Thursday, January 05, 2006

Let's Pour Confusion on the Global Warming Debate!

Well, that's what the BBC is doing by posting a report on geological findings about a warming period at the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). It's not so much what is said as what isn't.

For example, the "rapid" rise in global temperature at the PETM subsequently took 140,000 years to reverse. Now, in geological terms, 140,000 years is definitely rapid, so why the implied contrast?

It's also interesting that one of the results of the PETM is a flourishing of mammals (and they were our ancestors!) This could not have been a bad thing, except of course if you are green in which case it is obvious that any advance of mammals must have included the wiping out of other species and that should not be allowed to happen - it's just too natural.

As a scientist i find it hard to measure the impact of an article like this one. I would like to know how a lay person reads it.


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