Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Ice Caps Are Melting!...in, er, three thousand years or so

I voted for the Green Party at the 1989 Euro Elections. They got 15% of the vote that year and became the fourth largest party in the UK. The Greens didn't have a formal leader then but their de facto leader and spokesman, former BBC presenter David Icke, was delighted: Icke noted that most of the Green vote was from young people and he promised an "inevitable Green revolution." In 1990 Icke said that wearing purple could help save the planet from evil rays. Later in that decade he told us that he was the son of God and that planet Earth was controlled by alien lizards living inside human bodies. Apparently he no longer believes that he is the son of God but he does still buy into the whole lizard theory. George Bush is a lizard alien and so is the Queen. I haven't read Icke's recent writings but I suspect that he believes that Obama also is a lizard. A lizard who was born in Hawaii (he's nuts but not insane).
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Not all greens are crazy of course, but most of them are alarmists. I do believe that the planet has been getting warmer. The evidence is quite clear if you look at it, especially in long term weather monitoring sites. Its also clear to me that man has been responsible for much of this warming since the industrial revolution. What isnt clear at all is whether this will have any noticeable short term or medium term consequences. By short term I mean our lifetimes, by medium term I mean the lifetimes of our children or other people's children. I dont believe the Deep Greens when they claim that a one or two degree increase in global temperature over the next century will cause famines, hurricanes and the end of civilization. The CET record I link to above proves that it doesn't.
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A little story went largely unnoticed in the Guardian this week. It was about the Greenland Ice Cap, the one that Greens are always telling us is about to slide off Greenland into the north Atlantic and subsequently melt and flood the world. Apparently yes, it is melting as the planet warms but to disappear completely will take at least three thousand years. Of course in three thousand years our current holocene era may be over and a new Ice Age might well have begun. We are due for an Ice Age right about now if the cyclical evidence of history is to be believed and if it isn't to be believed can someone please tell me why not?