Warming Worlds

Some Canadians are up in arms about the recent UN summit in Bali. “PM harms Canada’s green cred at Bali summit” and similar headlines are everywhere. Canada’s good name is being dragged down. I, for one, am not concerned. When the pendulum swings, when temperatures halt and then cool, Canada won’t look so bad. Actually, for a while they will look bad when global warming enthusiasts are claiming success. But what about when the temperatures continue plummeting? The new political campaigns will be all about saving the world from the next “big freeze”. (Hmmm… does that sound familiar? Like say in the 50s and 60s?)
Can you tell I’m a skeptic?

I’ll will reiterate what I’ve already said elsewhere. Yes, the climate is changing. Yes, I do believe that there is ample evidence for this. Yes, the indigenous peoples nearest the poles are the first to feel its affects. Yes, species are dying and some will hit extinction because of it. But, [emphatically] no, this is not something new.

My theory? I think there are a lot of factors that contribute to this climate change that has been happening for a lot longer than we’ve been recording it. Orbital variation, solar activity, and probably some other stuff I don’t know about. I’m not an expert. But here’s my theory. It is surprising that it is happening so fast because of a uniformitarian world view. Based on the idea that all of the past climate changes have taken tens and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of years, it is alarming to see drastic changes take place before our very eyes. However, if the earth is young and all of the past climate changes (i.e. the ice age) and extinctions happened much faster than we have been led to believe (and there is ample evidence to support this), the present situation is not surprising at all. At least, I’m not surprised by it. Which is why I’m not at all surprised to read things such as what is found in the following excerpts from Live Science. There may not be consensus in the scientific community after all. (But maybe you already knew that too.)

Earth is heating up lately, but so are Mars, Pluto and other worlds in our solar system, leading some scientists to speculate that a change in the sun’s activity is the common thread linking all these baking events.

“Global warming on Neptune’s moon Triton as well as Jupiter and Pluto, and now Mars has some [scientists] scratching their heads over what could possibly be in common with the warming of all these planets … Could there be something in common with all the planets in our solar system that might cause them all to warm at the same time?”

A little Google search of, say, “warming on other planets” will retrieve many similar articles.

You might also find the Intelligence Squared debate, “Global warming is not a crisis”, on NPR interesting. Zach and I did.




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