11/14/2010—It was recently announced that January-October 2010, globally, was the warmest such period on record. Just a little warmer than 2005.
Well, the skeptics say, why should a little warmer matter?
This keeps happening. When my son was 10, he swam for the Pittsburgh JCC swim team. And he had a coach named John. This would have been around 1991. John was very conservative, very pro-market. He would make fun of me about global warming. One day he asked me how much warming there had been during the 20th century. I didn’t know. I guessed a few degrees. He told me, “less than 1 degree C.” [or about 1 degree Fahrenheit; by now it is 1.5 degrees higher].
That did not seem like very much. One degree—the difference between 80 and 82 on a warm summer day. Or between 20 and 22 in the winter. So what?
What I did not know then is that global average temperature is a very big number. On average it should not change at all. It should go up a little and down a little. But that is all. When it has a trend, humankind, indeed life on land, is greatly affected.
A decline of 6-8 degrees C, for example, might well cause a new ice age. In that context, 1 degree C no longer seems so small.
In addition, this was almost 20 years ago. You would think, if global warming were a hoax, that 20 years would reveal it. Where have the cold years been?
I’m worried about my children and their children. I wonder about the Tea Party people, who claim to be concerned about the effects of the deficit on future generations. Global warming is going to have a much bigger impact. Why aren’t they worried about that?