Changing On Climate Change

Inside Dakota Ag

Don't think man's activities can affect climate or even the weather? What about the Dirty 30s?

Published on: February 11, 2013

I haven’t been a big believer in man-made global warming or climate change.

But I recently gained a new appreciation of what some global warming beleivers are worried about.

I was in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., recently, attending a BASF Innovations Symposium (tough duty, I know), and I stayed in the Westin Hotel right on the beach. The hotel was, literally, right on the beach. If it had been any closer to the Atlantic Ocean, we would have had needed boat to get the lobby.

It was a warm and windy during my stay and the surf was rolling in pretty good. I could imagine what would happen if sea levels would rise significantly as some predict. Those hotels and a whole lot of mansions along the ocean in Fort Lauderdale would be under water.

The surf rolls in at Fort Lauderdale.
The surf rolls in at Fort Lauderdale.

I guess that’s why everybody -- including those of us who live a long way from the water -- need to pay more for clean energy.

A few weeks after returning to Fargo, N.D., where it was 20 below and I wouldn’t have minded some global warming, I had my idea that man couldn’t really affect the weather challenged.

Leon Osborne, director of the Regional Weather Information Center at the University of North Dakota, was talking to the Northwest Farm Managers about past droughts in the U.S.

Man didn’t cause the 1930s drought, he said, but plowing up the Great Plains to plant wheat sure didn’t help the situation.

Could we be doing something now, too?

It seems like a stretch, but now I'm not sure.