Western men’s systematic raping of Gaia is _not_ called “Global Warming” any more. The Approved Terminology is “Global Climate Change.” That way _any_ weather can be used as supporting evidence, no matter how hot, cold, wet, or dry.

    Please report to your nearest Attitude Adjustment and Trepanning Center.

  4. So if our actions to halt global warming actually have an effect — which I doubt — but if they do, they will most likely make the next ice age even colder.

    So long as Al Gore can burn up several tons of wood for warmth each day, it is all good, man.

  5. To me “Attitude adjustment” means Happy Hour: Skol!

    But Book I’m totally with you. I want a tech energy solution so we can say to the oil rich despots “let them eat sand.”

  6. Thanks, Y, I feel much better now.

  7. Cliff May has an interesting article on flex-fuel cars at NRO today. And check out http://www.nanosolar.com for some other interesting developments. We will get to energy independence. I can’t wait for the day when we can tell the oil thugs and faschist tree hugger to take a dive.

  8. Occam’s razor is overly used. Some things by their very nature defy the simplistic explanation. Willem of Occam was a monk in, I think, the 13th century. Science progresses, and refines over time. I would argue that the current climate change folks, who are also claiming Willem, do not truly understand a multi-variable system and feedback loops.

  9. Right now, there is plenty of oil, and not only under the sands of Arabia. The Arctic, the Gulf of Mexico, and more and more appearing off Brazil. I agree with Margaret that we need to redevelope our own oil infrastructure and there by save money, jobs, and the US economy. Once we throw the environmentalists on the dust bin of history, we’ll be able to do that. (I know it’s over used, but it’s the politest way I could describe them.) But…at some point we will run out and we must create new types of energy. And of course, the ultimate source is the Sun. That’s were our real research efforts should go.
    Al

  10. Allen L – Occam’s razor merely posits that you look at the most obvious, simplest explanations first. In the case of climate change, this would be a source of heat (the sun) and greenhouse gases (water, not carbon dioxide). My own skepticism was peaked in the climate change debate when these two factors were being deliberately downplayed by global warming proponents.

    Upon further investigation, it turned out that most if not all climate change could be explained by solar cycles and water’s role as BY FAR the most important global warming gas was simply not understood – i.e., it could not be modeled. Hence, water was ignored. Finally, there was this niggling problem with all the elegant computer models that they simply didn’t work – they could make wild predictions going forward but could not explain anything going backwards.

    So, back to Occam’s Razor – if science couldn’t even explain the most obvious, how could it even begin to explain the more complex?

  11. Danny- I am reminded of Hilbert’s solution of temperature distribution in a body. Einstein said of it something like, it makes no sense but it’s right. In reality the right answer was the non-simplistic non-obvious one. This happens a lot.

    We are pretty much saying the same thing. Indeed climate change is made up of numerous forcing factors with feedback. The understanding of those various factors is elusive. I have always had a problem with models, even though I use them extensively. In my case I use hydrodynamic codes, which we think we have a good handle on, but they are still off at times. Global climate models? I don’t think we’ve even scratched the surface yet.

  12. I touched lightly on the rise in Volcanism on the earth, and its effects on the Arctic, among other things. Volcanism is one of those items ignored or forgotten by the Climate Change Chicken Littles.We have no power at all to stop volcanoes.

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