Friday, September 29, 2006

A question about global warming

I don't believe in global warming. Rather, I don't believe that it's our fault. Are temperatures rising? Possibly. Is it just nature doing it's thing? Probably.

There is one big question that I've always had about the whole thing. Temperatures, we're told, are increasing, and (if I recall the factoids correctly) 20 of the 30 warmest years on record are in the past 30 or so years. Probably my facts are not precisely correct, but since the facts used by the Al Gores of the world are in the same boat, screw it. Unlike their arguments, it's not relevant to what I am saying.

So here's the thing. If temperatures now are so much warmer than ever before in recorded history, then riddle me this, Batman: Why isn't there agriculture on Greenland? The Vikings had it. No, they weren't growing rice, tobacco, corn or any of that. But they were able to grow hay and possibly some other basic crops. That's one of the things that allowed their settlement to survive. Now, as far as I can tell, there's nothing growing there. Even with our advanced agricultural knowledge.

Doesn't that seem a little backwards? Shouldn't we be growing things that they couldn't? But if the whole place is covered in ice, then having threshers, tractors, and all that won't matter. Even winter wheat doesn't grow in a foot of ice.

So that right there should shoot the whole global warming thing in the knee, right? If it can be "proven" that temperatures in Greenland were warmer in say, 1000 A.D. than in 2000, then clearly global temperatures aren't the fault of George Bush. NOr, and I hope any Loonies are sitting down for this one, Reagan.

Well, we have records from the Vikings telling us that they had agriculture on Greenland. That would seem to clinch it. They weren't Loonies, wtih something to prove. They were just keeping records of things like births, deaths, and crops. Useful things.

Case closed? It would seem that this presents a hell of an obstacle at least. My guess is that this is why our Loony friends never discuss Greenland and the Vikings. Try it some time. You can hear the proverbial crickets chirping if you ask about it.

Here's another little point. The Vikings (I guess I should say "Scandinavians", in the interest of semantics) were pretty literal people, when it came to names. Norway would seem to be an abbreviation of "North Way". Finland translates as "Land of the Finns". (Guess who lives there? Why Finns!). Russia originally was "Russ-land". Guess who lives there? The "Russ" or.... Russians. Wow. Clever, huh? Care to take a stab at what they found in Iceland? What did Leif Eriksson name the place he discovered in North America? "Vinland". Rumor says it had to do with all the grape vines he found. No focus groups testing to see what name presented a better image to sailors or settlers. Nope, he called it as he saw it. And by the way, Greenland was discovered by Leif's father. Care to guess what Dad's name was? (Clue above). And the old boy was called Erik the Red. Hmmmm. Suppose he had black hair?

So here's the point: if they named things as they saw them, then why call an oversized iceberg "Greenland"? Was it the old "bait and switch"? Were they trying to get folks to move there rather than the yet-undiscovered Vinland? No, I think they called it that because... well, the land was kinda greenish when Erik spotted it. Like maybe covered in, oh I don't know, plants or something.

Try this fun little trick on your Loony friends. Ask how the Vikings had agriculture on Greenland when, even after 50 years of global warming, we still can't grow anything there. And ask why they called it "Greenland" rather than Snowland". Bet the answer leaves a little something to be desired.


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