Hubris in global climate science scares me. As a scientist, I often carry a British coin that bears Isaac Newton’s statement “standing on the shoulders of giants” as a reminder of humility. I try to remember that most of what I know and understand comes from the work of others before me and a larger reservoir of existing knowledge. Considering this, and hoping knowledge leads to wisdom, it becomes very important to seek wisdom in the climate-change discussion.
Consider geology. From the recent G8 discussions, it is apparent that we are intent, as humans, to mitigate global climate change. During a recent climate-change forum, I heard a distinguished International Panel on Climate Change scientist state that “113 distinguished scientists” agreed that the earth is warming. This statement was made, rather emphatically, to a room filled with hundreds of geologists who did not react at all. The fact is that geoscientists worldwide, and possibly many archaeologists, would agree.
The earth has been warming for the past 18,000 years, since the last ice age. Climate change since the last glacial maximum and the resulting Holocene (recent geologic period) warming and sea level rise is a fundamental fact in the earth sciences. Temperatures have varied, sea levels have risen and fallen and ice sheets grown and diminished many times in the past, with evidence readily apparent in nature. Data from ice core studies, sediment analyses, locations of ancient shorelines, submerged archaeological sites and even from the oral traditions of ancient peoples all verify the Holocene sea level rise plus many more in the deep past.
Source Link: thestate.com