Those who see the end of the world looming ahead should get their stories straight.
Is it global warming, or a new Ice Age that should make us tremble? Will the Kyoto Treaty save us, or is it a waste of time?
In September, National Geographic magazine went into hysterics, declaring it a settled scientific fact that global warming is occurring because of human activity, frying the planet.
To its credit, it noted the actual rise in temperature (if the surface readings are accurate) over the past century is less than one degree, but darkly predicted it could rise 10 degrees in another century.
That contradicts the wacky scenario in a recent movie, which had the planet being quick-frozen like a popsicle.
Our minds are open on climate change, but we have said all along it takes a four-part test.
Is global warming happening? Suface temperature readings don't agree with satellite readings, and computer simulations used for making projections are shaky.
If it is happening, are humans the cause? Or, is it part of the natural cycle, after a cooling period that ended about 150 years ago, or the result of sun cycles?
No matter what the cause, would the overall effect be good or bad? Slowly rising seas might not be catastrophic, but more temperate weather in Siberia might be welcomed by many Russians. In September, BBC reported an international team of scientists as saying carbon levels were far higher than today and the North Pole was subtropical 55 million years ago during the Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum.
Finally, can we do anything about it, in any case?
One "expert" told National Geographic the Kyoto Treaty would not help. It would take "40 Kyoto treaties," he said. One such treaty would greatly impact the civilized world's standard of living.
Do we have to destroy civilization to save it?
The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Peninsula Clarion ©2013. All Rights Reserved.