Thursday, September 29, 2005

Reflections on a hot topic

The ice caps are shrinking. And so is my patience with all these muttonheads who insist that all anomalies found in nature can be traced to the excesses of selfish humans. Today's installment comes from the New York Times:

The floating cap of sea ice on the Arctic Ocean shrank this summer to what is probably its smallest size in at least a century of record keeping, continuing a trend toward less summer ice, a team of climate experts reported yesterday.

That shift is hard to explain without attributing it in part to human-caused global warming, the team's members and other experts on the region said.

It is? Why?

This summer was the fourth in a row with the ice cap areas sharply below the long-term average, said Mark C. Serreze, a senior scientist at the snow and ice center and a professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Dr. Scambos said the consecutive reductions in the ice cap "make it pretty certain a long-term decline is under way."

Why is that pretty certain?

A natural cycle in the polar atmosphere called the Arctic oscillation, which contributed to the reduction in Arctic ice in the past, did not appear to be a factor in the past several years, Dr. Serreze said.

How could he possibly know this?

Do you see what I'm getting at? The facts are real but the conclusions are conjecture. These scientists are observing real phenomena -- the melting of polar ice caps -- and then filtering it through their own pre-decided worldview and packaging it as science. Any other possible cause for the melting -- such as a cycle of nature -- is then promptly dismissed because it doesn't fit the mold.

Well, here's something else that doesn't fit the mold. The Canada Free Press in an article from Sept. 23 lets us in a little known fact -- the ice caps are melting on Mars:

An interesting tidbit of information emerged from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Labs some four years ago that United Nations climatologists and the "sky-is-falling" climate change crowd has failed to acknowledge. Simply put, earth isn’t the only place in the solar system that is currently undergoing significant climate change. NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Extended Mission has documented significant shrinking in the Martian ice caps at a rate of approximately 10 feet per year.

"A study of the ice caps on Mars may show that the red planet is experiencing a warming trend. If both Mars and Earth are experiencing global warming, then perhaps there is a larger phenomenon going on in the Solar System that is causing their global climates to change."–Current Science and Technology Centre

So we have warming on the red planet, now. That -- to borrow a favorite phrase from television news anchors -- "changes the equation". Is it possible that the rising temperatures on our planet and on Mars are due to an increase in solar activity? Just a hunch.

I'm not discounting the possibility of global warming but I do get wary of those scientists who observe data and statistics, then promptly blame Man for any changes that occur. It is important to keep an open mind and not let ourselves be intimidated into accepting the status quo. It is also important to be aware that a lot of global warming advocates have an agenda which is rooted in their own extreme political ideologies rather than a genuine concern for the environment.

Don't throw the theory out, completely... just be watchful.