Sunday, June 21, 2015

Global Warming: Is it all bad?

The tomb of Juba II- Algeria
This article is in response to the headlines splashed around the world courtesy of Frank Fenner, the virologist who helped eliminate smallpox from our world and his predictions of an 8 degree Celsius extinction event.  While I have great respect for Frank as a virologist his predictions on a global climatological level are unfounded in scientific fact and are entirely conjecture, but the media treats his pronouncements as scientific fact.

This article is not intended to dispute climatological change, it is not going to address the current facts, let us set aside the question of whether or not AGW is occurring, take the models at face value and examine the potential results. We've all heard the predictions, mass starvation, Miami and NYC underwater, and the loss of the Polar Bears.  The first question is:

Can we live without them? The survival or extinction of the polar bear will have absolutely no impact on the survival of humanity outside of possibly a few select groups of Innuit, it's loss would indeed be tragic but in the big picture of things it's lost in the noise floor.

So New York and Miami have been added to the long list of great cities that once graced the surface of our planet but what is really the long term forecast?

1. More useable arable land.  Analysis of satellite data shows that between 1982 and 2011, 20.5 percent of the world’s vegetated area got greener, while just 3 percent grew browner; the most likely causes are higher temperature, higher levels of carbon dioxide, or both.

2. Longer growing seasons, more diverse crop selection.  Many areas that now only get one harvest a year may see two or three.  Those now limited to cool weather crops will see their planting choices increase as species ranges change with the warmer weather.

3. A Northwest Passage. The economic benefits may be almost unlimited as ships are no longer restricted by the capacity of the Panama canal and the resources of the Arctic become economically viable to access.

4.  Less energy required.  Face it, humanity has evolved for warmer weather, without the expenditure of energy for heat the most advanced areas of the world would quite frankly be uninhabitable.

5. Warmer weather is healthier.  Predictions of malarial doom and gloom set aside, cold weather diseases kill far more people than warm weather diseases. 

From 3900-9000 BC during the Holocene Wet Phase the region of the Sahara, desert today, was wetter, had a rich biodiversity, and supported a much larger human populationClimate change drove us out of Africa. The rapid desertification occured due to a cooling event known as Bond event 4 5900 years ago, it may have been the spur that led to  the development of what we know as modern society, climate change, even catastrophic climate change, is most assuredly not going to be the cause of our demise.

Remember, this isn't about whether or not AGW is true.  Can you see any potential benefits to global warming?  Do or can they offset the negatives?  Are we doomed to die or will we adapt? 

National Review



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