So today I read that 130 scientists in Iowa say that the 2012 drought is a sign of climate change, and by that they mean man-caused change due to the release of greenhouse gases. I’m wondering if these scientists ever took a history class or if they realize that the climate was around before they became aware of the fact that there was such a thing as climate. This gets to the heart of what appears to me as modern superstition. We laugh at the “backwards” Medieval period when people believed all sorts of things that, in the light of modern science are not true. We are so much more “advanced” than they are. Really? Are we?
Perhaps if those scientists, instead of being in their scientific bunker seeing what they prefer to see, would have watched Ken Burns’ excellent documentary on the Dust Bowl when Oklahoma, Colorado, Nebraska, and Texas, among others, were hit by year after year of drought during the 1930’s. The erosion of the land was due in large part to the agricultural practices of the farmers, the drought was not. Was this due to global warming? If it was, why did the climate cool back down so that by the 1970’s we were worried about Nuclear Winter and a new ice age.
Here is the EPA’s chart of average temperatures in the 20th century in America. Question: If you were alive at the turn of last century, would you be worried about global warming? Answer: No. You would be worried about the coming mini-ice age, pretty much for the first twenty years of the 20th century due to the cooler than average temperatures. Then wait, look what happens, the 1930’s through 1955 were generally warmer than average (coinciding with The Dust Bowl), Gah! Global Warming!! But wait, look what happened after 1955 to roughly 1985, cooler than average temperatures (when I was in college in the 80’s they were worried about the next ice age). Then starting in roughly 1990 or so, a warming trend, and suddenly scientists in Iowa are convinced! that it is due to man-caused greenhouse gases. Do you see a trend in the chart? We have a period of cooler than average temperatures followed by warmer than average, followed by cooler, followed by…perhaps you get the point, but superstitious scientists apparently do not.
What if we take a longer term look at climate. Do we see something different? You be the judge. Here is a chart from 800 AD with out best guesses at climate temperatures worldwide:
Compare roughly 1000 AD with 2000 AD, does it look similar? Yes! Because it WAS similar. The only problem for so-called scientists is that there were not enough greenhouse gases for the average climate temperatures to spike so much 1000 years ago. Various explanations have been proposed to try and explain this away, although the most obvious would appear to me to be, SOMETIMES AVERAGE CLIMATE TEMPERATURES GO UP AND SOMETIMES THEY GO DOWN!!
But then I’m not a scientist.