Ahead Of The Heard
Whilst enjoying possibly the warmest January on record for much of Alberta one ponders what’s so bad about global warming. I expect for most Albertans this state of the weather is highly desirable and its continuation is welcomed. With that in mind, I would think fearmongering by climate change alarmists would be greeted with bemused tolerance by most people in Canada. That being global warming is not much feared in a country that is an ice planet most of the year.
It not just human comfort that has benefitted from global warming, many sectors of agricultural production have and will continue to benefit from the warming trend. In Alberta the frontier boundaries of some crops continues to move northward and gives growers more cropping and livestock feeding options. Corn in particular is seeing expansion both for silage and grain production. That expansion is also aided by genetic improvements that are reducing heat unit requirements critical to maturing corn. That’s good news for commercial crop growers as the ever increasing yields of corn make it a particular economically attractive crop. Ditto for livestock production as it is hard to beat the per acre yield of corn for silageing purposes.
Another crop that is slowly expanding its range is soybeans. Although production is limited in southern Alberta, acreage has expanded to just under a million acres in Manitoba. Other crops that will see expansion are winter wheat, beans and such new crops as winter canola. All of this bodes well for overall crop production in this province. This trend puts the climate change discussion in a broader perspective much to the chagrin of many professional climate alarmists whose total focus seems to be the imminent demise of civilization and the planet. That focus tends to become tedious when one considers that global warming is a normal weather cycle that has been progressing for the last 10 thousand years.
Your humble writer had the opportunity to hike to the foot of Stanley Glacier west of Banff this past summer. Noting the massive deposits of fresh moraines (at least in geologic terms) it became evident that this glacier was much larger a mere thousand years ago. It would be hard to blame the melting of this glacier back then as being caused by human activity. In fact geologists state that the melting of glaciers was much more accelerated 5 thousand years ago. Interestingly, there is scientific speculation that the warming period that the planet is now in is the weather abnormality and that ice ages are actually the normal weather condition for this part of the planet. Such a perspective annoys the alarmists as they try to paint global warming as some sort of new phenomenon. It would seem that the human species has survived and adapted to many ice ages, I expect that will continue.
I also remain perplexed by the climate alarmist’s claim that the human race has developed the power to actually impact Mother Nature in a catastrophic manner. Sure pollution of every kind has an impact but I would suggest it is short term at best. It’s been shown that the impact of one large volcanic eruption can wreck weather havoc across the entire planet for years at a time. That tends to make a mockery of the demise of the planet due to a change in warming degrees over the next 50 years. One only needs to read about the effects of the Mount Krakatoa volcanic explosion in the 1880s on world agricultural production, that humbles the gradual impact of global warming. One needs to appreciate that massive eruptions are more common in human history and that their impact is almost immediate and devastating. For example volcanic ash from volcanoes thousands of miles away has been found in Alberta soil and rock strata. Those must have been of titanic proportions to reach this far away.
One surmises that perhaps there is some ability for humans to slow the pace of global warming and that’s what alarmists cling too. But as noble as that vision may be, its unlikely to actually stop a warming trend that has gone on for the past 10,000 years. One of the problems in accepting that reality has to do with the truly minute lifespan of the human race. I suspect if humans had a 5,000 year lifespan they would have a much better appreciation of the relentless power of nature and how little we can do to affect its course. I say enjoy global warming while its still here, some of the alternatives are a lot worse.