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The myth of Global Warming

Tuesday, 24 June 2008 — by

Much has been said about global warming. Some argue it’s the most pressing issue of our time, while others dismiss it as a contemporary myth. Whether global warming is fact or fiction, a change in our habits could be all that’s needed to change the world…

img-earthI won’t be delving into the minutia of global warming. I have neither the time nor the inclination. So if you expected this to be my take on the issues surrounding global warming, you’re in for a let down.

Instead, I want to look at the myth of global warming. No, that’s not me weighing in on the side of the nay-sayers, because that would be too easy. A modern day myth has built up around global warming simply because of how we all see the fingerprint of climate change in our own lifetimes.

Whether our interpretation of our weather is right or wrong, we all seem to have a view. And the consensus seems to be bleak. And I for one think that’s a good thing!

By studying tree rings (an area of research called dendrochronology) as well as mud and ice core samples, evidence indicates that we humans have changed the climate of the Earth.

However, it’s the amount and the rate of change that’s the forefront of so much political posturing and scientific debate.

Lies, damned lies and climatological statistics

People are scared, because in the absence of knowledge, rumour, hear-say and outright lies back fill the void. I say let that vacuum fill up with all the lies and deceitful nonsense people can think of!

Let’s scare the crap out of everyone and leave every single citizen on this Earth looking to whatever it is they believe in for salvation.

Now, you’re probably wondering why on Earth I’d want to spread so much fear, uncertainty and doubt. The answer is deceptively simple; people rarely do what’s right voluntarily. To focus people’s minds, you usually have to stand them right in front of their impending future like it was a freight train heading straight for them.

From where most people are standing, global warming is that future freight train, and it’s arriving soon.

We’re past incremental, government-sanctioned changes to emissions laws, tree planting policies, urban green belts, recycling targets and environmental awareness programs — we have to change almost everything we do in our daily lives right now, and that includes businesses, too.

A global warming problem halved is a problem solved — business and consumers unite

Too much legislation is being laid at the feet of the consumer, when businesses need to be made responsible for the vast amounts of packaging they produce for their goods:

“A lot of the time, the waste materials that the average household has to deal with is unreasonable; shrink-wrapped fruits and needlessly bulky double packaging of other food items are just two examples of the crap we walk out of our local supermarkets with.”

In addition, more efficient and less wasteful manufacturing processes as well as supply chain methods would help reduce our impact on the environment:

“Think of all those orphaned “wall wart” chargers for mobile phones and other devices. Why don’t the phone and gadget manufacturers get their heads together and standardize on just the one type of charger?

This holds true for a lot of things. There’s just no excuse for the continual re-invention of something when a standardized method means cost savings for everyone, alleviating the pressures on the environment into the bargain, also.”

As the leader of any major religion will doubtlessly attest, fear and ignorance are fantastically powerful motivators.

Let the politicians squabble like children. Let the scientists bury each other in a blizzard of paperwork. Let the bloggers spew forth factual inaccuracies, perpetuating the cycle of the Echo Chamber Effect, banging on the environmental catastrophe drum until their collective hands bleed.

We’re at a way point in our civilization, one that demands wholesale change by everyone. We must all make the same change, which means making the same sacrifices.

If we don’t change our ways, one day, there may be no doubt that global warming is real…

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Ben → Wednesday, 25 June 2008 @ 14:43 BDT

Finally! Someone that agrees with me that Global Warming is not happening because of anything we have done, it just is. Just like temperatures are rising, some scientists predict the same, but opposite events to come in hundreds of years time.

Ben Ayers → Thursday, 26 June 2008 @ 3:47 BDT

There is consensus about anthropogenic climate change and it includes the following:
1) the climate is undergoing a pronounced warming trend beyond the range of natural variability;
2) the major cause of most of the observed warming is rising levels of the greenhouse gas CO2;
3) the rise in CO2 is the result of burning fossil fuels;
4) if CO2 continues to rise over the next century, the warming will continue; and
5) a climate change of the projected magnitude over this time frame represents potential danger to human welfare and the environment.
These conclusions have been explicitly endorsed by …
Academia Brasiliera de Ciências (Bazil)
Royal Society of Canada
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Academié des Sciences (France)
Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina (Germany)
Indian National Science Academy
Accademia dei Lincei (Italy)
Science Council of Japan
Russian Academy of Sciences
Royal Society (United Kingdom)
National Academy of Sciences (United States of America)
Australian Academy of Sciences
Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and the Arts
Caribbean Academy of Sciences
Indonesian Academy of Sciences
Royal Irish Academy
Academy of Sciences Malaysia
Academy Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
In addition to these national academies, the following institutions specializing in climate, atmosphere, ocean, and/or earth sciences have endorsed these conclusions:
NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
National Academy of Sciences (NAS)
State of the Canadian Cryosphere (SOCC)
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Royal Society of the United Kingdom (RS)
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
American Meteorological Society (AMS)
Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS)

nommo → Monday, 30 June 2008 @ 15:04 BDT

I like the way you constructed this article – unlike the first commenter – I understand that you are NOT saying that Climate Change is a myth – but that there is a ‘mythical’ status about it caused by the polemic ‘chipping-in’ of the moonbats and wingnuts on the subject.

