Sunday, March 11, 2007

More on Global Warming

Another point worth making about the global warming debate is this: if history, both human and geological, has taught us anything it is that the climate changes all the time. To say that the climate is "changing" is like saying... the weather is changing. Weather changes on a daily basis. The global climate changes on a timescale of decades, centuries and millennia.

Consider this: suppose we had discovered that CO2 emissions due to human industrial activity were causing a greenhouse effect that was causing the global temperature to rise. Suppose then everyone said: well OK, so what do we do now? The people from developing countries would say: "Well we want to develop into healthy, liberal, progressive, democratic, industrial countries like the UK and Sweden and Germany - you guys had the huge advantage of massive natural resources and not having to worry about CO2 emissions when you had your enlightenment/industrial revolution phase - we need to produce CO2 to develop!"

To which the developed nations will reply: "Well I guess we need to ration oil and so forth so that developing countries will have a share as they industrialise, but the problem is that it is sub-Saharan Africa that will suffer most if global temperatures rise! Perhaps we shouldn't let the Africans develop! For their own good!"

A bit of a catch 22. Made worse by the fact that oil is a finite resource.

It is worth pointing out that at the root of all this is people. It is people that matter. The Earth is a ball of iron and rock floating through space, it doesn't need us. The global ecology is more resilient and diverse than anything ever created by humans, it doesn't need us.

It is sad that the most interesting (to us) and wonderful (to us) creatures are likely to suffer from climate-change-induced Gaian down-sizing. I think that we should certainly try to store as much of the genetic diversity of our planet before it disappears as we can, particularly if it is disappearing due to human activity (regardless of greenhouse-gas produced by humans causing climate change).

However there are fragile, frail human beings living in circumstances that we in the developed states would hate to live in. These people want desperately to be like us and live longer, happier, and have more fun.

We need to sweep away all the politics and Green pseudo-morality and decide how we will get out of this catch 22 and improve the standards of living and fend off the most horrible things there are: death, disease, poverty and war.

This article from The Guardian irritates me because it doesn't address the points I mention. It also rather blithely dismisses the arguments offered in TGGWS out of hand. This strikes me as rather lazy, after all if CO2 emissions rise and fall after changes in temperatures, which could actually be caused by solar activity, via the mechanism of the oceans drawing in CO2 when they are cold and emitting CO2 when they are hot (or was that the other way around?), then it is certainly worth commenting on.

The global warming cause has been hijacked by those who believe in a rather puritan two-legs-bad, four-legs-and-trees-good version of environmentalism. It is all rather worrying.

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