I’m currently reading The Story of Earth by Robert Hazen chronicling the origins of the Earth from the remnants of generations of stars that exploded since the Big Bang, through its formation in the solar nebula, its near destruction after being hit by a planetoid that formed the moon, on to the present day. It’s an easy read for anyone curious about the process of how the Earth formed from interstellar dust. Hazen covers the physics and chemistry that lead to our planet without boring the reader or patronizing him or her, so I highly recommend it.
I mention Hazen’s book because I’m reading it at a time when heat waves are setting records throughout the country and the Spanish word derecho has entered the popular lexicon. For climate scientists and global warming alarmists it is a time for “I told you so’s” and an example of “what global warming looks like,” as the faithful cave in to the temptation to equate weather with climate against their better judgement. When Colorado burns and the Midwest mirrors the desert Southwest, the siren song is irresistible, and resistance is futile when reporters are begging for quotes and interviews are to be had by scientists who, let’s face it, weren’t the popular kids in school, so I suppose it’s okay to let them enjoy their moment in the spotlight.
The problem with this is that according to their own beliefs, global warming will lead to extremes in both directions – hot as well as cold – and that while the central US parches other parts of the world may be enjoying unprecedented rainfall such as Australia which itself suffered from devastating droughts just a few years ago. Like most faiths, Anthropogenic Global Warming covers all bases: flooding? Blame global warming. Drought? Blame global warming. Evidently the only weather one can’t blame on global warming are gentle tropical breezes and rains or the boring weather you’ve experienced over the period of your lifetime.
Much has been made in the Midwest of the record breaking heat. Records have been kept for almost 120 years. The age of the Earth is 4.567 billion years. That’s less than 3 millionths of 1 percent (.0000026% to be exact) of its history. To help put that in perspective, if we imagine the entire 4.567 billion year history of Earth as a single year, the time spent record keeping would be less than a second (830 ms). During most of that time Earth’s climate seesawed between hellish heat and frigid, ocean-freezing cold. Although records are being broken by a degree or two this Summer one shouldn’t don sack cloth and ashes just yet. It’s just as likely that Mother Nature is simply being her own, unpredictable self, at least to us, while following heating and cooling patterns and trends that last millions of years.
Just as ancestors were thousands of years ago, we are being told to that we must change our evil ways to please the natural forces at work in our world. While we are clearly technologically superior to our long-forgotten ancestors who cowered in fear at the sight of a solar eclipse or danced to please the gods to make it rain, we aren’t all that different from them. We still have high priests that claim to know Secret Knowledge about the workings of complex systems of the world, and they still demand that we do something, anything to exert our control over nature. Back then it was burning condemned prisoners to guarantee the harvest; today it’s cutting our carbon footprint. Both have about the same chances of impacting the natural forces at work in the world that remind us daily just how puny and insignificant we are on this planet.
But if you are a global warming alarmist, there is still much to be happy about: the US continues to cut its carbon emissions:
(T)he US is on track to cut its CO2 emissions 17 percent below the 2005 levels by 2020 — and to keep cutting our emissions levels beyond that.
Its secret? Fracking. The US is going to frack its way to a greener world, and something tells me its going to drag global warming alarmists kicking and screaming as it does so. All the sack cloth and ashes (carbon free of course) demanded by wealthy Greenies like Al Gore won’t get us there, but the Evil Fossil Fuel companies (hiss!) will. It’s almost as if Sauron appeared to Frodo and Sam, handed them the ring and provided a security detail for their trip to Mount Doom. To greens it doesn’t make sense, and they refuse to accept it, but yet the US continues towards a carbon neutral path, heedless of their disbelief.
Update: Record floods in the UK. Rain ‘Til September threatens the Olympics. Global Warming to blame? Sure why not. Like every religious person knows there’s nothing like believing in something impossible to disprove.