Friday, January 25, 2008

Anthropogenic . . . volcanoes?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm no climate scientist. When there's talk about "global warming" or "climate change," I politely decline to give a definitive statement because I have no idea who is speaking from solid data/principle and who is speaking from the wrong end of their digestive tract.

However, one thing I will say is that I don't think we should start spending billions of dollars trying to solve a problem that we don't really understand and might not even exist. Nothing involving the climate/ecosphere/Captain Planet is ever as simple as it might seem.

Case in point: This recent article from Science about the discovery of active volcanoes underneath the West Antarctic ice sheets. I've read about that ice sheet's regression as proof of anthropogenic global warming. Now it looks like some of that (How much? Good question.) may be due to a volcano. Unless someone is willing to blame the volcano on carbon emissions as well, I think it's safe to say that we might not understand what's at work there as much as we thought we did.

But what do I know? I'm no climatologist.


Anonymous said...

Couldn't the same be said for most sciences? How are we going to figure it out without spending some money on it? As a scientist, I'd like to know what's going on, and you can't get answers without $.

Hal said...

Oh, you misunderstand, Nonny. I'm not opposed to spending money on research. Far from it.

However, there are people who want to issue ludicrous taxes on carbon emissions, install obscene regulations regarding said emissions, and invest in technologies that may do nothing to change either the "warming" or the emissions.

That is the spending of money I can't get behind. I'd rather not cripple or destroy an economy just to appease somebody's eco-guilt. Let the research bear things out first.

Anonymous said...

"but if you wait long enough to find out if there's a problem OMG WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!"

at least, that's what I'd say if I were a crazed eco-terrorist like most of the global warming crowd. I just saw an amazing southpark that made me laugh. basically everyone bought hybrid cars, and because they were living so "clean" they liked the smell of their own farts. pretty hilarious. then the environment was threatened by lingering clouds of "smug" being emitted from the jackasses who think they are saving the world by driving a little tin deathtrap. I'm all for conserving energy, because that helps break the hold that OPEC has on the country, but even if every single car in the nation were changed to a hybrid overnight, in 5 years we'd be back at this level of consumption anyway just based on the additional number of cars going onto the road each year. it's just plain silly and not a global changing answer. It's more like south park said, a way for people to feel like they are "doing their part". smug jerks.
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