…or both?  The New York Times ran an article on May 19th, titled “The Big Melt Accelerates”.  You see, the BIG MELT is on…and accelerating!  Women and minorities hardest hit!  OK, I added that last part.  At the top of the story are two pictures of the Muir Glacier in Alaska;  the first is taken in 1941 and shows the huge glacier, the next photo is August 2004 and shows the glacier has retreated far up the valley.  Wow…but wait.  Some cursory investigation reveals an interesting fact.  Extensive records exist about Alaska’s glaciers from about the time it was settled by Europeans in the late 18th century and the Muir Glacier and indeed Alaska’s glaciers in total have been retreating for the last 200 years, with the lion’s share of that occuring before 1900.  Steven Hayward at Powerline shows us a picture of the Muir Glacier taken in 1951 that appears identical to the Times photo from 2004 – so no or very little retreat from 1951 to 2004.  That’s some acceleration!  I didn’t want to steal the photos and chart form his post, so click over and read the whole thing there.  Definitely worth your time.

The Times then moves on to quote experts worrying about the sea level rising due to the retreat of Greenland’s ice sheet.  A few minutes on wikipedia tells me that Greenland’s ice sheet has varied over time, but most notably that:

“Scientists who probed 2 km (1.2 mi) through a Greenland glacier to recover the some of the oldest plant DNA on record said that the planet was far warmer hundreds of thousands of years ago than is generally believed. DNA of trees, plants, and insects including butterflies and spiders from beneath the southern Greenland glacier was estimated to date to 450,000 to 900,000 years ago, according to the remnants retrieved from this long-vanished boreal forest. “

Got that?  Half a million to almost a million years ago, Greenland was covered in a large arboreal forest which is NOW under 2Km of ice.  Furthermore:

“These DNA samples suggest that the temperature probably reached 10 °C (50 °F) in the summer and −17 °C (1.4 °F) in the winter. They also indicate that during the last interglacial period, 130,000–116,000 years ago, when local temperatures were on average 5 °C (9 °F) higher than now, the glaciers on Greenland did not completely melt away.”

A hundred thousand years ago (give or take) temperatures were higher than they are now and the glaciers did not melt away. I found this information in a few minutes and so could the Times reporter if he wanted to give the story a little balance.  But they don’t want balance…the science is settled, don’t you know?

Next, let’s not forget all that ice in Antarctica.  The Times experts say it is melting and “Scientists say that the melting will continue as long as the heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases. Even if carbon dioxide and temperatures stabilize, the melting and shifting of glaciers will continue for decades or centuries as they adjust to the new equilibrium.”  Have they already forgotten about the global warming researchers whose ship was trapped in the expanding and larger than normal Antarctic ice sheet last January?  The Times article closes with this paragraph:

“But a vast majority of the ice is not yet destined to melt. “We have not committed to a lot more that could be committed if we keep turning up the thermostat,” said Dr. Alley of Penn State.”

Buhhh…what does that even mean?  I do not deny that the climate may be changing – it always has!  I just don’t buy into the hysteria that The Climate Is Changing and The Government Must Do Something Now!!!  I will bluntly say that if you believe that Government Action will solve this (non) crisis then you are a fool.  Sorry if I hurt your feelings.  And if someone tells you that the solution to global warming is carbon taxes and communism, you should mock them.  Mercilessly.

OK, look at some bears now.

Grillin' an chillin'

Grillin’ an chillin’