Thursday, March 29, 2007

A Geologists View Of Global Warming

I've posted this before as a reply, but I think it warrants being said again, and even exploring farther.

Peter has left a new comment on your post "Father Sun, Mother Earth":
a jacksonian,
Thanks for the input. In striving to understand the complexities of climate change I think geologists have an advantage over pure climate or weather scientists. It's not because we're smarter, I think it is because we're constantly examining processes affecting the Earth and the formation, metamorphosis, or erosion of rocks and we must consider the function of time.

Nothing on Earth is static, including the climate. The Earth is constantly changing and has been doing so for as far back as we can see. What we see in the layers of sedimentary rock, and anyone looking at layered rocks can understand this, is primarily a reflection of CLIMATE CHANGE. Warm to cold, wet to dry, no water to shallow water to deep water as these sediments are being deposited.

In other words, geologists are intimately familiar with the reality of constantly changing climate. What we see going on around us today does not, or should not worry us much. And we don't take these global warming alarmists seriously. We see through the hype. We see Al Gore's "dockumentary" as Hollywood entertainment and Al Gore as a clown.

We know better than to build on an active fault zone. We know better than to build a mansion at sea level on a hurricane-prone coast. We know better than to build on a floodplain. We tried to warn people that New Orleans was in danger, not because of hurricanes or global warming but because it was BELOW SEA LEVEL and is and was continually subsiding.

So geologists like you and I need to speak out more. If nothing else, to alleviate some of the fear about global warming. Stay tuned.


Boxorox said...

As a fellow geologist, I strongly agree with what you have said, Pete. Yes, the geoscientist does have a greater sense of perspective. I have been saying all along that perspective is the special key to understanding something as huge and complex as global climate. The specialists just do not seem to accept that reasoning. Without proper perspective, we are doomed to being jerked around by what you might call special-interest science. I can't exactly fault those practicioners for that; it's what they have been educated and trained to do. What I ask for, in the debate that goes about anthropogenic climate change, is an acknowledgement of the plausibility that many factors--many of them not of human origin--contribute to climate behavior. We do NOT necessarily have to look out the window, see what's changing around us, and automatically accept the blame for the percieved bad things that happen.
The study of geology through the years has taught me that whoever chose earth as a place to base life, especially advanced, intelligent human life, must have been crazy. Of course, look around at the available choices, and what else was there? (rhetorical question, of course). The point is that, earth has done its best for the past half-billion years to shrug off the life which has taken root here, but it (life) persists nonetheless. Humans need to be smart enough to realize that Nature doesn't really care if we're here or not. We're allowed to scratch by only so long as our intelligence and adaptability make it possible to roll with whatever Nature throws our way. It certainly isn't a free ride and nothing about our survival is guaranteeed.

anonymous said...

Despite all evidence to the contrary, I believe many people still have a difficult time surrendering to the idea that we are at the mercy of Nature; that it controls us.. and not the other way around.

Peter said...

We really don't have much control over dangerous acts of nature. We can't do much to control lightening, but most of us know not to stand out on a golf course during a thunder and lightening storm holding a golf club up in the air.

For the most part, we can't control or stop earthquakes and tsunamis, but we can try to avoid them and minimize damage.

We must continue to try to understand nature and if we can't control natural things like the weather, at least we can learn to live with it in a better way. All this irresponsible fear-mongering about global warming is not helping......AT ALL.