Sunday, December 6

Hot & Bothered about Global Warming?

[WARNING: RANT MODE ON]

Demonstrations on London streets. Nepalese Cabinet meeting on Everest. Global leaders get together for Copenhagen Summit

Spotted the common link yet?

Yep - Global Warming is back on The Agenda.

Again.

Not that it really went away for some. But in the run up to the little get together of powerful people (on expenses) in Copenhagen, a wide variety of PR machines are ramping up to full power to Get Their Voice Heard.



And what voices.

" Together we DEMAND practical action by the UK to prevent global warming rising beyond the 2 degrees C danger threshold"
Stop Climate Chaos Coalition


"..we'll converge with thousands of others from around the world in Copenhagen to RECLAIM power and build a movement for climate JUSTICE"
Camp For Climate Action


My what a truly tolerant bunch. And making use of hard won democratic freedoms to make such autocratic demands.

N
ow I probably know as much (as little?) as the next person on this particular subject. Or as much as I want to be spoon fed. But it still doesn’t stop the various media outlets force feeding me a continual deluge of conflicting opinions, and occasional fact, in a determined effort to Keep Me Informed
(Whatever happened to News - ah carefree days before Opinion turned up)

S
o why do I feel that I know less today than ever before? And more frankly - care even less than in the past. Especially as my personal lifestyle interactions (so experts lecture at me) will affect Global Meltdown Really Quite Soon?


So
me basic facts:
1. W
hatever the climate change I won’t be around to see the result. Most likely neither will my kids. Beyond that time frame, I don't really lie awake worrying to be honest.

Selfish? Nope. Just less relevant than the more immediate pressures of day to day living & making sure the kids grow to adulthood as Good People rather than Bad People.


2. Will the seas boil? Or will the rivers freeze?

No-one seems to agree, apart from a media consensus that Its All Really Quite Terrible. And occasionally someone points out that the Earth's climate has always warmed-up & cooled-down over the millennia. So exactly why is the current situation so different, aside from the guesses at timing?

H
ow do we really know that this wasn't the case in the past? (and just how was temperature & timeline recorded so accurately 20,000 years ago anyway?)

3. Its all my fault

I try to live in a general and considerate harmony with my surroundings (most outdoor enthusiasts tend to) But as one person amongst millions living across many First World Industrialised Nations, where Wealth & Power rules alongside Industrial Processes, well what difference do I really make?

O
K. I've heard the argument that it all has to start somewhere; First step of a long journey ….etc.

B
ut frankly…..can I really be arsed whilst I watch the majority of those around me, especially in the pre Xmas consumer insanity, happily drive their personal (eco friendly?) car betwixt a variety of retail outlets. Their insatiable urge to acquire goods that aren't really required, in a never ending and pointless paradox of expanding capitalism.

Consume or Die indeed.

And come the evening. It's time to settle down in the centrally heated hothouse called Home, before the 42" Plasma HD TV, to watch a parade of meaningless drivel (Celebrity Come Dancing Reality X Stars) and maybe order a home delivery of rubber tasting fast food, using one of the several mobile phones owned (and soon to be discarded) over the last couple of years. All without moving from the chair, so saving energy. And all at no socio-economic cost of course.

Do such people care about Global Warming?

Whilst many may earnestly declare they do, it seems to me that very few actually really give a damn when it comes down to downgrading their lifestyle. Drastically. And that is what is required.


Meanwhile any democratic elected Government that attempts to enforce such change would last only a short while before the Simpering Opposition Alternative promises to restore loss of privileges. Plus a bit more.

Ce la vie.

So how many of the "thousands of others from around the world" will be walking or cycling to Copenhagen?

And how many will fly or drive?


Point made?

I've a simpler solution to the perils of Global Warming:
1. Reduce the world's population by at least 40%.

2. Enforce a steep drop in daily living standards firstly amongst the industrialised populations, then the wannabes

3. Ban travel by any means other than self propulsion.

B
ut whatever you happen to decide - just please stop bothering me!

I
know why I live the lifestyle in the way that I do. And I believe I'm not so hypocritical as to Demand, Force, or Reclaim anything from anyone, especially where such Demands are so bloody unrealistic as to be pointless. Except for the TV cameras and club-joiners.

