*April 12 Update: The Guardian posted an interesting op/Ed about the practice of publishing scientific research (click here for article). Perhpas we are increaseing awareness about inaccuracies in scientific research. Good Article that speaks well to the problem with developing a climate change plan for the future.
Can a FACS teacher from rural Virginia show climatologists where they have gone wrong in their study of global warming? The challenge is on.
Lately, The Guardian (theguardian.com), an internationally based media group that seems to like to stir the pot more than inform, has gone out of its way to promote climate change panic particularly in the US and United Kingdom. This week they used a report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (February 2022) to explain how coastal communities will see as much as a 12 in increase in sea levels in the next 30 years. The article argues for federal money and large scale infrastructure for which there is little support in Congress. With emphatic words but little proof, the Guardian makes the case for a now-or-never response to computer generated predictions and little physical evidence. To see the article itself click here. To see this blog's response to the NOAA report click here. To read all about how real life undercuts climate change theory, purchase a copy of this author's book Air Pollution's the Answer! How Clean Air Policy Compromised the Planet and Public Health.
As a FACS teacher, you show students how to deal with science without getting hung up in the complicated details. Understanding how an stove or cook top works delves into the different types of heat. Passive solar home design is the greenhouse effect. Food preparation deals with sanitation, bacteria growth and how all of that spreads disease if you are not careful. Then there are the components of a healthy diet that satisfies but wards off illness at the same time, Financial literacy shows you how numbers can mean different things at different times but rarely tell the whole story (I have money in my bank account but do I have money to spend???). And the list goes on.
All that is to say that FACS teaches the reality of life, not its theory. Here is the REAL way to look at global warming and its data. Once you read it, you will understand how scientists which never leave teir computers could so easily become overwhelmed into believe the World was coming to an end.
1. Measurements are Time Sensitive
The problem with the digital age is that we believe that all things can be converted into numbers. In reality, each measurement is only good for the millisecond it took to take it. It has no permanence or value except in that one moment of time. Trying to convince people who live in the physical world that data alone proves the future is hard to do.
Nature constantly changes, Wind speeds vary up and down in the same manner as animals breathe in and out. Five pounds of flour and five pounds of sugar take up different amounts of space and are used in different dishes. A t-bone steak is never the same thickness, weight, calorie content or size as the last, even though it looks identical. To expand that, there is also the concept of walking a mile as figured in steps but how far does one actually travel when exercising on a treadmill. Measurement is always relative and as such cannot be fairly compared. Any study that uses data alone should be be questioned for bias.
In regard to climate change, sea levels are constantly changing because of gravitational activity that has nothing to do with climate. Comparing sea levels as a proof of global warming is like following a lifelong dieter whose weight swings 10 pounds as the seasons change. Which number out of hundreds of possible answers do you choose for documentation this person's weight. Those who believe in global warming choose to record the high numbers and ignore the low numbers giving a false impression of what is a regular and predictable shift.
2. Erosion Is the Silent Culprit
Consider this situation. On your drive to work one morning, you pass a long deep ditch at the side of the road. The damage is clear. Which conclusion would your draw? That something caused the road to raise a foot or more overnight, or that the rain from last night's thunderstorm eroded the shoulder. Seems like a no-brainer, doesn't it?
Geologists have been studying erosion and its impact on shore lines for centuries. It is an ongoing struggle for businesses which own beach front property to battle this gradual and sneaky enemy. Like the road that appears to be higher, it is erosion that lowered the shore, not a rising water level.
The problem is common to owners of beach front property. Truck loads of sand and rock are frequently brought in to repair that which is carried away by the waves. Funding from federal sources however, is limited to repairs from disasters not general wear and tear. Climate change is the disaster these communities need to get millions of dollars in funding for projects that would otherwise be ineligible.
3. Nothing Occurs by Isolation
Scientists like to test their theories in isolation. Similar to a race horse that clocks at a fast enough pace to beat the course record when on home turf but can't finish in the top three in an actual race, climate change data from animation, simulation or even physical data collection cannot duplicate the unpredictable elements of a natural environment. In the same way that humidity can ruin a batch of candy or kids running through the kitchen at just the right moment can cause souffle to fall, most climate studies do not hold up under the strong light of reality. Without the emotional panic that is a part of their predictions, there would be nothing to hold the attention of donors and government funding sources.
4. No Such Thing as Kinda Frozen
Recently, scientists reported a 70degree F swing in temperature for Antarctica and a 50 degree F increase for the Arctic Circle. Starting a panic as The Guardian and other media outlets called the difference a "Heat Wave", those reporting the change as well as those reading the report failed to comprehend that the 10 degree F HIGH temperature was still 22 degrees below freezing. How can all the ice in the World melt if there is a three degree increase in temperature when it is still 22 degrees colder than freezing.
A lesson in communication from every FACS class is no what you are talking about before you speak.
5. No Two Regions are Alike
A FACS curriculum promotes acceptance of people and situations regardless of their differences. Why is it then that climate change theory seems to focus almost solely on the struggles of urban and well-developed areas. Advocates recommend a single solution for all regions regardless of financial resources, physical need or philosophy. Presenting an argument that looks and feels more like peer pressure than proof, articles like those that come from The Guardian shame those who do not support their way of thinking.
Does Climate Change Exist?
After all that, you would expect the conclusion to be that climate change is not real. Unfortunately, it is real but not in the way climate studies predict.
Thousands of years ago, nature came up with the perfect recipe for environmental health. It was easy to make, had enough flexibility in it that it worked out even when things didn't go quite right and could be successful with a variety of ingredients. But there were still rules that needed to be followed.
Unfortunately, mankind didn't want to follow the recipe. Beginning in the late 1800s, man chose to make substitutions, one after another. Like the Recipe Poem, the changes have been so many and so far from the original that the environment is no longer what it once was.
Current climate change theory is just another set of recipe changes that will not make things better. Only when we go back to the original recipe which is based on fossil fuels will the climate again be edible for everyone.