Mother Earth has a fever and that fever is caused by:
Yes, the data is in and it's irrefutable! We all know what April the 22nd is - Earth Day! And we are are all painfully aware of the volume of hot air liberated on this day - and just look at the clear hockey stick result!:
(click thumbnail for full size image)
We've been plotting Earth's mean temperature for days and days and, as you can clearly see from our graphic, Earth's temperature was reasonably stable until...
And who is responsible for Earth Day? People are! Q.e.d., anthropogenic global warming is a fact and we must immediately curtail Earth Day emissions in order to stabilise the climate and avert this crisis!
We anticipate that Ozone Al and his Mann Watson (groan!) will be promoting the new, improved hockey stick graph with renewed vigour now that we have more clearly focussed the threat faced by our natural world from this, surely humanity's most heinous crime!
We call on all consumers to stop, think what you are doing! Arise with us against Big Green and their profligate Earth Day ways! Make this small sacrifice for the planet, for the children™ - rein in the excesses of the Green Empire, before it's too late! Just look at the adjacent graphics depicting April 21 & April 22, 2005 respectively - a rise of +0.87 °C (+1.57 °F) in just 24 hours!
Brothers and Sisters - we know how to do this! Who among us does not remember how to paste reply post-paid donation envelopes and surveys to a wrapped house brick to make the Evil Empire's schemes too expensive to continue their poisonous communication? (Not too big a brick though, eh? Don't want to give postal carriers a hernia now, do we.) And who among us has not learned the indoctrination techniques taught to us by that very Empire? Teach the children™ not to patronise Green businesses! How much of a sacrifice is it really to forgo the trivia of their overpriced "organic" this and "natural" that? Would we want it if not for their mind-controlling advertising? We say NO! Don't fund the planet-killers! Put a stop to their insidious schemes to control the global food supply! Stand up for the planet, for the children™! We must, we must... boy! This is hard work! Who knew typing a rant was so taxing? Oh well, we think we've made our point. To return to Earth, so to speak, let's briefly examine the data we have captured so far:
Did the global mean temperature, as measured by about a thousand mostly land-based stations register a significant leap on April the 22nd?
Are we surprised or alarmed by this?
No. We did, of course, check the data capture databases to ensure there were no communication problems or additional regionalisation influences which would bias the result (precisely why we store an audit trail to begin with) but there are no obvious problems.
But, if there are no apparent problems, why isn't an obvious change alarming?
Simply because climate is no more and no less than the sum of all weather over time and weather, as all budding conversationalists know, is changeable and usually offers an opening gambit. There is nothing unusual about warming in springtime, there's nothing unusual about weather systems affecting cloudiness over large portions of the globe and there is nothing unusual about such systems over landmasses causing tremendous variation in recorded apparent local temperatures, which, when summed, make up the regional and global mean temperatures. It is usual, in climatology, to view an apparent trend for three decades, or more, before daring to hazard that some change is underway. It is usual to spend entire working careers pondering whether some trend is underway and in which direction that may eventually prove to be. What is unusual and quite alarming is people making assertions about climatic trends from very short records (just 3 decades ago the world was thought to be plunging into an ice age - is was scare du jour and igloo building 101 was de rigueur).
Do we really believe Earth Day causes global warming?
Of course not. At least, not in the sense that a few people getting nostalgic over a past that never actually existed physically affects the planet's temperature in any measurable way. The hysteria regarding the possible change in the planet's mean temperature, however, is a horse of an entirely different colour. That you can attribute to activists and advocates of various spots and stripes, all with an agenda and none with any peculiar foresight as to what the planet's climate will do.
Don't we believe humans affect the climate?
Certainly. What we don't know with any certainly is in what way. Granted, humans are liberating previously sequestered greenhouse gasses - no argument there at all. Do greenhouse gasses delay the escape of thermal energy to space? Of course, thankfully, otherwise Earth would be a far less hospitable place. Humans are also replacing "darker" (more "heat" absorbing) forests with higher albedo (more reflective) cropping areas. Is "enhanced greenhouse" sufficient to offset enhanced planetary albedo? We certainly hope so (millions, possibly billions of our population would starve in the crop failures of a degree or two drop in mean temperature). The extent to which humans are currently affecting the climate - and even the sign of any such effect, is unknown.
What we do know is that the climatic affect of attempting to restrict human greenhouse gas emission is unknown and unknowable. The one thing we do know about it is that the human effect of such a blind attempt will be terrible.
In summary, Earth Day isn't really a planet killer and no one really knows what the climate will do or what humans are doing or might do to it.
The saddest thing is that we can say that Earth Day causes global warming with just as much confidence as anyone can that enhanced greenhouse is cooking the planet - probably more, at least we have the empirical measures to "prove" it rather than a computer game hard-programmed to demonstrate warming in response to increase in a few piddling parameters.
Earth Day will not kill the planet but there are literally billions of people in developing regions whose wellbeing depends on people in wealthy, developed regions remaining in touch with reality. Tune out, for a moment, the wailing, hairshirts and ashes of the developed world's pampered elite, try looking beyond to the people to whom development and investment really matter, those to whom electricity, potable water, sanitation, transport, infrastructure and employment mean the difference between abject poverty, misery, early death and the chance to make something for themselves and their families. These are the people underwriting Green fundraising scare campaigns. Denizens of the impoverished third world are generally prepared to work their way out of poverty and misery if given the chance. Pampered elitists of the developed world want you to give them money and cut your standard of living to prevent impoverished peoples having that chance. It is for you to decide which is the more deserving argument.