A few weeks ago I published a note here about the environment, big pollutive cars and a number of other concerns. The current buzzword in everybody speeches these days is global warming however. It seems that the popular belief is that we (that is mankind) is having a disastrous effect on his environment, creating far too much greenhouse gases, warming the earth and causing the weather patterns to destabilize into chaos. That’’s the party line, Al gore promotes it, David Suzuki endorses it, Richard Branson has a web site ( Flick off ) counting down the seconds till disaster strikes. Is that the truth though?
I have been reading this week a series of articles published in the financial post that are interviews and comments from leading scientists who dispute the claims made about global warming. The “deniers” they are called, because they don’t pull the party line and jump straight on the global warming bandwagon. These scientists are not saying there is nothing to worry about, that we should go on polluting, driving fuel inefficient cars, wasting energy or any of that. What they are saying is that the science of global environment modeling is incredibly unsettled, far from perfect and doesn’t support the claims of the party line. In many cases scientists comments are misconstrued, quoted incorrectly or out of context, statistics are used selectively by non-statisticians in order to make a supporting case. The doomsayers are saying the answer is correct so we’ll make the science fit the answer because the consensus says so. Science (as Michael Crichton has said) is not about consensus, it’s about finding the truth of some fact or refuting it by some eveidence.
The deniers claim that the present global warming is most probably due to solar activity (and a lack thereof) which has been shown to be linked to warming and cooling cycles throughout earth’s history. Such activity has been the cause of mini-iceages and warming trends that were very similar to the present rise in temperatures that the global warming people claim is all down to man and his fiddling. The deniers claim that the global weather patterns are just one part of a massive dynamic system that is the universe that we live in and that it seems just a little arrogant to think that man (even the several billion of us that there is) moving about on this dust speck in this great universe should have such a global effect. They also note that Mars, our closest neighbor, a planet with not one person nor one mole of greenhouse gases is going through an exactly similar warming trend as earth now is. Imagine that, global warming on Mars.
Another factoid put up by the believers is the warming of the oceans, the melting of the ice caps and the Antarctic ice sheets. However the true science for the last 50 years shows that the Antarctic has cooled by several degrees over the last 50 years and that the ice sheets seem to be growing not shrinking. How can this be if global warming is so rapidly melting the ice caps? Alice would say it’s curiouser and curiouser.
Now you might get the idea from this note that I am now against the believers who say that global warming will be the death of us all. However that is not true at all, I am one of the uninformed at the mercy of the media and their spin doctors. It is nigh on impossible to get a true view of what is actually the situation here. The media is firmly behind the believers, the schools are firmly behind the believers (many play Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” movie with no counterpoint view and no counter discussion), dissenters seem to be quietly silenced ( the deniers claim that research grants, grad students, tenure and other perks are quietly delayed or even denied if they publicly dissent). The deniers claim the believers are manipulating the science to fit there claims, ignoring the bits that don’t fit, making claims with no basis and no evidence to back it up. The believers claim that the deniers are sticking their heads in the sand, making false assumptions, ascribing too much credence to outside factors, manipulating the science in their favor and generally don’t understand the big picture. How does one who is not a scientist or a politician get to the true view of things? The media? Can’t go there, already we know they are biased, promoting a particular view based more on profit, political leanings and popularity than the truth, the environment or your health and welfare. The scientists? Which ones, the naysayers or the doomsayers? I just recently learned that those funky little fluorescent bulbs that David Suzuki promotes have mercury in them, are incredibly toxic if broken, can’t just be put in the garbage bins (destined for the local landfill) and (in my experience at least) are not as bright, not exceptionally long lasting. So you can’t believe the media, can’t discern which of the scientists are right (and not manipulating (instead of reporting) the facts) and most certainly can’t trust anything a politician says. I guess that leaves the companies, corporations and others trying to market (for a profit) environmentally friendly products. You can always trust someone trying to turn a big profit. Right!
Seems the best we can actually do is to try to promote (by our purchasing patterns) environmentally better products ( at a reasonable cost), promote by our vote and our donations to our favorite schools more (more truthful and unbiased) study of the problems and all of the mitigating factors involved. We all should read, investigate and (be allowed to) speak out on both sides of the debate equally. Profit and political gain should not be a part of the investigations, of the science of global warming and environmental good sense.