Handshakes. Global Warming, and Ice Ages

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View 802 Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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The news today was largely about President Obama going out of his way to shake hands with Raul Castro at the memorial for Nelson Mandela. The State Department has said that the US position on human rights and tolerance in Cuba has not changed.

At the hearing on Tuesday, Kerry said Obama "didn’t choose who’s" at the Mandela ceremony. Asked by Congress Member Ros-Lehtinen if Castro is upholding basic human rights, Kerry answered: "No. Absolutely not."

The Obama hand shaking incident seems to have taken the lead in coverage of the event.

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‘Climate change’ comes to Chicago.

<http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/12/10/temps-reach-18-year-low-more-bitter-cold-and-snow-coming/>

Roland Dobbins

Of course it has been this cold before. It has been warmer before. It takes a lot of computer modeling to determine the temperature of the Earth and a lot more to show a trend, and depending on the model you get different results. Until recently it seemed agreed that the Earth is in a period of remission from the great Ice Ages in which glaciers covered a lot of the Northern Hemisphere, gouging out huge trenches and covering the land with a kilometer of ice, making that part of the Earth uninhabitable.

I was taught in school that we are in an Interglacial period, an interruption of the coming of the ice; in the 1970’s we learned that the current ice age began suddenly, with some areas in Britain and Belgium going from deciduous trees to covered with a meter or more of ice in decades, possibly as few as twenty years. When the ice began to recede northern Europe was repopulated. The effect of the coming and recession of the ice was covered in many books, including a popular work called Ice With Your Evolution by my friend Adrian Berry. The great fear from 1950 to about 1980 was that the Ice might return, and indeed one reason for fear of nuclear waste was to preserve it in places that could survive the return of the ice. This was a standard theme at AAAS meetings of that time, and President Carter’s environment advisor Gus Speth said as much at a Boston meeting; when I asked him if there was not something more to worry about than nuclear waste when your house was under a kilometer of ice, he changed the subject.

In 1997, Edward Teller, Lowell Wood, and Rod Hyde wrote a paper about modulation of climate changes – things we could do to stabilize climate if we have to. As they say in that paper, global warming is not proven; but all the long term evidence indicates a near uncertainty of cooling and the return of the ice. A return of the ice ages is sure to come and will be a lot more catastrophic than the projected global warming. There are ways to modulate climate for cooling or warming. The costs are in the order of billions a year, not precisely cheap but certainly less costly than wars.

Rather than destroying the fountains of wealth that have produced our wealthy age, would it not make more sense to invest a few billion a year to construct and test climate modulation systems? The ice age is sure to come at some time; global warming is also a possibility. Rather than play CO2 games, we need to develop the means for coping with either trend. And note that while global warming is gradual – we can’t really be sure if we’re seeing a return to a warm period like the Viking age or a runaway climate climb, but runaway still means centuries – the evidence show that ice ages can come on suddenly and without warming.

Our present methods of coping with warming cost trillions. We are not investing much in developing climate modulation methods. We should be.

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Those interested in tracking climate trends will find http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/1871-climate-superstition/ interesting, but not definitive.

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Your TSA heroes at work:

“She took my monkey’s gun.”

<http://www.king5.com/news/local/TSA-agent-confiscates-sock-monkeys-toy-pistol-234986321.html>

Roland Dobbins

I think I might be harmed from laughing too much were I threatened with a 2 inch pistol from a monkey puppet, so I guess it makes sense. Safety first. And a cure for unemp0loyment.

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Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.

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