Global warming is a favorite topic for this bunch. For years now, we have been regaled with meaningless data and the most preposterous suppositions with regard to atmospheric carbon dioxide estimates, impending resource scarcities, fluctuations in surface temperatures, thickness diminution of the polar ice caps, the greenhouse effect, the effects of ultraviolet radiation on plant life, and on and on.
Well, that just wasn't good enough.
Now we have to worry about global dimming.
In an insidious development that makes the effects of global warming even scarier than we thought, scientists in Australia have confirmed a study that shows the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth's surface is gradually declining. Comparing sunlight records from the 1950s with current figures, scientist Gerry Stanhill found there was a 22% drop in solar radiation in Israel, 10% over the United States, 30% in the former Soviet Union, and 16% in areas of the British Isles. Stanhill has dubbed the phenomenon "global dimming." (link)What, you may ask, would be causing this phenomenon? I'll give you three guesses.
The culprit appears to be air pollution, specifically from burning coal, oil, and wood. Tiny particles of soot, ash, sulphur and other pollutants reflect sunlight back into space, and also make clouds more reflective. Scientists worry that this may alter the planet's rainfall patterns, cause droughts, and affect monsoons. Worse, it appears that global dimming is off-setting the warming effect of greenhouse gases, the most prevalent of which is carbon dioxide. Dr. Peter Cox, a leading climate modeller, notes that while particle pollution is coming under control, CO2 levels are projected to increase in the future. "That means we'll get reducing cooling and increased heating at the same time," Cox says, "and that's a problem for us." One prediction: A temperature rise of 10 degrees Celcius by 2100, rendering many parts of the world uninhabitable.These climate models have proven in the past to be highly suspect in their ability to predict climate changes - even in the near term. This Dr. Peter Cox is trying to convince people he knows what the climate is going to be like in the year 2100.
Put me in the skeptical category. I think the few intelligent people remaining here on earth should put snake oil salesmen like Cox to a simple test. Predict accurately what climate changes will take place in the next five years and we will listen. If you are wrong, you go to prison. "Scientists" like Cox have never been right yet.
The only question is - do we have enough space in our prison system to house all these goofballs?