You can consistently count on Anthony Watts and his “Watts Up With That?” blog to find some interesting weather related stuff — especially of the global-warming-may-not-be-exactly-all-it’s-cracked-up-to-be variety.
Personally, I am neither a committed “Inconvenient Truth” Al Gore-ite nor am I in the “Human Caused Warming is Absolutely Impossible” camp. I think that the public consensus of (many but not all) climatologists should not be dismissed too lightly, yet I also think that neither should the reasonable (in my opinion) dissenting voices and theories be so dismissed.
One theory in the latter category for me is the idea that solar activity has played the major part in global warming. There is some evidence to suggest to suggest that that “global warming” was being experienced on other planets in our solar system as well, for example. And in a recent post by Mr. Watts, quoting a commentary from Australia’s Canberra Times, scientist Ken McCracken is highlighted — as is his theory that (1) solar activity has played a major role in our rising temperatures and (2) an impending change in solar activity may actually result in 20-or-so years of global cooling, regardless of whether man-made climate change is fact or fiction.
Check it out if such discussion is your cup of tea (or, given the Aussie context of the article, perhaps I should say “your cuppa”):
As the article points out: “McCracken is adamantly not a climate change sceptic (sic:Aussie spelling), agreeing that rising fossil-fuel emissions will be a long-term cause of rising global temperatures.”
Another statement in the article that caught my eye: “The dilemma for the science sector is a classic: how to communicate uncertainty.”
How true! Regrettably, the default path has been, too often, not to admit any uncertainty at all. “The public doesn’t understand uncertainty.” (Then educate them better.) “If we admit the uncertainty, they will lose faith in the results.” (If the truth is incomplete without stating the uncertainty, isn’t their faith misplaced? And if the uncertainty bears fruit and the results prove wrong, won’t the ultimate loss in credibility be even greater?)
On this latter point, the article — actually McCracken — makes a great point, methinks:
McCracken believes science should be upfront. ”I believe that we must state firmly that a cooling is possible in the near future, but that the warming would then resume 10-20 years hence,” he said via email. ”It will be very hard to argue for public trust if we say nothing about the possibility, and then try to argue our way out after it happens. Using an Aussie rules analogy, that would be like giving the climate sceptics a free kick 10m in front of goal.
Again, I am not committed one way or the other on the issue of man-made global warming. While trying to avoid the pitfalls of James 1:18 double-mindedness, I am looking to be better convinced one way or the other. Don’t get me wrong: I do think man’s stewardship of the earth has been lacking, and Revelation’s prophetic statement that God will “destroy those who destroy the earth” (11:18) will come to pass. It’s just that when it comes to “destroy[ing] the earth” I can’t say that I know exactly and in intricate detail the nature of the charges that man will be brought up on related to destroying the earth (other than the fact that it will involve sin). As a certain senator recently said in a less-than-artful dodge, such a determination is above my pay grade. 🙂