Tuesday, August 19, 2008


The guilty party has been identified. Thanks to an entry on Anthony Watts blog, and largely unreported in the MSM, I now feel I know what is responsible for the unseasonably cool and cloudy weather currently afflicting Vancouver Island and much of North Western America and Western Canada. A volcanic eruption in the Aleutian Islands (Kasatochi, seen here pre eruption) shot a large plume of heavily SO2 laced smoke into the atmosphere 7th / 8th August, and we are seeing the consequences. Although I'd rather not see a re-run of what happened after the Laki event of 1783.

My first thoughts are; With the global temperature already on a slow cooling trend and the PDO shifted into the cooling part of its cycle, we may be in for a bit more chilly weather than we've bargained for. Fortunately I have invested in some warm clothing for the coming Canadian Winter.

My second thoughts are; Well any cooling thus caused should be a godsend for those who are concerned about the effects of a putative (but not actual) warming of Earth's climate. This means a couple of good volcanic eruptions can easily wipe out any effect man might have on the climate in the proverbial five minutes flat. Huzzah! No massive rises in sea levels. Polar Bears get to keep their ice. We don't need to worry about man's relatively minuscule contribution to Earth's CO2 levels. Win-win, right?

Here my cynical third thoughts come into play; The downside of any cooling is lower crop yields, washed out harvests, less food all round. Some people (Quite a lot of them actually) will starve. Yet the Politicians will tax much needed economic activity into the ground 'to stop global warming / climate change', despite there being a complete lack of incontrovertible evidence that mankind has any real long term influence on what the weather does. NB: 'Peer reviews' do not a postulation prove; observable, reproducible evidence of an effect does.

The only 'evidence' of Anthropogenic climate change is deeply suspect because the models are incomplete and any predictions they make have so far been demonstrably highly inaccurate. The basic theory of runaway climate change requires an infinitely thick atmosphere, which Earth does not have. CO2 is only a minor 'greenhouse gas' in comparison with Water vapour, Methane, and a number of other gases. Furthermore, CO2 is not a 'pollutant', it is an essential part of the cycle of life. Without it, we're dead. As will everything else be that relies of aerobic respiration, plants, animals, a lot of bacteria. An extra 75 parts per million is not a bad thing at all. Especially for plant life.

Not that this demonstration of how insignificant an influence mankind has over the climate will make any difference. The 'believers' will still cast those of us who inconveniently point out the real truth of the matter as evil 'deniers' in the pay of some wicked corporate bogeyman, and will continue to do so when there's six feet of snow on the ground and glaciers are grinding inexorably down from the mountains. That's human nature for you. Never let facts get in the way of belief eh?

Note to self; Yellow pages, check for skiing lessons.

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