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On December 12, 2015, in Paris, France, leaders from 196 countries approved the first global agreement to limit greenhouse-gas emissions in human history. The pact is a triumph of international diplomacy shared by diplomats across the planet. Now they can go back to their regularly scheduled diplomatic schedules full of parties, and tête-à-têtes and whatever else it is that normally fills their days. They solved global warming. The worldwide average temperature is no longer legally allowed to rise more than 1.5 degrees centigrade. About time, too! I was starting to get worried!
I don’t know if anyone else noticed, but there hasn’t been much winter this year in Minnesota. According to William Cheney, a Minneapolis based weather observer for the US Weather Bureau, this has been the “...Warmest November since 1870. Rain on the 1st and 2nd with snow on the 7th and 8th falling to a depth of three inches. Two inches of snow on the 18th. Three inches of snow on the 27th and 28th accompanied by a high wind. Snow on the 8th and 18th melted soon after it fell. Rain on the 21st made the roads bad. Large proportion of cloudy weather.” “December: Unprecedented, untimely, unpleasant and sub-boreal weather. Large number of foggy and rainy days. Deep mud. Farmers plowing as late as the 23rd. River free of ice above and below Lake Pepin up to the last day of the month. Flowers blooming on the 28th. Five inches of snow on the 4th and 5th gave a short period of good sleighing. Rain fell more or less every day from the 17th to the 27th, inclusive. Heavy fog on 18, 19, 20, 21. Sleighing entirely gone by mid month with roads almost impassible because of mud. Only four entirely clear days and fifteen cloudy days. Closest approach to this December was December 1857.”
Pardon my mistake, I must have gotten my notes mixed up, those weather observations were made in November and December 1877, famously known as “The Year Without Winter”, a title shared by the years 1790, 1931 and 1998 as well. I know, climate change denial, how very Republican of me, but do you know what? There aren’t solid statistics enough to prove that we are in a period of unbridled warming, such as will lead to the demise of mankind as we know it. Accurate weather statistics have only been gathered since the 1850’s, and if you accept the theory that the earth is 4,543,000,000 years old, 165 years of record-keeping is an admittedly minuscule blip.
In fact, the poster child of climate change disaster, the Marshall Islands, has recently experienced King Tides, exceptionally high tides that have led to temporary evacuations of some areas near the capital, Majuro, affecting nearly a thousand people. Tony de Brum, the minister-in-assistance to the President of the Marshall Islands, said that the frequency and intensity of the high tides are increasing, which means those who live close to the shoreline may have to consider more permanent displacement.
Almost a thousand people might be displaced? Out of 7.3 billion people? Not to diminish the importance of the “Marshall Thousand,” but we have to agree to all of this massive disruption to our energy industries, coal, electricity, oil, etc. and overwhelming financial burdens because of this, and a few other, anecdotally linked instances? According to Minister de Brum, high tides are expected at certain times of the year in the Marshall Islands, but de Brum stresses that “this is far from normal”. On parts of the island, water from the lagoon and the ocean sides have risen so far they had met in the middle – something he hadn’t seen since 1979. So.... it was like this in 1979? What am I missing here?
If I may, I think that the hype and frenzy over climate change is useful in serving only one purpose, and that is to get a global carbon tax enacted. Carbon dioxide levels in the air have been observed to be at the highest point in 50 years, at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, where they have taken these measurements. Strangely, a study recently conducted by Yale University estimated that there are currently 3.04 trillion trees on earth. This is 750 percent more than the previous best estimate, which was 400 billion. Could this be linked to the excessive carbon dioxide in the air? If so, is this a bad thing? And what about the polar ice caps? Updated data from NASA satellite instruments reveal the Earth’s polar ice caps have not receded at all since the satellite instruments began measuring the ice caps in 1979. Since the end of 2012, moreover, total polar ice extent has largely remained above the post-1979 average. The updated data contradict one of the most frequently asserted global warming claims – that global warming is causing the polar ice caps to recede.
I am just a lowly Republican, but something doesn’t seem right about all of this, to me. My advice to you for this festive time of year is to go out and cut down a nice big tree and throw another yule log on the fire and don’t worry about climate change. Worry about what rights and liberties governments are planning to eliminate in the “fight” against climate change.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!