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Global Warming

Righty: Those sandal-wearing, NPR-addicted, tree-hugging Chicken Littles on the left have already convinced mainstream America that the sky is falling… that we’re about to be inundated by rising seas, tropical heat and other meteorological catastrophes of an apocalyptic nature. All as a result of filthy capitalists and piggish American middle-class consumers releasing tons of pollutants into the atmosphere, of course. Did they ever consider that the Earth has naturally occurring cycles of colder and warmer weather, and that we’re simply emerging from a minor ice age? Presidential aspirant and perennial flake Al Gore has lent his prestige to the global warming hysteria, complete with PowerPoint presentations and a jumble of statistics. Just remember that you’re listening to the man who claims he invented the Internet.

Lefty: Hurricanes. Tsunamis. Retreating glaciers. Cherry blossoms blooming in winter. The hottest recorded temperatures since temperature-recording began. Wake up, everyone, THIS IS FOR REAL. The fabled snows of Kilimanjaro have virtually vanished, and Glacier National Park will need a new name within a few decades. Even the great Greenland icecap is melting at an alarming pace and sliding slowly into the sea. By the end of this century, all our coastal cities will be looking like Venice. Changing patterns of vegetation will decimate crops and cause massive famines. How much more evidence to we need to produce before those right-wing energy hogs smarten up and reverse their catastrophic environmental policies? Their intransigence in this matter is nothing less than evil, and their greed will visit horrendous consequences on every future generation to inhabit this once-pristine planet.

The New Moderate:

I have to lean in Lefty’s direction on this one, but (naturally) with a couple of qualifications. For anyone who cares remotely about the future, the gradual transformation of our dazzling blue-green globe into a hellish pressure-cooker is a catastrophe that makes Islamist terrorism look like a game of croquet. Who would have dreamed that one puny species of higher ape could have wreaked such general havoc across the planet?

That we’re already heating up has been established beyond argument. Only two matters remain to be debated: how much of the warming is due to manmade rather than natural causes (The New Moderate is moderate enough to admit that not all the change might be traced to us humans), and how quickly the Earth will be turning up the burners. Will average temperatures rise 3 degrees or 10 degrees Fahrenheit by the year 2100? Will sea levels creep 8 inches or 8 feet higher? Should smart real estate investors abandon the Jersey shore and start buying up beachfront property in Pennsylvania? Scientists haven’t been able to agree on the degree of change, but nearly all of them agree on the direction of the change. Greenland might not melt like a heated popsicle in our lifetimes, but it will melt in somebody’s lifetime if nothing is done. And that’s enough to make an alarmist out of The New Moderate, even if some of my fellow alarmists go embarrassingly overboard in their hysteria. I’d like to believe that future generations might be able to enjoy London, Paris, New York and Boston without gondolas.

It doesn’t matter whether some or even most of the change is the result of natural shifts in climate. We know that manmade emissions contribute to the greenhouse effect, so we must stop in our tracks and develop new energy alternatives now. Not ten or twenty years from now. As China, India, Brazil and other late bloomers require more energy to fuel their giddy growth, we will be making impossible demands on our resources and (given our current energy habits) turning our atmosphere into a noxious soup of greenhouse gases. It doesn’t take a professional geologist to see that we’re headed for a scenario in which the future Earth resembles some nightmare landscape from the mind of Hieronymus Bosch. Either we find more benign sources of energy, or we cut our fuel consumption drastically across the planet. The New Moderate would favor the former. Imagine trying to live without air-conditioning when summer temperatures routinely top 100.

Summary: It doesn’t matter whether global warming is a natural or manmade phenomenon (or a combination thereof); we have to address it NOW.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. Michelangelo Markus permalink
    September 22, 2009 6:02 pm

    Besides all of the side effects of addressing the issue are positive ones. New jobs, cleaner, more efficient energy, less pollution, what real reason is there to be opposed to it? I don’t get why people don’t want us to do anything, it’s all positive outcomes even if global warming turns out to be an elaborate prank by the evil scientists.

    • September 27, 2009 1:16 pm

      Corporate interests balk at many of the “green” measures because all that monitoring and new eco-friendly equipment would boost their costs (and decrease their profitability). That seems to be the major roadblock here, and of course corporate interests essentially run this country through lobbies and campaign funding. If only these corporations could look beyond the next fiscal year and come to grips with the worldwide nightmare that could be staring us in the face three or four decades from now. But such farsighted vision wouldn’t boost their stock price in the next quarter.

      • Michael Harris permalink
        May 14, 2018 7:34 pm

        Hey, consider the multitude of shiny new technologies and jobs that would be created once our planet resembles that of Dune!

  2. Jameson permalink
    November 5, 2009 7:01 pm

    also have to consider national security implications of buying oil from unfriendly nations

  3. April 9, 2012 12:04 pm

    This is just the type of blog I have been looking to find. I have being saying for months that America needs “militant moderates.” Its time to take our political system back from the extreme right and left and replace them with common sense moderates. I am linking this site to my soon to be up and running website, Adkins for Common Sense Government.

    • April 10, 2012 1:22 pm

      Michael: Always glad to welcome another militant moderate to our ranks. Let me know when you launch your site and I’ll link back to you.

