Friday, May 4th 2012, 7:36 AM EDT
Maine Annual Temperatures 1895-2011
On May the 2nd Huffington Post published a story by Shoshana Zuboff titled “When Global Warming Ate My Life”. In the story she describes how she and her husband moved to a small town in Maine to escape the busy world and raise their two kids in a protected environment where they would learn “respectful down-to-earth values”. That all fine and good, I spent some of the best years of my youth in Maine and still return there as often as I can. It is a wonderful place. After describing the idyllic life they enjoyed there for many years she then goes on to say that on one fateful night, “global warming crashed our party in paradise”.
On a summer night in 2009 a lightning bolt struck her through a window and set their home on fire and burned it to the ground. Obviously she is very lucky to be alive. It was a tragic event that might have been prevented by lightning rods on the roof. I don’t know if they had them or not. The idea of the lightning rod is to take control of any lightning bolt that comes near a home.
The sharp point of the rod will attract the bolt and then conduct it by way of a wire down to the ground instead of having it hit randomly somewhere on the house. In any event, she then proclaims that because her house was hit by lightning and burned to the ground that she is now a victim of global warming. I can uderstand the great sense of loss that she and her family experienced and for sure it was a terrible thing that happened but to blame global warming is a mighty big stretch.
First of all she apparently has been reading Time Magazine or the Huffington Posts “Green” section too much. Perhaps she has been watch too many TV programs on The National Geographic Channel that are continually condemning our way of life for our sin of creating global warming. Whatever the reason, the flavor of the story is that she is completely sold on the man made global warming catastrophe story. She states that a study by the NASA Goddard Institute (The Goddard Institute for Space Studies, GISS) estimates that a 1 degree Celsius rise in global temperature will cause a 5-6% increase in lightning frequency. The Goddard Institute for Space Studies is the last place I would go for reliable studies about future trends of anything being that they are also predicting an 82 foot rise in sea level if the earth warms 2 degrees Celsius by 2100. There has been no temperature increase for 15 years despite large increases in carbon dioxide.
The rate of sea level rise is not accelerating. Sea level rise is the same as it has been for the last 100 years and in fact it has slowed over the last 5 years. GISS has also been caught altering data to enhance temperature trends to make it appear that global warming is much more severe than it actually is. This is an ongoing effort at GISS. Even if there has been a 5-6% increase in lightning frequency (there is no data available to support this) it would in no way confirm that the bolt that struck her house that evening was caused by that increase.
In reality it was just a random and unfortunate act of nature. In the story Ms. Zuboff goes on to state that the earth has warmed by 0.8 degrees Celsius since 1802. The more generally accepted figure is 0.6 degrees Celsius of warming since 1850. She then goes on the say that Maine has warmed a whopping 1.9 degrees Celsius (3.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in the last 100 years! I don’t know where she got that figure, maybe from the World Wildlife Fund or Greenpeace, but it is completely wrong. The actual amount of warming in the last 100 years in Maine is zero degrees (see above graph). Don’t take my word for it, you can calculate it yourself at Climate at a Glance U.S. Statewide Analysis.
Go down the state of Maine, click on it and follow the instructions on how to plot the temperature trend for the last 100 years, you’ll find no warming at all.
Ms. Zuboff’s story is another in and endless number of tails about our struggle to survive in a hostile world. From the earliest humans to today, mankind has always been in a struggle with nature. Go pet a nice furry and cuddly polar bear, it will be the last thing you ever do. For most of human history we have been fighting to survive what nature throws at us. It has been an epic struggle to beat back the weather to keep us from freezing to death, dying in floods and hurricanes, starving from drought or being hit by lightning. For most of our existence we have been trying to defeat nature.
Over 150 years ago we discovered oil and along with the earlier discovered coal, we revolutionized the world with these abundant fuels. Oil and coal were the principal weapons that we used and continue to use to defeat nature. Like it or not, nature will kill you if you give it a chance. The incredible affluence that oil, coal and natural gas provided us after world war two offered us protection against nature like never before. As prosperity increased our vulnerability to the ravages of nature declined. With this decrease in vulnerability our attitude towards that which had been trying to destroy us changed. From this great affluence the environmental movement was born in the 1960s.
The movement preached that it wasn’t nature that was at fault for death and destruction, it was us. The tables had been turned. Now we were the killers, not nature. Fast forward to the current time and the environmental movement has grown so much that it permeates all of our schools and advertising. You can’t go anywhere without being told you must “go green”.
From her story it appears that Ms. Zuboff has indeed been a victim but not of global warming, but of the indoctrination of the environmental movement. She says “Now I know that no one of us can keep our children safe”. That is a lesson that humanity learned a long, long time ago, long before there was any talk about global warming. Nature has always been a threat to our well being and it always will be. She an her family were the tragic victims of a random act of nature and no amount of going green, carbon taxes or government regulation could have stopped it.
Global warming did not eat here life, nature did, just as it always has.
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