I apologize. My skepticism concerning global warming has endangered the planet in ways I could scarcely have imagined. That’s right, friends. I have set us up for an alien attack.
Let me clarify a couple of things, lest my heat-fearing acquaintances lump me together with the hoards of toothless, drooling “deniers” they visualize while reading Mother Jones.
First, the Earth may indeed be getting warmer. As a consumer of both sides of the issue rather than only one, I have concluded that there may be a warming trend. I say “may” because there are horrendous problems associated with measuring the temperature of a house, much less an entire planet. The bedroom on the northeast corner of my house gets significantly colder than the rest of the rooms. How should I combine its temperature with the others to get an overall reading? Should I take into account its size? Average by numbers of rooms? Add to that the fact that temperature satellite locations have changed over the years. A little research will reveal that the changes were not balanced, but favored a hotter reading overall. A warmer Earth? Let’s give that one a hearty “maybe.”
Second, it is not clear that humanity is the primary cause. I gather that even the most ardent warmers recognize that the draconian measures they advocate would do little to change the warming trend, even if it exists. It is far more likely that this is primarily a natural trend to which we will have to adjust. We do know, however, that energy is essential to life. People who live in poverty can be helped only with the man-made energy that is used to make medicine and grow food. Sweating more while drinking fresh water and eating well is hardly something to get worked up about.
Third, it is not clear that warming is a bad thing. For all of Al Gore’s hyperbolic claims about polar bears, there is little evidence to support the dire predictions he makes while jetting about the world in his private plane. In fact, it has been suggested that growing seasons will be longer and fewer people will freeze to death. Surely this is not a bad thing. In the end, warming would be a mixed bag of good and bad. Welcome to life on this planet.
Fourth, I work with statistics. Modeling even the simplest relationships among variables is mind-bogglingly difficult. Models are useful for understanding some of the dynamics of phenomena, but are notably poor at actually predicting outcomes with any accuracy. The models used to predict climate change are rife with assumptions, the kind that always seem to be necessary to make models work. The problem is, headlines do not include these provisos. Rather, they say things like: We’re Going to Die! There. Got your attention. The fine print should read: “And by the way, this is only the case if the alleged effects of warming multiply themselves over time, which we assume to be true.”
Fifth, we know a lot more about the harmful effects of stupid legislation than we do about the possible effects of climate change. A nation with a moribund economy needs energy, not witless bureaucrats. Come to think of it, a nation with a sound economy needs energy, not witless bureaucrats. No one, repeat no one, wants truly harmful pollutants swirling through the atmosphere or rivers flowing with toxins. What skeptics want is sound science and a rational balancing of policy, not panic. Forgive us.
All of which brings us back to aliens. Like liberals, warmers are getting desperate. First, Paul Krugman invokes an alien invasion scenario to elucidate an admittedly opaque idea about government spending. Now NASA (curiously, right after big funding cuts) pleads its case in helping defend us from threats beyond our atmosphere–all because of something bad ol’ man did. Look for ads soon featuring Bigfoot, something that does not exist, begging us to stop anthropogenic global warming, which barely exists, if at all. Yep, I am scared–scared that I will laugh myself into a heat stroke.