Wednesday, December 16, 2009
A Global Warming Conversation
Not too long ago I engaged a global warming disciple in a discussion about the warming of the globe. He had recently received a grant from the National Geographic Society to recover some fishing vessels on the northern shore of Alaska. These vessels had become accessible due to the retreat of the ice along that shore. This retreat apparently was the result of global warming.
The conversation went something like this:
Me: So Bill, that's amazing. You must be somewhat an expert on global warming.
Bill: Well, I know quite a bit about it.
Me: That's great. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions about it that have been bothering me for awhile?
Bill: No, not a bit. Go ahead.
Me: Ok, great. Bill, what's the average temperature of the earth since it's beginning?
Bill: What do you mean "the average temperature of the earth"?
Me: Well, if we're saying the earth is warming we must have a standard temperature we're comparing it with. Right?
Bill: We know the earth has been warming for the past 150 years.
Me: How much has it warmed?
Bill: Approximately 0.7˚F.
Me: How did they figure that out?
Bill: Using temperature readings throughout the globe and core samples from the earth.
Me: How did they measure temperature in Siberia 175 years ago? And what's the margin of error between thermometers? Or the margin of error with core samples?
Bill: What do you mean?
Me: Well, let's say the margin of error is like political polling - plus or minus 4%. If it was -4%, wouldn't we be concerned about global cooling?
Bill: Where are you getting this stuff? Limbaugh?
Me: Limbaugh has nothing to do with it. These are basic common sense questions I have. Do you mind if I ask you another question?
Bill: Go ahead. Last one though.
Me: Do you know what the average temperature of the sun is since it's beginning? It would seem to me that since it's the sun warming the earth, we might want to know that. I think I heard somewhere the sun is slowly cooling. What do you think?
Bill: I don't want to talk about it anymore.
Things actually got somewhat heated (pardon the pun) on Bill's part. All his facts were based on looking at just the last 150 years, which in itself is subject to much error in my opinion. When I would try to look at the earth historically back to the age of the dinosaurs and Ice Age, he would have nothing to do with that. He's convinced humans, during their miniscule fraction of the earth's history (the last 150 years), are destroying the planet by causing it to warm. All I wanted him to do was convince me. He couldn't and got angry at the questions I asked him.
By the way, this morning when I got up, the temperature was 0.7˚F plus or minus 4%. Could've been much colder if not for global warming. Amen.