Daniel from Memphis decided to weigh in on the global warming "debate" a couple of days ago in the Commercial Appeal
. Daniel is good at making himself sound smart but he's really just making shit up. I call this the "Fox News Syndrome." The problem with people like Daniel is that readers who aren't well-informed (which, in the case of climate change, would be a lot of people) are inclined to believe what he says because he sounds like he knows what he's talking about. For those people, I offer up my take on his "argument."
1. You take your dog's temperature? That's weird. And what the fuck does that have to do with anything?
2. "We don't have enough information to really say."
Actually, that's not true. The scientific community unanimously agrees that global warming is a problem AND that it is man-made issue. The popular press is the ONLY print outlet that has indicated there is any sort of debate on the issue.
3. "We only have 27 years of global weather data..."
This may be true, but even so, that's still
enough data to conclude there has been a marked increase in both temperature and extreme weather events. Most of the detrimental effects of global warming have been felt just in the past 30 years. Also, scientists are sometimes clever enough to use local
data which, I'm made to understand, go back a couple more than 27 years on some parts of the globe. You don't always need a satellite to tell you what the climate is.
4. "...every combination of an atmospheric and oceanic GCM predicts global cooling..."
and yet a mere two semi-colons earlier, "none of them can accurately predict even the largest weather phenomena."
So first you say you can't trust the things to predict and then you use a prediction to make your point? Dude, come on! (Not to mention this whole paragraph is irrelevant because it doesn't make any sense.)
5. "...sun's output changes..."
may not be taken into account by GCM's (actually, I believe they are), but most definitely
are taken into account by global warming studies. "...Earth's orientation in its orbit changes..."
which is only relevant if we are currently in a period of change. Which we're not.
6. "There were periods in the past when the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere was higher than it is currently."
That's actually not even remotely true.
7. "...water vapor is [the biggest greenhouse gas factor]..."
Interesting, seeing as how we aren't making any more water, but we're certainly churning out a bunch of CO2. Plus, the whole thing is sort of about quality (amount of damage) vs. quantity (amount of something in the atmosphere...water, for instance, doesn't trap the sun's energy with quite the same gusto as carbon dioxide).
8. "Perhaps the ultimate irony is that according to a "Nature" magazine article a few years ago, most of the Ice Ages were preceded by periods of warming."
Dude. Have you seen The Day After Tomorrow
?! You just put forth an argument for
global warming. Greenland melts and Europe gets stuck under ice. "Global warming" is just a name for the change that's currently
going on. It isn't specific to the type of climate change that will ultimately result.
Yes, Daniel, you have made me mad, but using only Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth
and my junior year Ecology textbook, I think I've managed to deflate your entire theory. So, future editorialists, for the love of God, don't make up science for the newspaper. It's highly annoying to have to keep pointing out how wrong you are.