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Ice Ice, Baby!

September 21, 2012

Just in case you’d been seeing all the press about how the Arctic Ice has been at record lows during this summer’s melt, and that we’re all going to die, Die, DIE! real soon… Don’t forget that we have a worldwide connected ecosystem, so there are other patches of ice out there.  From the Register:

The sea ice around the coasts of Antarctica on average covers roughly the same amount of sea as the north-polar sea ice does: it’s just as important, though you wouldn’t know it by looking at the world’s press right now. Another thing not everyone knows is that even as Arctic ice has been on a long decline since satellite measurements began, the Antarctic ice has been growing steadily (this despite well-publicised ice shelf losses around the Western Antarctic peninsula, bucking the overall continental trend).

Taking all the world’s sea ice together, then – as opposed to focusing exclusively on the Arctic – the picture is far less gloomy than most media outlets would have you believe. Generally the world has between 15 and 23 million square km of the stuff: at the moment it has a bit more than 18m, which is approximately 1.5m below average for this time of year. Earlier this year, though, it was nearly 1m up on the seasonal average.

So yes, the ice is currently down, but before it was currently up.  And that the thing about averages… you go above and below them in most cases.  I really don’t have a dog in the hunt on most of the climate change shinola that’s going (mostly) back and (slightly) forth.  I’m sure humans have some effect on the ecosystem, though nowhere near more “natural” influences.  I also don’t think that we understand the total impact of any climate change on the systems we have in place.  If there was another ice age, I’m sure we wouldn’t be able to grow as many crops, so maybe a little warming is better for global food resources.

For all the “progressivism” that one side of the argument seems to think it has, there’s a strong focus on status quo, and that’s where I argue.  If we would only stop drilling for oil, they say, and go back to a cow in every back yard then we’d be better off.  Well, not cows, they have too much of an impact.  Goats and vegetable gardens…

The quality of life of humans is directly proportional to their economic well-being.  Countries with better economic standing have a better quality of life, and healthier humans.  Reacting to data and using only some of it to prove a backwards point still doesn’t make any sense to me, unless you’re not really concerned about the welfare of the human race.

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