Monday, February 21, 2011

Nothing changed before 1850?

Despite lurid claims in this article: Permafrost Melt Soon Irreversible Without Major Fossil Fuel Cuts Earth's climate, and everything else, was in a constant state of flux before humans starting mucking about with it.

To listen to those who profit from climate change scare stories, before 1850 CO2 levels were permanently lower than they are today, temperatures were comfortable all over the planet, rain came when expected and in proper amounts, hurricanes were few and gentle, glaciers stayed picturesquely in place and snows, not too much, just enough, arrived on schedule for a White Christmas.

Furthermore, once the Earth stampedes into climate change mode, panicked by dastardly climate change CO2 cowboys, it will forever remain hot, snowy, cold, plagued by hurricanes, tornadoes and drought and short of glaciers, penguins and polar bears.

The truth, of course, is that the Earth's climates have always changed and always will change. Climate variability has no direction, no forward and reverse, no set point, no (spare me) tipping point. Climate has always changed as an emergent phenomenon of the interaction among highly complex geologic, atmospheric, solar and cosmic cycles of natural processes, all beyond human control. Yes, humans do add to the CO2 content of the atmosphere, just as do volcanoes, the ocean, permafrost, methane hydrates, cow burps and dying trees. Is the contribution of human CO2 significant in this context? We don't know. Will reducing human CO2 emissions change climate change and save us from "The Day After Tomorrow?" We don't know.

We don't know the answers to these questions because we don't understand the natural climate change mechanisms that have been in play for millions of years before humans arrived on the scene. Furthermore, our understanding of climate change is obfuscated by human politics, economics and media manipulation. The science of climate change is muddled by the petty graspings of those who seek to use fear of change to manipulate others.

Be not afraid, our climates are changing. The best we can do is not keep our climate accommodation eggs all in one basket, remain resilient, light on our feet, keep a moving target, be prepared physically, mentally and socially for any eventuality.

Then, when it turns out we're heading into a new ice age instead of "global warming," as we really are, ultimately, we'll be able to meet the challenges of continuing climate change as they come along, in their own time.

The first step is to give up the idea of control. Then grasp the concept of cooperation, accommodation, evolution and changing with the times. Seems simple enough.

After all, change is Nature's way!