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Alaska media outlets have studiously ignored this story so far; the information comes from the Daily Mail. Contrary to what the official global warming theologists tell us, the Arctic ice cap grew by 60 percent between 2012 and 2013. Shrinkage of the Arctic ice cap had become a virtual article of faith among the predominant group of climate scientists; only six years ago, the BBC reported that the Arctic would be ice-free in summer by 2013, citing Professor Wieslaw Maslowski, who based his views on super-computer models and the fact that he used a high-resolution regional model for the Arctic Ocean and sea ice. He was confident his results were much more realistic than other projections, which he claimed underestimated the amount of heat delivered to the sea ice.
The photo above tells a much different story. Some people who bet on an ice-free Northwest Passage in 2013 find themselves stuck in the ice, some at the eastern end of the passage in Prince Regent Inlet, and others further west at Cape Bathurst. The Northwest Passage has remained ice-bound all summer. But the global warmistas are not surrendering. Now, they offer a new excuse. Instead of exploring the radical possibility of warming reversal or even the more moderate possibility that the cycles might be random and unpredictable, they're now claiming that this merely represents a "pause" in the warming cycle. They still maintain that it will all just somehow "melt away" quite suddenly. It reminds us of the Communist propaganda about how the state would suddenly "wither away" after an indeterminate "dictatorship of the proletariat" (of course, one could say that the Soviet state sort of "withered away" in 1992, but not quite in the way Karl Marx envisioned). Of course, they haven't explained why sea ice is also increasing in the Antarctic Ocean.
What makes this a greater problem for us is that governments are betting on the continuation of global warming, and are crafting public policy on the basis of these projections. This includes taking our tax dollars under such schemes as a "carbon tax" and "cap-and-trade". Both these measures are gigantic income redistribution schemes, only like other similar schemes such as TARP, the proceeds are unlikely to end up in the hands of those with the greatest financial need. Instead, carbon taxes will ultimately be diverted to pay for general government just like tobacco taxes. And cap-and-trade schemes will merely empower another batch of predatory speculators who will be positioned to reap windfall profits betting that companies will pay to pollute. And rich corporations will find it attractive to pay to pollute -- even if they have to drive down workers' wages to make up for it. We are already seeing corporations cut workers' hours to avoid the Obamacare thresholds.
All this does not mean that climate change is not occurring. Some Alaskan seaside villages such as Kivalina and Shishamref have been buffeted by heavy seas and face the need for relocation, although both these villages were built on barrier islands not ideally intended for permanent year-round habitation. There are also documented instances of Alaskan glaciers retreating during the past 50 years. So there is clear cut evidence that some degree of climate change is taking place.
What remains uncertain is the cause. But the return of Arctic sea ice this year indicates we have bet far too much on global warming and carbon emissions, and have downplayed other potential possibilities, such as a shift of the magnetic poles. Our current detailed climatological records only go back 100 years, and the various models used for projection are dependent upon data density. It is only during the past 25 years that we've been able to deploy more meteorological sensors in areas previously without any coverage. This is why Australians wised up and elected a new government which will pursue a more rational and less hysterical approach to climate change; new Liberal Party Prime Minister Tony Abbott wants to scrap the country's carbon tax, saying "The argument is absolute crap. However, the politics of this are tough for us. Eighty percent of people believe climate change is a real and present danger". In Australia, the Liberal Party is actually a conservative party.
The bottom line -- instead of embracing gigantic pie-in-the-sky notions such as carbon taxes and cap-and-trade, it is better for us to devote our resources initially to helping those on the front lines of climate change adjust. This means funding the relocation of vulnerable villages such as Kivalina and Shishmaref. The Republic of the Maldives, a group of 1,100 islands to the west of India, are an example of an entire nation that might need to be relocated due to climate change-driven flooding. Let the free market take the lead in marketing and deploying "greener" alternatives, and let government restrict itself to doing what only government can do. Electric cars won't take off until they're priced within the reach of the working class, take less than 30 minutes to recharge, and there are adequate networks of recharging stations at least within metro areas such as Anchorage and Fairbanks. Windmills can only be supplemental, since they only contribute energy when the wind blows. Geothermal will help, but cannot solve the problem by itself. We need a coordinated, holistic approach, and we ought to see what the free market can do before employing government coercion and confiscation. And quit acting so dogmatic -- the environment was not meant to be a religion.