It is quite simple really – when looking at cybernetics and game theory (neither of which I am an expert in I hasten to add!)

1. In order to ‘win’ – the game must come to an end – that is capitalism/consumerism – and with regards to resource exploitation – the end game is that it will run out (not without a number of people converting those natural resources into more liquid and portable forms of wealth). I am sure there will be some kind of ‘selfish gene’ explanation regarding the accumulation of wealth beyond our ability to benefit directly within our lifetime but I will not go into that now.

2. We (humans) are not capable of creating perfect systems. Nature has been trying for millions of years and has only just come close with planet earth (and look what we are doing with that little system). What makes us so great that we think we can start creating systems that are sustainable at this point in our evolution..? (I will answer that one – greed see above or delusions of grandeur).

Just my 2 pence’s worth :)

Dan → Friday, 4 July 2008 @ 17:16 BDT

I will agree there are some issues of Global Warming that are shaky, but I still believe that we humans have added the the growing problem, and have damaged this planet.

Humans are violent animals who see themselves at the top of the food chain, when in fact we are not. Lock a naked human in a cage with a tiger and see what happens. Technology does not automatically move us to the top of the chain. Afterall, Ebola will kick your ass given the chance.

The planet will attempt to correct itself. If you believe Chaos theory then all the strip mining of the planet is also causing problems with our climate. Regardless if we are affecting the climate, we are affecting the planet and we need to stop.

Mankind is a virus that invades an area, takes it over, destroys its resources, and moves on to another area.

In man vs nature, nature will win… because nature has more time than we do.
We have destroyed this planet without ever once saying thank you to it.

Jerry Loggins → Friday, 4 July 2008 @ 20:10 BDT

You are absolutely right in the sense that people will not change voluntarily, and that we will need to scare the bejeezus out of them to change their ways. I guess that’s what needs to be done to slow down how badly we are damaging the earth.

Wayne Smallman → Friday, 4 July 2008 @ 22:31 BDT

Hi guys, as always, thanks for commenting!

Ben: “Finally! Someone that agrees with me that Global Warming is not happening because of anything we have done, it just is.”

I’m making to claims either way, fella. That’s the very thing I’m avoiding!

Ben Ayers, thanks for all the figures, but that’s really not the purpose of what I’m getting at.

I’m simply uninterested in statistics.

Nommo, you touch on some points that I kind of lean towards in a two-parter of mine looking into the question of there being alien life.

Tangential I know, but related. Good observations, too! I think you make some really valid points.

Dan, have you read Gaia by James Lovelock? Worth reading. The idea that the Earth is a super organism is strangely compelling. Also, the idea that we’re acting like a virus on our host makes sense, too.

Jerry, glad you agree! We need to change things quickly…

nommo → Friday, 1 August 2008 @ 13:02 BDT

Wayne – I forgot to say – I really enjoyed reading your two-parter on the question of there being alien life… thought provoking stuff.

I hope we bump into each other one day, and we can stay up all night having tangential conversations and put the world to rights.. in the meantime – I will keep coming back to Blahblahtech to see what’s been on your mind…

Peaces

Wayne Smallman → Friday, 1 August 2008 @ 16:10 BDT

Glad you liked the alien life article! That’s still a personal favourite of mine.

I write about a lot of stuff, so I’m sure there’s something in here for most things you’ve got an interest in.

Speak soon and thanks again…

Lawrence King → Saturday, 15 November 2008 @ 1:18 BDT

Many scientists have studied this global phenomenon. For example, Dr. Michael Mann is known for the “hockey stick graph,” a plot of the past millennium’s temperature that shows the drastic influence of humans in the 20th century. Specifically, temperature remains essentially flat until about 1900, then rises dramatically like the upturned blade of a hockey stick. The work was also the first to add error bars to the historical temperatures and allow for regional reconstructions of temperature.

The conclusion of the work was clear: global mean temperature began to rise dramatically in the early 20th century. That rise coincided with the unprecedented release of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases into the earth’s atmosphere, leading to the conclusion that industrial activity was boosting the world’s mean temperature. Other researchers have subsequently confirmed the plot.

A detailed discussion of global warming may be found on One Biosphere.

However, there is substantial ongoing debate about the details of the temperature record and the means of its reconstruction, centered on the Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998), “hockey stick” graph.

Sorry Comments are close. Quite possibly for a good reason. Share your thoughts on some of my other posts or contact me directly.

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