The year 2010 is the year “all hope of action to limit climate change died”, says economist columnist Paul Krugman, writing for the New York Times. Really? I wish it were true, but I am afraid Krugman is wrong again.
One of the favorite tricks of climate-change deniers: they point to an unusually warm year in the past, and say “See, the planet has been cooling, not warming, since 1998!” Actually, 2005, not 1998, was the warmest year to date.
He has a point. In 2007 NASA changed their numbers and declared 2005 to be the warmest year on record, not 1998 as they had previously reported. They do acknowledge other agencies still put 1934 as the warmest, but that’s a moot point. Some things Krugman fails to say are:
The third hottest year on record was 1921.
Three of the five hottest years on record occurred before 1940.
Six of the top 10 hottest years occurred before 90 percent of the growth in greenhouse gas emissions during the last century occurred.
NASA’s ground-based temperature records for the past 120 years’ which have been the basis for most of the claims that global warming is happening at an unprecedented rate, — have now been corrected to show that much of the warming occurred before CO2 emissions and concentrations began to rise significantly.
And that is an important point, because the real argument is not over warming, but over the cause. Is it man made as scientists Al Gore and Paul Krugman claim or is it natural, perhaps from temperature changes at the sun’s surface, as some other scientists claim? If the latter are correct, building windmills on hills to fight the sun is a bit quixotic, don’t you think? Or perhaps it is just plain silly.
The most honest of all was G. W. Bush. When asked for his for his position on the issue, he said “I don’t believe we should be making sacrifices for something we dunno.”. There is nothing silly about that.