Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Global warming

Among the denizens of Washington DC the theory of global warming is treated as established fact that is beyond reproach. After all, Al Gore made a movie about it, which from what I understand pretty much settles the matter. Declarations of skepticism regarding global warming immediately invite suspicions that:
  • You didn't go to college, or went to one run by right-wing religious nuts
  • You have been bribed by the oil companies
  • Your last name is Palin
A closer examination of the subject, however, reveals that the matter is far from settled:
...American Craig Loehle, a scientist who conducts computer modelling on global climate change, confirmed his earlier findings that the so-called Medieval Warm Period (MWP) of about 1,000 years ago did in fact exist and was even warmer than 20th-century temperatures.

Prior to the past decade of climate hysteria and Kyoto hype, the MWP was a given in the scientific community. Several hundred studies of tree rings, lake and ocean floor sediment, ice cores and early written records of weather -- even harvest totals and censuses --confirmed that the period from 800 AD to 1300 AD was unusually warm, particularly in Northern Europe.

...Weather-satellite scientists David Douglass of the University of Rochester and John Christy of the University of Alabama at Huntsville nonetheless dealt the True Believers a devastating blow last month.

For nearly 30 years, Professor Christy has been in charge of NASA's eight weather satellites that take more than 300,000 temperature readings daily around the globe. In a paper co-written with Dr. Douglass, he concludes that while manmade emissions may be having a slight impact, "variations in global temperatures since 1978 ... cannot be attributed to carbon dioxide."
Read the whole thing, but especially note this graph:

Now, given that I live on this planet and am not keen on its destruction or non-viability as a place to live, I am open to the possibility of climate change as a threat. But before we go off and abide by the Kyoto Treaty with its accompanying staggering costs, shouldn't we at least first figure out if man-made warming is even real and, if so, how cost-effective Kyoto would be?

Update: More here (via instapundit)

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