S
o please - sod off and leave me alone Eco-Warrior & Catastrophe Expert.

At least until Copenhagen is over & the media dust once again settles gently back onto tarmac covered ground. And the majority of humankind goes back to its basic nature of Sod tomorrow - what about today?


[WARNING: RANT MODE OFF]

[Apologies to any Hippies that may have tripped across this brief jotting.

Y
es I know that you really care; And yes I know that I'm an ignorant, selfish & uncaring bastard with no regard for generations as yet unborn.

B
ut I'm not just one voice. Merely an extremely small cog in a huge and bloody movement called human history. With a tale to tell - The Masses always win, even if some do happen to die along the way]

BBC Glossary: What's it all about?

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Comments:
Good one John. Some common feeling there. I'm fed up with being hectored by holier than thou politicians/"eco warriors". How many delegates travelled to the conference by bike/train/sea? Bet most went by air/car. I'm in agreement that minimising mankind's impact on the world makes sense, whether global warming is true or not.

However, I'm fed up with the hysterical tone being adopted and the lack of quality debate (see Cameron on windfarms). One of the biggest problems we face in the world today is that both the political and commercial world is ruled by a constant stream of "initiatives" rather than cool debate and long term planning. All appearance and no substance. That's why the world is in a mess and no-one believes politicians or experts.
 
Very good post! Thanks
 
the other thing is that the man made global warming debate (climate change is a fact it is the man made bit that is at question) is diverting attention from other very real environmental concerns about pollution, rain forests etc. I am not at all convinced about man made global warming...but then I am a heretic that eats lots of butter and thinks saturated fat is healthy
 
There are a lot of things about this "you must believe us that we are bad for the planet" enforced ethos that really grate me up the wrong way...

First up - we aren't given the raw facts, we're given the "processed" versions, tainted by popular opinion, political spin and broadcasting whim. We're being told constantly that wholefoods are better for us than the processed crap, but when it comes to knowledge it's all different.

Second? Climate change. It's natural. Without it, there would be no evolution. Moreover, it's true to say that the converse is also true, as evolution has caused climate change - think of the advent of photosynthesis and the effect of all that toxic oxygen on the planet. The big problem here is that mankind is convinced that we have to keep the planet in a state of suspended animation just as we like it, so that we don't have to evolve further. That's global arrogance, based on politicians thinking that they can control a whole planet when in reality they can't even control themselves.

Third - species are transient things, the geological record tells us that in no uncertain terms. As exploiters, opportunists and predators we've risen to the top of the current evolutionary pile just like the cream that rises to the top of unprocessed milk. (Hmmm... isn't it the cream that gets pecked at by tits before going mouldy?) The planet may well be changing, but there's no reason to believe that we have any part in what it changes to, just because we've been a success so far. Look around - do you see any dinosaurs, any ammonites, any trilobites, any herds of cyanobacteria sweeping majestically across the plain? I don't, but then again I'm in Leicestershire. Maybe it's different in Westminster and Copenhagen?

Sadly, even if we were to be given the untainted facts and the opportunity to make our own informed judgements, it would be to no avail. The folk in power have an aversion to acting on the mandate of the people, choosing instead to rule in a manner that garners support for just one more term in office. And still they have the gall to tell us to do what they regard as the right thing!!!

BTW, I'm with Chris on the butter and satfats thing :-)
 
Don't forget the fags there Stef
;-)
 
The untainted facts are easily available if you look for them. On science sites not political or environmental ones. Certainly the "noise" of politicians and various groups isn't very helpful and can be annoying. And certainly the idea of "saving the earth" is daft. The earth isn't going anywhere. We are talking about the human race not the planet or life in general.

And the climate does change all the time. The problem though is the speed of current change. All the evidence suggests it will be faster than we can easily adapt to unless we do something now. For us in Britain the effects of climate change may not be too great. For many developing countries they could catastrophic.

Governments will only act if there is enough pressure on them to do so, hence all the shouting. And unfortunately, governments, about which I'm as cynical as anybody, are a major vehicle for effecting change. The Copenhagen conference is important and the result, whatever it is, will have a big effect on the future.
 
