Thursday, July 18, 2013

Will we survive Global Cooling?

Its about time for something different, don't you think? In my former life, I was in charge of, among other things, following the climate warming/climate change debate for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command. As I do with most things, I read and followed the "logic" of the climate alarmists, but I also followed the climate skeptics. Interestingly, the work of people like S. Fred Singer, Anthony Watts, and others makes more sense, and the logic of the skeptics fits together better than that of the alarmists.  This piece, by S. Fred Singer appeared at the Heartland Institute in April, 2013 entitled Climate Change Conversation Aborted. This piece from Anthony Watts appears on his blog Watts Up With That. Watts and a volunteer team first gained prominence by going around and checking the earth based temperature stations around the U. S. and discovered that there was a bias toward these stations being located in heat islands. Singer's claims come from satellite data that show no warming in the atmosphere, despite theory that says it should. What I found was that the skeptics made more sense than the climate alarmists. Even Bjorn Lomborg, a Greenpeace activists thinks the alarmists have it wrong, or at least that we could use our money better by investing in ways that would help us survive a warming trend.

Well, here it comes. We have been experiencing a period of no climate change for the last decade or so. But now comes word that we are entering a global cooling period. Jeffrey Folks has the story at the American Thinker entitled Sunspots and the Great Cooling Ahead. To be honest, from my little individual assessment here in Raleigh, NC, I like the weather pattern we have been experiencing this year. Until this week, we have not had temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Usually, temperatures top 90 degrees as early as late May to early June, and they stay there until late September to early October. This year has not been too bad. But my gardening buddies tell me that they are having crops rotting in the field because of too much rain. It either pours, or you have a drought. But enough about me in my little corner of the world.

According to Folks, there are real consequences to our current policies, and global cooling.  With crop failures in the United States comes the real possibility of famine in the rest of the world.  It just doesn't make sense to burn our corn crop as fuel for cars, when we have so much oil that can be used for that purpose.  People around the world will be needing that corn as food.  Moreover, at some point we are going to see the effects of the "quantitative easing" that has been propping up the stock markets.  The inflation that follows will, indeed already has begun to, destroy the wealth of the middle class.  Now, I realize that this is what Obama intends, but it will mean possible famine here in the United States too.  Note to FLOTUS, I'll need that body fat when the time comes.

As with global warming, the coming global cooling is unstoppable.  It makes more sense to put in place policies that make as many of our people as prosperous as they can be.  Man can adapt to either extremes in temperature, if he has enough wealth, and the freedom to use it for his own interests.

There are two principles of economic thought here that come into play.  The first is the idea of opportunity costs, the fact that once money is invested in one place, it is not available to be invested in another.  The other is diminishing returns.  The idea that if achieving 90% of a goal costs x dollars, it will take another x dollars to achieve 95%, and another x dollars to achieve 98% and so on and the costs go up dramatically for each 1% beyond that point.  The environmentalists should look around and declare victory on their original program.  The environmentalists have achieved 98% of their goal, and good for them.  But instead of investing ever more and more money in environmental costs, which then are not available for other things, we need to invest in those things that will improve our ability to survive the coming cooling, as well as the warming sure to come after that.

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