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The Dust Bowl of the 1930s was the worst drought in US history
A primary tenet of global warming alarmism is invalidated.

A recurring theme in my past columns is that a moderate degree of global warming is likely to be beneficial to mankind. Al Gore, on the other hand, says climate change is already causing catastrophic results. In testimony before Congress last March, he stated, "droughts are [already] becoming longer and more intense". But the findings of a group of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers say otherwise.

The scientists, led by Gemma Narisma, examined 100 years of global rainfall data. Using sophisticated wavelet analysis methods, they identified 30 cases of severe droughts lasting 10 or more years. The results showed the number of droughts dropping sharply over time. From 1900-1920, seven droughts, another seven from from 1920-1940, and eight from 1940-1960. But after that, the picture changes. In the period 1960-1980, only five droughts were recorded, and from 1980-2000 (the warmest period of all), only three occurred. Furthermore, of the most severe droughts, none began in the last 30 years..

The researchers found another surprising result. Changes in rainfall levels are not only much more common than previously thought, but they tend to occur in a very abrupt, unexplained manner. More proof that climate change is part of nature.

The work represents the first systematic survey of abrupt climate changes that have occurred in recent history. Professor Johnathan Foley, who also participated in the research, says the study is important, "because previous work largely focused on ancient climates or theoretical changes in future climates".

The findings are published in Geophysical Research Letters.

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By dluther on 9/13/2007 12:39:18 PM , Rating: 1
OK, let's keep this in perspective - CO2 is the target of the AGW enthusiasts, not "volatile organic compounds"

Okay Tom, here's the deal that AGW skeptics like you and Michael Asher, as well as (and for reasons beyond my comprehension) anthropogenic global warming (AGW) proponents seem to fail to comprehend:

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is only one component of the complex mixture of greenhouse gases responsible for climate change.

I've never understood why critics and skeptics alike are so obsessed with CO2, and if there is any debate or dissent within the scientific community, it is that concentration on CO2 instead of the mixture of CO2, methane, hydrocarbons, fluorocarbons, nitrous oxides, sulfur oxides, and other chemicals that do cause atmospheric temperature increases, and can only be attributed to anthropogenic sources.

Even minor temperature increase could disturb the massive methyl hydrate deposits under the oceans, causing a massive spiral of greenhouse gas within the atmosphere, of which CO2 is only a component.

The emotion comes in because we are taught by the "green" types that we should feel guilty any time we use our car, turn on a light, take a shower, or throw away a piece of garbage - since by these types of actions we are "destroying the environment."

If you deconstruct what you just said there, you'll see that statement is pretty much based on insular thinking. Nobody lives in a vacuum, and like it or not, your actions have a profound affect on those around you. I am a "green" type, although I don't wear hemp sandals, drive an electric car, live in an adobe hovel, worship the sun, or join sit-ins against "the establishment". I do, however, recycle as much as I can, use fluorescent tubes instead of incandescent bulbs, insulate my home, advocate nuclear energy, and keep apprised of environmental issues that will affect me and my family. By painting me with the same brush as whatever militant environmentalists you have imagined, you do a disservice to both of us.

since by these types of actions we are "destroying the environment."

There's an old saying: "you don't shit where you eat". It's pretty much self-explanatory. However, if you shit where I eat, don't act so surprised if I do something about it.

It's time we got past this irrational fear of AGW and focus our efforts on something more useful. Let's work on improving education, eliminating poverty, combatting terrible diseases like AIDS, bringing electricity to where it is lacking, etc.

I don't think it's irrational to recognize the fact that collectively, human actions are causing irreparable harm to the environment in which we must live, and that something must be done to slow, stop, and reverse said harm. It's not fear, it's awareness. And while every one of the items you described are both noble and necessary pursuits, what's the point of doing all that if we're not here to reap the benefits of that labor?

Environmentalism is not about saving the environment, it's ultimately about self-preservation. The earth has been here long before humans were, and it will definitely shake us off like a mild cold.

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