Thursday, July 16, 2009

"Cooling trend" and global warming

(I found this to be a thought-provoking blog from Harry Fuller at ZDNET. To see the original post click here).

I found an interesting fact-based argument on the “cooling trend” that is frequently used to “refute” global warming warnings. Here’s the link, complete with charts. His basic argument: using the 1998 peak makes recent years look cooler, but take a loooooonger look and the curve is distinctly toward hotter times ahead. That means the refuters of global warming may have to fall back on the “bad data from bad thermometer” argument as only a small minority of voters seems to be buying the eco-nuts’ conspiracy theory.

Then there is the nagging issue of the disappearance of the glaciers and ice sheets, from Alps to Greenland to Arctic. If you don’t want to accept global warming, the argument can basically be “hard cheese, some things come and some things go.” But that gets dangerously close to admitting evolution. Be interesting to see survey of global warming deniers and natural evolution deniers and see if there could be anybody able to pretzel his or her mind around those two positions simultaneously.
This verbiage will now be attached to any blog I do about global warming. It’s amazing to me that somebody who can apparently read and then post comments still wonders in public why global warming matters on a technology web site. But I am naive, always assuming everybody’s paying attention.
It’s because of money. If global warming has enough acceptance among corporations, the public and even pols, there will be more money spent on green tech, wisely or unwisely. If oil prices stay low and most people don’t care a fig about global warming, green tech will have a difficult time succeeding, regardless of its merits. Not every good idea succeeds. VCs usually invest where they think there’s best chance for a good return. In greentech as in any tech the winners will often be determined by luck, brilliance, timing, happenstance and even marketing. Behind it all will be the money and behind that: whether the evidence for global warming and curtailing pollution drive action or is written off as claptrap.

Harry FullerA newsman since 1969, Harry Fuller has worked for CBS, ABC, CNBC Europe, CNET and was founding news director at TechTV. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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