Monday, November 21, 2005

Proof of Global Warming?

The upper picture shows the Boulder glacier in 1988. The lower picture is the exact same scene as it appeared in 1932.

Where'd the ice go? This example may or may not constitute proof of global warming since it's only one spot on a very big earth. We also can't conclude that man caused the ice to melt, either.

Something caused the ice to melt, though. I'd like conclusive evidence of just exactly what. Maybe the scientists will come up with the evidence in the future. I'll pay attention to the news.

In the meantime, economists are also thinking about the economic, as opposed to ecological, effects of global warming. Remember the Oklahoma Dust Bowl in the 1930s? You've seen pictures in the history books of the effects of the prolonged drought and the human misery that climate change created. But humans are resilient. And Mother Earth has a way of healing herself. Today's Oklahoma landscape and economy is nothing like its 1930s version. That's a good thing for the land and people of Oklahoma.

I wonder if there's anything good about a warmer earth. Higher crop yields and a longer growing season to feed hungry mouths? Just wondering. One thing we don't have to wonder about is whether humans will adapt to climate change. They've been doing that for thousands of years. So, maybe I won't lose sleep over global warming. At least not tonight, when the low here in south Texas is going to plunge into the 20s. Brrr!



At 12:01 AM, Anonymous David Friedman said...

"I wonder if there's anything good about a warmer earth."

There is at least something good about more CO2. It is an input to photosynthesis and so, ceteris paribus, increases crop yields.

Most dicussions of global warming, like similar discussions of other issues, list externalities with one sign--negative for things you are against. They rarely make any serious effort to include all externalities and sign the sum.

At 3:02 PM, Blogger karmajunkie said...

I've always said there'd be some prime farmland in Canada if this global warming thing ever took off...


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