The Bottom Line
Published 6:30 am Monday, June 2, 2008
Questions for global warming alarmists
By Tray Smith
Global warming alarmists, who enthuse in predicting the planet’s demise, have been forced to confront somber realities in recent months as multiple studies have provided evidence the world is not in the midst of a catastrophic melt down.
In order to ensure this good piece of news is not taken to heart, the alarmists have developed scenarios under which their doomsday predictions may in fact become true. However, these scenarios rely on multiple improbable events to occur, continuously reducing the likelihood that all will occur in tandem.
The arguments used to support these developments increasingly undermine one another, and it is becoming ever more difficult for environmentalists to argue that government can control temperatures.
Last month, a German study published in “Nature” magazine declared that global warming is imminent and blamed the global dip in temperatures anticipated over the next decade on “natural variations in climate canceling out the increases caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions.”
Environmentalists, who have stubbornly insisted that warming is a result of human activities, now say that cooling is exclusively a result of “natural variations in climate.” But if nature, which has frequently undergone cycles of warming and cooling, is responsible for the drop in global temperatures, why is nature not also responsible for increases in global temperatures? And if the environment is able to resiliently absorb drops in temperature, why can it not also absorb spikes in temperature?
If natural climate cycles and human activity are in fact canceling one another out, then global temperatures will remain roughly the same as they are now, achieving the environmentalists’ goal of maintaining climate equilibrium and preventing a drastic change in temperature. Maintaining the same temperature over time, however, is a plausible goal only if the current temperature is the best temperature, which has not been, and cannot reliably be, determined. Regardless, manmade activity is preventing, not causing, climate change by balancing the effect of natural cycles. If natural cycles are sufficient to offset human-generated increases in temperature, what are the environmental consequences of continuing to emit carbon dioxide, the activity that supposedly causes global warming?
Global temperatures peaked in 1998, but have declined over the last decade. This past winter was the coldest and snowiest North America has endured in decades. Undoubtedly, temperatures will rise again at some point in the future, when environmentalists will proclaim they “told us so.” But the earth goes through cycles of climate change, with periods of warming followed by periods of cooling. Warming alarmist who declare a crisis every time the earth heats and label every cooling period as an insignificant aberration of long term trends ignore the planet’s frequent shifts in temperature at the expense of the legitimacy of their own arguments.
Already, they are telling us that we should not be as concerned about average temperatures as the variation between seasons, with extremities being reached during summer and winter. But if the gases emitted by human activities truly trap heat into the atmosphere, which is the suspect cause of global warming, then a premium of heat should be added to temperatures year around. Having more heat in the atmosphere is not a logical explanation for having colder temperatures during the winter months.
Human activity may contribute to increasing temperatures globally. However, they are not the sole reason for climate change, and cannot be treated as the lone factor in natural climate shifts. Before we take drastic action to avoid global warming, we must have concrete evidence that is currently non-existent. Contrary to popular opinion, the scientific debate over global warming is not over.
Tray Smith is a political columnist for the Atmore Advance. He is a student at Escambia County High School and can be reached at tsmith_90@ hotmail.com.