About Me

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I'm a life-long New Englander, father of 4 challenging kids (I know: I'm supposed to say "wonderful", but while that'd be true, technically speaking, it'd also be misleading), and fortunate husband to my favorite wife of more than 20 years. I've got over 20 years experience breaking things as a test engineer, quality engineer, reliability engineer, and most recently (and most enjoyably) a Product Safety / EMC Compliance Engineer. In the photo, I'm on the left.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Scientists Find the Kahunas to Agree with Sarcastic Test Guy

I was reading in one of the on-line periodicals that I frequent and found this article on Global Warming, and I must say that it fairly warmed my heart (what's left of my heart, at any rate).

I know that everyone is probably fed up with this whole subject, but I'm going to talk to myself about it anyway, so fair warning: what follows are my long-since established thoughts on the topic of global warming.

Is global warming "real"? Sure seems to be.
Is man THE reason for global warming? Pft...who really knows?

What got me right from the start on this topic is the assertion that humans are responsible for the current trend of global warming. CFCs, ozone, blah, blah, blah. At the same time, there is no end of evidence that the world was a much warming place when the dinosaurs walked the earth (palm trees in Alaska type warm). I immediately wondered, if humans are responsible, on whom do we blame THAT period of global warm? That one lasted for millions of years.

Also, we know that there have been several Ice Ages. According to UnmaskingEvolution.com and Wikipedia, there have been at least five major Ice Ages in the earth's past. So if there were five distinct periods of global cooling, then logic dictates that there have also been at least five distinct periods of global warming too.

I like this particular graphic, which I took from Wikipediea:

This only a graphic of the last five million years, of course; my understanding is that during the dino times (which, by the way, was the name of the newspaper that was being published during the Triassic), the world was warmer than the beginning of this graphic.

It's interesting to note that as we get closer and closer to today, according to this chart, the variation in period-on-period temperature seems to swing more and more widely. And for the most part, these swings have been going on with no humans on the planet.

I watched a documentary some time ago (within the last year or two) that talked about the "Little Ice Age". This documentary started its tale sometime around 1,000 AD (or ce, whichever you prefer). During the time  from about 950 AD to 1250 AD, the world seems to have been a warmer place. I recall them stating that there were at that time grape vineyards in England (significant only because grape vineyards don't grow there today because the climate isn't warm enough). Wikipedia refers to this as the "Medieval Warm Period".

CFCs? Too much hair spray? Automobile emissions? Bah, Humbug!

What followed the MWP was the "Little Ice Age". Here's a Wikipedia article on that too. Very cool fact: the year 1816 is known as "the year without a summer" because frost and snow were reported in New England and Northern Europe during the months of June and July.

Of course, following the end of the Little Ice Age (mid 1800's, by most accounts), there must also have been a trend for global warming. I, for one, have never seen snow in my neck of the woods in June OR July.

So here we are talking about mere decades of global temperatures trending warmer than the previous several decades. On a glacial time scale, I don't think that we've got enough data to state what's going to happen. Not with any certainty.

Is this trend caused by man's presence on the planet? Maybe. Maybe not. I certainly don't think that we've been helping the cause for the last century.

The earth's cooler periods are generally caused by excess dust of one kind or another in the atmosphere. Generally, either from a sizable volcanic eruption, or many lesser such eruptions, or a meteor event. We haven't really had any of these events in a long while. Yes, there have been many eruptions, but none large enough to have the sort of impact that we're talking about.

Now, I'm also of a mind that many of the initiatives that have been undertaken in the name of "fixing" global warming should probably be done anyway. The energy saving measures, leaning towards solar energy over fossil fuels, cars with much better mileage or that run off of more benign sources such as Hydrogen...all are great things that we should be doing anyway. Not necessarily because I think that these are the causes of global warming, but because we ought to be taking care of our planet.

We did not inherit the earth from our fathers, we borrowed it from our children.
~Chief Seattle


  1. And to draw on a previous post, one could be ignorant of your entire argument and still endorse the last paragraph. The planet is exactly what we make of it.

  2. I did not believe in global warming until my father told me that the weather in Los Angeles was some degrees cooler when he first moved there. In my adolescence, he noticed it had changed. I do remember reading somewhere, long ago, that we were expected to experience a mini ice age soon, perhaps within my lifetime.

  3. The planet can handle anything we puny humans throw at it...it's been here a lot longer than we have. While I am not panicking at the thought of global warming or mini ice ages I do think it imperative that we use some common sense and do our very best to preserve conditions as they now exist. It does seem to me that we are having an abundance of natural disasters which I interpret as the planet trying to shake of the infestation of human parasites much as a dog tries to shake of fleas. Not a pretty picture.

  4. I don't care who dunnit. What seems obvious to me is that we're beholden to guardian the planet as best we can with what we have available. We know things we do shouldn't be done anymore because it's all bad. So stop doing them. Quite simple.