By Danny Keating, Director of the Louisiana/Mississippi HVAC Insider
“One of the most important reasons for studying history is that virtually every stupid idea that is in vogue today has been tried before and proved disastrous before, time and again. Do we need to keep repeating the same mistakes forever?” – Thomas Sowell
“Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it. Those who do study history are forced to stand idly by and watch as those who do not study history repeat it.” – Unknown Author
“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.” – Aldous Huxley
These three quotes tie in nicely with our current ‘Climate Change’ dilemma.
I would hope that we all want clean air and clean water. I would also hope that we also all want to be able to believe what we are told about our environment. Unfortunately, our sources of reliable and credible information seem to be very limited.
When some politician is talking about passing a carbon tax and then allowing multi-national companies who earn exemptions to sell their carbon tax exemptions to other multi-national companies which will allow them to continue polluting the air and water, it doesn’t seem like a good idea to me. The world is in this together and the rules must apply to China, India and Russia as well as to the United States and Europe. Pollution is pollution, regardless of where it originates.
It might appear that I am ‘in denial’ of Global Warming. That is not true. In our travels Ms. Bettie and I have been on an Alaskan cruise and have seen the evidence of global warming. We also had an interesting conversation with an Inuit gentleman who was at least my age. Inuits are the indigenous natives of Alaska. This gentleman told us about how much he has seen the ice melt in his lifetime and pointed out to us how far the ice had receded and told us about other changes he had observed in his lifetime. He added that his father and his grandfather used to point to him how far the ice had receded in their lifetimes. Presuming that since we were similar ages and my father was born in 1925 and my grandfather was born in the 1890’s, then the same could be true for his father and grandfather. This would logically indicate that the arctic ice was starting to melt long before a need for fluorocarbon refrigerants was even conceived.
I know, it’s only one isolated conversation, but this gentleman had more credibility to me than the current day proponents of ‘Global Warming’. If you study history or if you are old enough to remember the 1970’s, ‘Global Cooling’ was the current conjecture and we were told of the imminent cooling of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere, that would culminate in a period of extensive glaciation. This was nothing new since the cooling theory and the concern about a new Ice Age had started in the 1920’s.
Concerns about a nuclear winter became prevalent in the early 1980s. Speculation was that effects due to catastrophes such as asteroid impacts and massive volcanic eruptions would cloud the skies and cause a nuclear winter.
In 1991, there was a prediction that the massive oil well fires in Kuwait during the Gulf War would cause significant effects on climate. It was proven to be incorrect.
No one can intelligently argue with scientific proof. Our problem is that we are bombarded with scientific theory that is masqueraded as scientific proof. I wish it weren’t so, but unfortunately history repeats itself.
What we do know is that the Earth is constantly changing. For thousands of years the earth has been gradually warming. The most recent Ice Age occurred at the end of the Pleistocene Epoch which ended 11,700 years ago. You see about 20,000 years ago the Earth started to gradually warm up. Roughly 8,000 years later it reversed itself and went into another ice age called the Younger Dryas. This ice age lasted 1200 years and then the Earth started gradually warming up again.
So as not to be too confusing about the dates, 11,700 years ago would convert to 9,681 B.C. The first signs of civilized humans were seen at about 4,000 B.C. Obviously Global Warming was going on long before humans became a factor.
Moving forward thousands of years to 1300 A.D., a mere 700 years ago, the Earth experienced the Little Ice Age. Technically it was not a true Ice Age but defined a period from 1300 to 1900. (That’s right, it ended right about the time that Inuit gentleman’s grandfather was born). The NASA Earth Observatory tells us that there were three particularly cold intervals: one beginning about 1650, another about 1770, and the last in 1850. All these cold intervals were separated by periods of slight warming.
So, what we know for a scientific fact is that the Earth has been gradually warming for a very, very long time. We also know that Climate Change is “a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions, or in the distribution of weather around the average conditions (such as more or fewer extreme weather events). Climate change is caused by factors that include oceanic circulation, biotic processes (plants), variations in solar radiation received by Earth, geological plate tectonics and volcanic eruptions, and human-induced alterations of the natural world.”
So, what we also know for a scientific fact is that with or without humans Climate Change is going to take place. Hopefully we all want clean air and clean water. Hopefully we all want scientific proof of how we are negatively affecting the climate so we can modify our behavior as needed. And hopefully we will insist that our elected leaders provide us with the logical and sensible solutions needed when that time does arise.