Monday, August 13, 2007

Disaster predicted!

Bill McGuire believes that global warming will cause an increase in volcanic eruptions. In the UK Guardian, he warns:
Unlike most apparently intractable problems, which have a tendency to go away when examined closely and analytically, the climate change predicament just seems to get bigger and scarier the more we learn about it.

Now we discover that not only are the oceans and the atmosphere conspiring against us, bringing baking temperatures, more powerful storms, floods and ever-climbing sea levels, but the crust beneath our feet seems likely to join in too.

Looking back to other periods in our planet's history when the climate was swinging about wildly, most notably during the last ice age, it appears that far more than the weather was affected. The solid earth also became restless, with an increase in volcanic activity, earthquakes, giant submarine landslides and tsunamis. At the rate climate change is accelerating, there is every prospect that we will see a similar response from the planet, heralding not just a warmer future but also a fiery one. [....]

The Earth is responding as a single, integrated system to climate change driven by human activities. Global warming is not just a matter of warmer weather, more floods or stronger hurricanes, but is also a wake-up call to Terra Firma. It may be no coincidence that one outcome of increased volcanic activity is likely to be a period of falling temperatures, as a veil of volcanic dust and gas reduces the amount of solar radiation reaching the surface. Maybe the Earth is trying to tell us something. It really would be worth listening before it is too late.
The usual scientific theory is that volcanic eruptions cause changes in the weather, not the other way around. Mr. McGuire's speculations are interesting but appear to be nothing more than speculation.

Mr. McGuire argument also makes the pathetic fallacy: He attributes a consciousness to the Earth, suggesting that the Earth is "trying to tell us something" and it possibly creating volcanoes as an intelligent response to global warming.

This may not be a coincidence but Mr. McGuire is also hawking two books: "Surviving Armageddon: Solutions For a Threatened Planet" and "What Everyone Should Know About the Future of Our Planet: And What We Can Do About It." This is understandable as Al Gore reportedly made a lot of money from "An Inconvenient Truth."

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