Does no one else remember our coming ice age? My third grade science textbook had an entire chapter on how we were heading for a new ice age, how life would suck with less sunlight, fewer crops, and never ending winter. The culprit was supposedly the carbon being put into the atmosphere by all of those factories and cars. There was a 40 year cooling period (which global warming hysteria mongers conveniently ignore) so I can understand how someone could jump to conclusions, but scientists shouldn’t do that.
The next year we had a snow storm in February that kept us out of school for a week. I figured that this was it, it had come. My fear was somewhat tempered by the hope that we would have Mastadons roaming suburban Richmond. Anyway, the snow melted of course, and I felt very much betrayed. Over the next several years it became obvious that there was no ice age, just some bad winters now and again.
Later in life, I have taken that lesson to heart. Anecdotal evidence is absolutely useless when trying to perceive trends. There has been variable and changeable weather for all of human history. The 2005 hurricane season was widely believed to show how global warming had affected the weather, but somehow 2006’s doesn’t. The truth is that that variation in hurricane activity is huge, and those two years are within the expected bounds. There is a repeating history of people taking scientific research and turning it to sell the most number of books, films (hello Mr. Oscar) and news stories. Maybe this time the doomsayers are right, sorry, can’t help but react to my being burned before…