Monday, September 18, 2006

North to Alaska

Having just returned from a two week trip to Alaska, I’ve been catching up with the past few Rivereasts.  Boy, my ears should’ve been burning as I’ve stirred up the Church of the Holy Warmers.

Alaska serves as a poster child for the Warmer faithful.  “The permafrost is melting and glaciers are retreating” are common refrains from the Book of Common Talking Points.  While exploring Glacier Bay I found as many advancing glaciers as retreating ones.  Wonder why we don’t hear about that?  The National Park Ranger said she believed the entire area would once again be covered by ice within 300 years.

Close to Fairbanks I learned of someone who tried to establish a farm by thawing the nutrition-rich permafrost.  His attempt failed because the permafrost kept re-freezing.  Fall came two weeks early this year.  Shops were closing for the season and summer workers were heading south as quickly as possible.  The river levels in Fairbanks were dropping because the glaciers providing the water were freezing.

I had dinner with a scientist whose work in meteorology and climatology has spanned over 40 years.  He still works as a climate scientist for the federal government.  I asked him point blank if he subscribed to the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming.  Taken aback by my question, after looking left and right, he sheepishly whispered, “What a bunch of nonsense, it’s all political.”  He went on to explain how variable climate is and always has been.  As a meteorologist, he also expressed his extreme skepticism about the utility and veracity of computer models as tools for predicting future climate.

Space doesn’t allow a point by point refutation of the responses to my letters.  I am disappointed by the lack of robust debate and critical thinking demonstrated in most of the responses.  Those who want to pursue and discover truth need to break away from their groupthink and start perusing diverse and alternative sources for their information.  Otherwise, they will be stuck in the party line only to serve in the role of useful idiots.

Enjoy the echo chamber you’ve built while you can with its concomitant doctrines of settled science and disappearing skeptics.  The new science and empirical evidence emerging almost daily will soon cause this myth to collapse of its own weight.