Friday, January 06, 2006

The awkward truth about global warming

The British Journal Nature reported this week that scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California have pinpointed a surge of global warming so severe that it actually reversed the Earth's pattern of ocean currents.

It occurred 55 million years ago.

Scientists Flavia Nunes and Richard Norris say the planet's surface temperature rose between nine and sixteen degrees Fahrenheit over a period of a few thousand years, and it took about a hundred thousand years for the planet to recover before the ocean currents returned to their previous state.

The scientists said they are not certain what caused the global warming event.

Try to remember, did you drive a lot that day?

The scientists offered two guesses as to what triggered the temperature rise. They think it was likely caused by volcanic eruptions spewing out carbon dioxide, or possibly by coastal reservoirs of methane gas which were released from beneath icy soil when the seas receded.

The scientists went on to warn that their research proves that global warming is a terribly serious problem and we must do something to reduce our CO2 emissions before something terribly serious happens.

That's one way to look at it.

Another way to look at it is this: No matter what we do, it isn't going to amount to spit in the ocean.

We could shut down American industry, junk our cars, cork up our flatulent cattle herds, move into caves and stop exhaling, and global warming could very well go right on without us.

This is the point at which serious people make a disapproving face and say, "Well. We have to do something."

But do we?

Before we go off and approve some half-baked policy of half-wit half-measures, we ought to consider the possibility that nothing we do is going to make any difference at all and we might as well stop worrying about it and watch football. The playoffs are on.

Copyright 2006