Latest posts by James H. Rust (see all)
What a wonderful article by Mark Maguire in the September 5, Atlanta, Georgia Northside Neighbor “Re-discovering the joy of weather”. He recalls taking his son on a hike in frigid weather and playing in mud puddles as a child. He and his children have a greater appreciation of the God-given marvels of living on this planet due to the daily variety of experiences. What a boring living we would have if the planet did not rotate and we were destined to live in perpetuity to a continuous cloudless daylight at 78 degrees.
For 2012, much attention has been given to bad weather events such as a summer heat wave, summer drought, tornadoes, hurricane Isaac, record melting of Arctic sea ice, and the oceans rising with a threat to Miami by 2100. All of these events have been blamed upon global warming caused by carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels. A bleak future is forecast due to greater disasters from continued use of fossil fuels for conveniences of life from electricity and motor fuels.
Increased atmospheric carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is traced from WWII to the present. So weather events prior to 1940 are due to natural causes and can not be blamed on using fossil fuels.
The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA) compiles weather data< http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/
NOAA drought data < http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/
Tornado activity in 2012 is the lowest on record for NOAA data < http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/
Hurricane Isaac was the first hurricane to strike the U. S. since Katrina and friends pummeled the Gulf in 2005. For those with good memories, after Katrina it was predicted increased frequencies of devastating hurricanes due to global warming. NOAA data< http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
Much attention has been made of Arctic sea ice melting to a record low below 1.5 million square miles this year. An equivalent circle of sea ice would have a distance of 720 miles from the North Pole. This data is from satellites that started measurements in 1979. A 1922 U. S. Weather Bureau Report < http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/
Global warming has been claimed to be a cause for sea level rise which would cause low lying areas like Miami to be flooded by 2100. NOAA maintains a web site < http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.
So all events in 2012 were repeated in times when burning fossil fuels was of no significance. There is no cause for alarm and we should expect and enjoy the variety of weather bestowed upon us. I have some concerns about children in grades K-12 being taught burning fossil fuels is causing catastrophic climate events and they have a dismal future to look forward to. This lack of optimism for the future may cause pessimism among our younger generations and lead to behavior problems and possible suicide.
James H. Rust is a policy adviser for The Heartland Institute and has fifty year experience in areas related to energy policy. He is a retired nuclear engineering professor from Georgia Tech and a strong supporter of engineering education with current annual scholarships of $2500, $6000, and $6500.