Contest: Respond to this uber-lame NY Times op-ed
I could easily spend all my time just responding to every single piece of silliness that appears in the mainstream media on global warming. But not only would that be unproductive and unhelpful for my readers (i.e. you), but heck I have great readers capable of doing such responses themselves.
The NY Times has just given some of its precious real estate to one of the lamest and most irrelevant op-eds ever published on climate change: ”Ben Franklin on Global Warming.” The gist of it seems to be that since weather changes over small parts of the Earth’s land were noticed by people in the 18th century and that Franklin himself apparently noticed part of what is now well understood and modeled by scientists as the heat island effect — “cleared land absorbs more heat and melts snow quicker” — that we should somehow think … well, actually, I can’t even figure out what the author is trying to say.
The piece appears to be a novel take on the “teach the controversy” strategy. The author, Ben Gelber, meteorologist at WCMH-TV in Columbus, Ohio, sort of acknowledges anthropogenic global warming science but mostly makes irrelevant connections between the past and today to imply that what’s happening now is nothing really new. If Gelber thinks we should do anything about global warming, he keeps it to himself.
Well, anthropogenic global warming is new, and it would be catastrophic or worse to do nothing about it — see, for instance, “Humans boosting CO2 14,000 times faster than nature, overwhelming slow negative feedbacks” and “Imagine a World without Fish” and “Intro to global warming impacts” and UK Met Office: Catastrophic climate change, 13-18°F over most of U.S. and 27°F in the Arctic, could happen in 50 years, but “we do have time to stop it if we cut greenhouse gas emissions soon.”
But hey, I’ve written too much already. You respond, and I’ll lift the best comments up into the main post.