Thursday, February 9, 2012

Melting Glaciers, Rising Sea Levels, and—What—Global Warming?

     It’s no secret that glaciers are melting. It’s no secret that global sea levels are rising. Melting glaciers and rising sea levels are probably the most oft-cited “evidence” that global temperatures are rising.
     Before we proceed further, let me stress that I consider myself an environmentalist. I’m strongly opposed to drinking poisoned water, breathing toxic fumes, and eating things containing ingredients or residues I can’t pronounce. Almost everywhere I go, I walk, bike, or take mass transportation. Back when I had a garden, onion plants served to deter pests; and compost served as fertilizer.
     Recycling? I recycle, downcycle, upcycle, reuse, and loop close every chance I get. In my purchasing habits, I try to focus on the benefits I want rather than the products that the advertisers try to con me into buying. The latter idea is my own innovation, and I know of no one else who practices it.
     Don’t expect me to hug a polar bear, though. Those critters are among the ten most dangerous species of animals on Earth.

     Not one of the aforementioned practices, however, has anything at all to do with alleged global warming. You can do any or all of them without believing that it’s hot, especially during a record-breaking cold snap in which hundreds of people freeze to death. On the other hand, the Key deer, the Formosa landlocked Salmon, the Yonaguni Monument, and the Inuit people have much to do with melting glaciers and rising sea levels, though they are effects rather than causes of rising sea levels.
     The Key deer, a sub-species of the white-tailed deer, is endemic to the Florida Keys. It developed apart from the white-tailed deer when rising sea levels transformed the Florida Keys into islands apart from the mainland. All this took place during the centuries following the end of the Ice Age, some 10,000 years ago.
     Rising sea levels and tectonic shifts also brought into being the world’s only species of landlocked salmon. They’re found in Taiwan.
     Although Taiwan (formerly known as Formosa) is part of the Philippine tectonic plate and not the Eurasian plate, there once was a land bridge between present-day China and Taiwan. Austronesian peoples, including the Ryukyu islanders of southern Japan, used that land bridge as they populated the Pacific islands. After the Ice Age, the land bridge became the Taiwan Strait.
     The Yonaguni Monument was either built or modified (researchers can’t agree which) when that part of the Ryukyu island of Yonaguni was on dry land. In those days, there was no Yellow Sea; and the Sea of Japan was an inland sea. So, you see, it wasn’t just ice that joined Japan and Taiwan to the Asian mainland. Over the past 10,000 years, sea levels have risen about 130 feet (39 meters).
     If you live in the Western Hemisphere, you learned in elementary school that the ancestors of our native peoples originally came from present-day northern China. During the Ice Age, there was a land bridge spanning what is now the Bering Strait. As the ice melted and sea levels rose, this land route was cut off.  Among the last of these peoples were the Inuits.
     Yes, glaciers really are melting, and sea levels really are rising. That has been happening for 10,000 years. That doesn’t mean, though, that global temperatures have been steadily rising for 10,000 years.
     Let’s mentally try an experiment. Imagine a large block of ice in a freezer. Let’s say the temperature inside the freezer is 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
Let’s gradually turn the temperature up until it reaches 25 degrees. It’s getting warmer, but the ice isn’t melting. It’s not melting, because temperatures are still freezing. (The Ice Age is still with us.)
     Around 3:00 P.M., let’s unplug the freezer and open the door. (The Ice Age is over.) Of course the ice will start melting. As night falls and temperatures also fall, watch what happens. The ice will continue to melt even as temperatures are falling. Why? It’s very simple. Ice melts when it’s no longer freezing. Even if temperatures fall, ice will continue to melt as long as temperatures remain above freezing.
     That’s why glaciers are melting and sea levels are rising. We’re no longer in an Ice Age, and I thank the Lord for that. I wouldn’t like for the glaciers to come back and cover most of Argentina and Kansas—unless Argentina and Kansas would rather have glaciers than tornados. Dorothy might never have wanted to leave Oz.
     Over the past few thousand years, there have been periods of warming and cooling. Several periods have been much warmer than it is today, and several others have been much cooler. Through warm spells and cool ones, glaciers have been melting and sea levels have been rising. Take a look at the chart below.  (Source)
     H. L. Mencken provided an explanation for the global warming hoax:
     "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."
     It’s the Problem Reaction Solution Paradigm. The problem and the solution are cooked up in the same laboratory. The social or political change agent supplies the problem, whether it is real or imagined. The target to be manipulated provides the reaction. Then the change agent provides the appearance of a solution. The “solution,” of course, is for the target to give more power or other resources to the change agent—a “solution” to which the target would never have agreed in the absence of the contrived problem. 
     If you have trouble accepting my harsh judgment of the global warming hoaxers, consider a couple of observations.
     If man’s survival depended upon cutting back our consumption, why don’t global warming enthusiasts take it seriously enough to cut back on their consumption? Al Gore’s ocean-front palatial mansion in California (see photo), for example, consumes 20 times the electricity that the average Americans house consumes.  He has installed solar panels on his Nashville, Tennessee, palatial mansion, which once used 24 times the average American levels of electricity.  How many palatial mansions can a person have and still be called environmentally responsible?
     On the average, food travels 1,500 miles from farm to table, polluting and using up resources along the way. Food from home gardens travels only a few yards. So why is the federal government making it more difficult to have home gardens?
     Why is it that practical, non-governmental solutions are not even considered?
     You can probably come up with a few other examples of the gap between the words and actions of the powers that be.
     Toxic pollution, resource depletion, and other forms of environmental degradation are real. Global warming and other government schemes are hoaxes. Government scaremongers can not save us. We can only save each other, albeit with practical solutions.  Here, here, and here are just a few of many.

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