  4. April 10, 2012 1:48 pm

    Thanks Rick. I have an “artist” in charge of my campaign website. Once she finally has it completed I will let you know. You may want to contact the CEO of Lowes, Inc. He stated in a Newsweek article last Fall that this country needed militant moderates. I would be curious as to what he is willing to do to recruit them.

    Michael Adkins

  5. Ron permalink
    April 20, 2013 2:05 am

    As a moderate conservative, I recognize the climate is warming and human activity is probably a contributor, along with natural forces. I believe there has been a lot of hysteria from some elements of the so-called scientific community, certain zealots of doom who function more as high priests of the apocalypse vs. impartial scientists.

    Respected analysts (as reported by der Spiegel) predict temperature rises in the 2-3 degrees F range over the next century and moderate rises in sea levels of 8-16″ versus previous predictions of 1 meter, and Al Gore’s prediction of 20 feet. These more moderate scenarios give people, flora and fauna time to adapt. There may be as many winners as losers with a warming planet. Why do we catalog only worst-case effects of climate change? Change in and of it’s self is neither good nor bad. Real estate values in Canada may soar. And the earth’s natural systems are so complex and little understood, there may be many moderating natural systems we cannot yet anticipate.

    Let’s do all we can to conserve energy resources and minimize our human impact. Smart policies make economic sense as well, but emotionally-driven panic and unquestioned dogma may do nothing to save the planet, while negatively impacting quality of life for mankind.

  6. James permalink
    January 20, 2015 3:02 am

    If you haven’t seen the documentary, Cool It, by Bjorn Lomborg, it’s w a watch. I found it on Netflix. It’s a common sense approach to the global warming argument – very moderate.

  7. November 8, 2015 6:18 am

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  8. Ron permalink
    January 5, 2016 3:08 pm

    When I was born, there were 3 billion people on Earth. Today there are 7+ billion. And, the UN estmates the population in 2100 will be 12 billion. If man is causing global warming, then we must reverse the exponential growth of the human population.
    Sure, let’s be more efficient, reduce CO2 gas emissions, utilize solar and wind and nuclear energy. But, when we reach 12 billion people, none of that will matter.

  9. November 18, 2019 3:41 pm

    (Thank you, Jay!)

    Here’s the link to my original comment, which has working hyperlinks in it, but which has languished “in moderation” for eight weeks because of that:

    Here’s the text of it, with the hyperlinks obfuscated:

    “The gradual transformation of our dazzling blue-green globe into a hellish pressure-cooker is a catastrophe” is ridiculous anti-scientific leftist propaganda.

    I’m an IPCC Expert Reviewer, I’ve published in the academic literature on sea-level rise, I was appointed to the NC Sea Level Rise Impact Study Advisory Committee, I’m a member of the CO2 Coalition, and I created the web site. I’m here to tell you that Climate science is so politicized and commercialized that much of what you hear is nonsense.

    For instance, you’ve heard there’s a scientific consensus that CO2 emissions help warm the planet, and that’s true. But do you realize there’s no consensus that it’s harmful?

    In fact, the best evidence is that manmade climate change is modest & benign, and CO2 emissions are beneficial, for both mankind and natural ecosystems. I’m one of over 30,000 American scientists who’ve signed a “petition” attesting to that fact:

    {https colon slash slash}quora{dot}com/Did-30-000-scientists-declare-that-climate-change-is-a-hoax/answer/Dave-Burton-2

    CO2 is “plant food,” which is why commercial greenhouses use “CO2 generators” to raise daytime CO2 levels 6 to 9 times as much as we’ve raised outdoor CO2 levels:

    {https colon slash slash}google{dot}com/search?q=%22Carbonic+Acid+Gas+to+Fertilize+the+Air%22

    {https colon slash slash}sealevel{dot}info/CO2_fertilized_potatoes_1920.png

    Are you old enough to remember when terrible famines were often in the news, in places like Bangladesh? Famine was one of the great scourges of humanity, the “third Horseman of the Apocalypse.”

    But famines hare become rare, and one of the reasons is rising CO2 levels, which have increased worldwide agricultural productivity by about 20%, and made plants more water-efficient and drought-resistant:

    {https colon slash slash}

    {https colon slash slash}sealevel{dot}info/madras_famine_with_co2_300_vs_glut_with_co2_400_horizontal.png

    Those benefits are well-measured, by thousands of agricultural studies. The supposed major harms are just hypothetical.

    Direct impacts of global warming are obviously negligible. We’re on track for at most about one degree Celsius of warming by 2100, probably less (except at frigid high latitudes, where warming is certainly helpful). 1°C of warming is about what you get from a latitude shift of 70 miles. Farmers can compensate for 1°C of warming by planting about a week earlier.

    So people promoting solar and wind boondoggles hype other supposed harms, like sea-level rise, or extreme weather, or polar bears. But those problems aren’t actually happening. CO2 has been rising steadily for 2/3 of a century, yet sea-level rise has not accelerated, hurricanes are not worsening, strong tornadoes actually declined, and the polar bears are fine.

    {https colon slash slash}sealevel{dot}info/1612340_Honolulu_vs_CO2_annot4_1067x822.png

    Why can’t a “moderate” accept scientific facts? Since when does being “moderate” mean being unscientific? Adherence to scientific accuracy should not be the exclusive province of the right-wing!

    Here’s a little list of resources where you can learn more about climate change:

    {https colon slash slash}sealevel{dot}info/learnmore.html

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