Good points from BG and Chris T. The climate does change. I think of that every time I walk in a Glen Coe - it was created by glaciers that have since melted. It got warmer.

However with respect to Chris T's first point, I am not convinced that there are untainted facts out there. Everything is political there are lots of agendas out there through which people present and interpret the "facts". In all this climate gate email debate at the moment it is clear that the scientists have a position to defend. Another thing that has come out of that discussion is not the emails themselves but the computer code - there are questions about how the models used the data and whetehr it was "cleansed".

It is all complicated stuff and I am very concerned about the environment - pollution, populations, conservation....I'm just not convinced about the man made element of man made global warming.

Science is always provisional anyway - it never gives you facts. Especially with something like climate change - arguments from the past - it is all about creating models full of assumptions. Things can correlate....but correlation doesn’t equal causation.


All the talk of "deniers" doesn't help either. Most sceptics agree that climate change is happening and that man might have something to do with it but they question the degree to which man is affecting things.
 
@Chris T:

I still stand by my statement that "... we aren't given the raw facts, we're given the "processed" versions...", and I do agree with your statement that "The untainted facts are easily available if you look for them". There is no conflict between these two views.

It's a media problem, methinks. They give you what they want you to have, but you have to go get the good stuff yourself. Filtered, biased, dumbed-down, polarized, call it what you will, it's still not "raw". The contents of bleeding-edge research papers don't often make it to us via the popular media. Maybe it's time for a new telly channel devoted to such stuff.

All this talk of "deniers" is turning me on - something to do with black nylons and fishnet stockings, perhaps? :-)
 
BG, the media certainly gives a distorted dumbed down version. Much of the media has an agenda, especially newspapers, and the tabloids are more interested in sensationalism than reality. This a problem for information in general of course not just global warming.

John, I'm convinced that the human contribution to global warming is enough that we should do something about it. There are various different models as to what different possibilities could mean. None of them are good news so in a sense it doesn't matter which one is correct. The overall message is that fast global warming will be nasty for humanity.

I do think that other environmental concerns - especially nature conservation - have been sidelined and that global warming is being touted as the only environmental problem. I'm disappointed that groups like Friends of the Earth that used to have wide ranging concerns now appear to think global warming overrides everything else.
 
Bit late spotting this thread - sorry!
I totally agree with Chris (not Chris T) on this one. The models used by the 'climatologists' prove absolutely nothing.

In fact, you could insert random numbers into the data input set and achieve exactly the same result, which the climatologists think 'proves' man-made-global warming.

The link that Chris provides shows just that.

As BG says - until the raw data set is 'allowed out' for proper peer review then it is all jusyt a theory and not 'fact'.

It is interesting to note that in a highly unscientific straw poll of my friends from University all five of the science grads believed there were major flaws with the climatologists arguments and all six of the Arts students believed the hype about AGW (man made etc etc.

Enlightening. How many of the BBC & ITV journos are Arts students?
 
Good piece, John.

Emotive hype always tends to undermine the argument it purports to support - rather like the Polar Bear Ad from the appropriately named 'Plane Stupid'.

But I'll be interested to see how Channel 4's latest project, Man on Earth treats the subject in its first episode tonight. Maybe, just maybe, we'll have more balanced view than usual.
 
Oops...sorry...must have stumbled across the Outdoor Bloggers Forum by mistake!

I thought this debate had been put to bed a week ago (lol). Nice to see the weans are still playing.

One thing geological time tells us (with some degree of certainty - I know I've hunted for fossils)is that things become extinct if they don't adapt.

Ignoring the rights and wrongs of the arguement it would appear to be a truism that we need to adapt to continue our survival.

I'm happy to recycle my rubbish, burn my low energy light bulbs and trundle off to work in my little high mpg Fiat Panda...but I'm (next word omitted as it's someone elses blog)if I'm going to stop driving up to the Gorms or the Mamores to go hillwalking in my whopping great 4x4 until those earning a damn sight more than me stop jetting off on hols and business trips and running their brand new Mercs and BM's.

Hmm...on balance maybe I'm next for extinction.

Mind you shouldn't we all be staying out of the wilds if we care so much about our environment? Now there's a thought.
 
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