The region of the SE US that I live in right now has pretty much had the same weather patterns going back 40 years. The funny part about it is that we
go through cycles here of cold/mild winters and hot/mild summers. Most of us "old timers" remember other winters being warm (like this winter), and
other summers being mild (like last summer) in our area.
Just the other day I was talking with my step mother, who remember the winter of 72-73 in this area was just like this winter: cold snaps in November
and December, then temps jumping up to the 70's, and a very mild January, with even thunder storms.
Then in Feb. a ton of snow was dumped here. Enough so that her niece was born in the back of a national guard truck.
We've had summers with scorching 100's and high humidity, and then summers where that 100 mark was rarely reached. We've had winters where it got down
to single digits, and winters where we went outside in shorts in January.
We went several years without hardly any snow here at the beginning of this century. Then 3 years ago, we had one day that it snowed 6 inches. The
following winter, it snowed again on a single day about 5 inches. Then last winter, it actually snowed 3 times! Very rare for us, but not unheard of.
So far this year, we had a few cold snaps, but mostly mild temps.
My point: going back and looking at weather news archives, this is not special, nor unusual, but rather perfectly normal for where we live. We go
through cycles, and while they are not dead on (meaning exactly every 5 years, or 10 years, etc), there is a general flux of back and forth for both
winters and summers here.
What really gets me, is the younger generation in my area jumping up and screaming "Global Warming!" because of the mild winter we've had this year.
Most of us older people tell them to calm down, and actually watch the weather, as even the weather people are saying this has nothing to do with
"Global Warming" or "Climate Change", but instead has to do with weather patterns (that Low over Greenland) and what the jet stream is doing, which is
also influenced by the ocean current La Nina, etc, etc. That us older people actually remember having winters like this in the past.
Is there "Global Warming" or "Climate Change"? Well DUH.....the Earth is anything but constant. It's constantly changing. Always has, always will.
It's more of a question of how much of this change is caused by us human beings.
I really have no idea. I do know that we can ruin a river, destroy a lake, remove countless acres of trees, destroy natural habitats, over fish areas
of our oceans, and make other species extinct. THAT is a fact that nobody can argue against.
We can increase radioactivity in places by using nuclear weapons or having nuclear reactors melt down. We can use spray cans to weaken our ozone,
surround our major cities with toxic gases (read that as smog). This is all pretty well known.
But I think we still have a lot to learn about how much of it affects our planet and to what degree. Obviously not having any of this stuff would most
likely be better for the planet.
But keep in mind this: let's say we do completely get rid of our carbon foot print as human beings. That we some how become the "perfect" guest of our
planet and go completely green.
You all do realize that the Earth itself does things whether we are here or not?
250 million years ago, over 90 percent of life on the face of this planet was wiped out. This was due to a massive volcanic erruption that lasted a
million years, and is today called the Siberian Traps. This eruption dumped so much CO2 into our atmosphere that global temps went up by 10 degrees.
Not 2, not 3, and not 4, but 10.
This in turn raised water temps so that the methane ice in many places melted, releasing even more green house gas into the atmosphere (methane is
like 20 times more of a green house gas than CO2), and caused another 10 degree rise in temps, bringing the grand total to 20 degrees.
My other point: we were not around driving cars, building factories, or dumping anything into the air. There wasn't even dinosaurs yet. But the Earth
itself caused a "Global Warming" even that far surpasses anything that that people are screaming about now.
So keep in mind that while yes, I do think we impact our planet, I think we still have a lot to learn on how much we do. But we do know that the Earth
itself changes and can make changes no mater what we humans do.
edit on 30-1-2012 by eriktheawful because: (no reason given)