Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Climate Change

I bring this up because I heard a reporter ask a Republican Presidential candidate if they agreed that global warming was "settled science". I missed the response and can't even remember who was asked the question because the question bugged me so much.

There was a time when it was "settled science" that the world was flat. There was a time when it was "settled science" that the sun revolved around the Earth. There was a time that the laws of Issac Newton were immutable. Copernicus, Einstein and Edwin Hubble changed all that.

If you picked any field of science you would find that the consensus is that we have barely scratched the surface in that field. We have identified only 5% of the material that makes up our universe and we probably only "know" about 5% in any given field. To talk about anything being "settled science" is just ignorant.

The magnetic pole of the planet right now is North but it is in the process of changing to South. I know that sounds strange but it is true. Over the history of the planet the North and South magnetic poles have swapped places a number of times. Scientists aren't exactly sure why. Scientists are sure that it is the magnetic field of the Earth that keeps out much of the harmful cosmic rays and that any disruption in the magnetic field is bound to have repercussions as far as climate is concerned.

We may think ancient people were at best naive when they would make a human sacrifice to appease angry weather gods. Throwing a virgin in a volcano in retrospect is both horrifying and ignorant. But to the natives back then it was simply "settled science".

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