What gives with the climate?
My take on global warming is perhaps not worth much in these days of "scientific" claims. But I have not heard or read anyone else say what I am about to say, so let me set it down here.
As a gardener, I have always kept a keen eye on temperature extremes. Over a period of about 60 years, I have noticed that every year breaks a record for the coolest or coldest temperature recorded – or the warmest or hottest temperature recorded – on some day or days of the given year, in the areas where I have lived.
I noticed that the record-breakers for coldest and warmest dates sometimes occur in the same year. Admittedly, this is too small a sample to place much significance in it with respect to trends. But these back-and-forth warmest-to-coolest swings over my own lifetime point to a reality that needs to be faced: meteorology is an imperfect predictive science when it comes to trends, especially long-range projections predicated on statistical measurements. The "Butterfly Effect," once called "The Fly in the Ointment," throws computer models in a dither often enough to keep meteorologists guessing and hedging. How often have we heard the weather guys say the computer models can't agree on a given forecast of the weather?
And if well honed computer models can't always agree on near-sight weather patterns, given precise satellite input data, then how can we expect experimental-stage computer models to agree on mega-far-sight weather patterns, given conflicting input data?
Is it not true that a statistical net will never trap all the butterflies that can skew a model? As one of a team of computer specialists for the Defense Department, years ago, I know the difficulty of producing a "faultless program."
After all is said that can be said about this issue, it must be asked: is it possible to do anything about the weather? If so, we are not there yet, and judging from evidence thus far, we are ages away from such technological achievement. As for adverse effects of man-made pollution, such as those of fossil fuel usage, bear in mind that natural polluters – erupting volcanoes, for example – trump human pollution by an embarrassing margin.
Since predicting a long-term warming cycle is at best a maybe, as responsible research indicates, the very expensive rush to judgment must be tempered in the light of all the unknowns and contradictions that affect the issue.