Monday, September 9, 2013

Global Freezing?

An article in the local paper today lamented how global warming is devastating state fisheries. A piece on the local public radio station this morning noted that a nearby ski resort is expanding to include warm weather activities due to, the reporter implied, dwindling snowfalls resulting from climate change, i.e. global warming.

Both of these stories were aired despite the fact that our state has experienced one of the coolest summers in memory, but perhaps our weather this summer is an anomaly. Perhaps, but what about this? For a decade or more we've been subjected to alarming cries of melting polar ice caps. We've been shown pictures of polar bears on shrinking ice floes to convince us that the situation is dire.

Yet the British Daily Mail published a report recently that claims that:
A chilly Arctic summer has left nearly a million more square miles of ocean covered with ice than at the same time last year – an increase of 60 per cent.

The rebound from 2012’s record low comes six years after the BBC reported that global warming would leave the Arctic ice-free in summer by 2013.

Instead, days before the annual autumn re-freeze is due to begin, an unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of Europe already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia’s northern shores.
With all the conflicting claims about the catastrophic effects of global warming on one side and reports that there has been no warming at all for the last twelve years and the ice cap is actually growing on the other, how do we decide what's true?

Perhaps the wisest course is to decline to be swept up in the hysteria until unambiguous, incontestable evidence is adduced one way or the other. It would be wise, perhaps, to simply suspend opinion and maintain an open-minded skepticism toward both the claim that we're on the brink of an eco-catastrophe as well as the claim that nothing particularly unusual is happening.