A Little Reflection and Common Sense

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO “SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH?”

April 1, 2019

Photo credit: O12 at Pixabay

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Happy April Fool’s Day!  My dearest watches the local NBC affiliate over breakfast because she likes the way they present the weather.  But then the 7:00 a.m. hour comes round and “Today” invades our kitchen.  I try my best not to watch or listen, but today Al Rocker, the NBC weather guy, was reporting from Northern Alaska about a project drilling into the Arctic ice to – oh, the horror! – help us better understand climate change and the need for “action.”  I left the room mumbling that I hoped he wouldn’t pull an “April Fool’s” and parrot the party line about fossil fuels and carbon dioxide.  So I don’t know where his story went after his intro.

I understood that old Al didn’t have to mention “carbon” because the term “climate change”’ is already embedded in the public mind and larded with worries about how carbon dioxide is about to kill us all.  I also understand that conservative pundits are telling us that ridiculing AOC’s Green New Deal idiocy is not enough.  Conservatives and Republicans must have a real “plan” to counter the GND nonsense.

I agree with the latter.  So, let’s start with two things that Democrats, Republicans and Independents can agree upon:  First, our climate always changes, and second, we need to rebuild our infrastructure.  Therein lies the basis for a plan that will ensure the only lasting and effective impact on inevitable, natural, and recurring climate swings.  We can also agree that sea levels will continue to rise, gradually, as they have since we first began measuring them.

Here’s the “Plan.”  First, we accept that we will experience recurring severe weather events — tornadoes, hurricanes, typhoons, polar vortices, spring floods, periodic droughts, etc.  Second, we determine what locations are the most likely to be adversely affected by each of these recurring events.  Third, we study how best to minimize those effects on each area where they are most likely to occur.  Fourth, we determine the projected costs and time required to accomplish those projects.  And fifth, we enact legislation to prioritize and fund the infrastructure projects over the years, and to better regulate where (and how) communities and individuals rebuild.

History is full of stories of migrations of peoples due to climate swings:  The populating of the Western Hemisphere during the last Ice Age; the Biblical story of Joseph and his rise to advisor to the Pharaoh; the migration of the Saxons from Northern Germany to the UK; the recurring abandonment of cities by the Mayas and Incas; the peopling of Australia by the Aborigines:  the list goes on and on.  Even animals respond to changes in the weather.  Every year there are massive herds of wildebeests, zebras, antelope, elephants and other animals moving from one area of Africa to greener pastures miles away.  While these historical and natural events don’t impact infrastructure, they demonstrate that climate has always changed and severe weather events are nothing new – and that none of those events caused or is currently causing a near miniscule rise in carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.

What is new, however, is the instantaneous, widespread communication of unusual weather events occurring anywhere in the world, with pictures and commentary, day-in and day-out.  These images and narratives feed into the belief that somehow Mother Nature is acting differently from ever before and inferring that we humans must somehow be at fault.  Why? Because we are all living too comfortably!  And thus, as in a very bad April fool’s joke, a few who should know better (and likely do) have sold millions of others among us that carbon dioxide is the ‘control knob’ on climate change and must drastically be reduced – IMMEDIATELY, or else!

Image: werner22brigitte at Pixabay

Eliminating fossil fuels is not possible as there are no substitutes for them in today’s technologies.  Nobody really wishes to return to sailing ships, to do away with the conveniences of modern life such as supermarkets, air conditioning, cars, air travel, television, lights, Amazon, EBay, Ali Baba and cell phones, or their computer screens.  Nor do they wish to do away with instant-on clean water and sanitary sewers and no foul-smelling animal dropping all over the roads, or from the privies in our back yards.

Climate changes – naturally – get used to it.  It cannot be prevented or halted, but its effects can be ameliorated – if we are smart.  No Green New Deal, please!  And stop showing floods, and droughts, and raging seas, and wind-whipped palm trees, and half-submerged cars – all over the world day after day!

Common sense?  For the long haul, we should fund scientific research to uncover more of nature’s secrets, faster.  The universe is full of energy.  Inside and between every atom there is energy that causes molecules to form and elements to combine and then to warm or cool, or separate, or change form (state) and release energy in various forms.  We simply haven’t yet discovered (uncovered) how to tap into these energy sources and apply them to our needs.  Eventually we will find such answers, but not if we waste trillions on silly schemes (such as Green New Deals) that deprive real science from finding the answers that are hiding in plain sight.

Old Frank

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