Global Warming Slowed by Manmade Global Cooling?

Quote of the Day     “It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.”       –Yogi Berra

I was forwarded an email today including the transcript of a NOVA episode from PBS.  To confirm its validity, I went to the NOVA website and discovered the episode actually first ran in 2006, though it was re-aired August 5, 2008.  Here is a link to the site.  

TB is no scientist.  I have reviewed many scientific studies over the years in connection with work and I have had the opportunity to discuss and dissect them with eminently qualified experts on both sides of the particular issues being reviewed.  I believe I have a pretty good grasp of what makes a scientific conclusion reliable.  I also have learned that there can be meaningful and legitimate debate over most all technical topics, but that if you follow the source of the money funding a study, you will have a good idea of what the study’s conclusions will be.  So in the global warming debate, I am continually searching for who funds the scientists publishing conclusions from every angle.  Almost always, the funds supporting scientists who deny man-made global warming come from Oil Companies.  This is a major reason TB does not accept their conclusions.

The transcript and article attached to the NOVA episode are particularly compelling to me because the researchers cited were working independently from one another and thus do not appear to have the same funding sources.  In a nutshell, they found that pollution in the 1970’s and 1980’s created a dust cloud that shielded the Earth from solar energy and actually slowed global warming.  Simultaneously, greenhouse gases were working to increase temperatures, but because of the pollution clouds, the rate of warming was slowed. There is evidence pollution is responsible for severe drought conditions in Africa and elsewhere as well as respiratory illnesses most everywhere. As pollution controls have begun to assert themselves these have abated in some areas, and if China and India can get their pollution under control it will improve conditions in many other places.  But get this–as pollution has begun to decrease, more sun is allowed into the atmosphere and consequently the temperature is rising faster than ever.

In many ways, how you feel about global warming is a matter of faith.  After all, in conversation about it don’t we always say we either “believe” in it or “don’t believe?”  I’m not prepared to vouch for anybody’s work. My conclusion may be wrong.  But from what I’ve read and observed, “I believe” global warming is a serious problem.  If you are interested in the subject, you ought to read the transcript from the PBS site I linked above.  I know the Republicans will do nothing to address global warming.  I fear the Democrats will be just as timid, but I hope they at least get the chance come November.

In the meantime, it sure has been beautiful, and unseasonably cool all week here in South Carolina. Fodder for the non-believers I suppose.

About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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2 Responses to Global Warming Slowed by Manmade Global Cooling?

  1. Earl E says:

    You couldn’t have said it better. Here is a common sense note. Since oil has skyrocketed, I have reduced my driving probably 75%.

    Multiply me times all world drivers and you will see that rising prices can clean the air.

    Clean air means fewer raindrops forming in clouds, so more rain will fall. Fewer drops reduces reflectivity of clouds, increasing solar radiation… and warming.

    Accelerated warming and more rain due to high gas prices. We’ll see.

    Have a great day!

  2. Earl, you are obviously a scholar and a gentleman. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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