Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The light goes on and no extra carbon created!

Climate change: like everyone else, I'm getting ping-ponged, back and forth, between the two main points of view.

Essentially it appears that there is a bit of world-warming going on and there is an increase in CO2.
There is the first argument; which comes first in this chicken and egg situation?
To complicate this, some say that water vapour has even more influence than CO2
If warming is coming first, then is it not part of the natural cycle of world warming and cooling that has been going on for thousands, if not millions of years?
The best method might be to examine the past; have a look at these graphs:

The next argument is around the role of humanity - is our atmospheric waste exacerbating the witches-brew of world weather patterns?
There are too many views on both sides to be sure.

Maybe the wise amongst us just nod, say nothing and get on with their lives, rather than waste effort in pointless debate. The people who benefit from this debate are, in my mind, either financed in their research and/or set to become financially better off by carbon trading.

The reality is that no one knows what is going to happen in the next 10, 20, 100 or 200 years. It's educated guess-work and no computer model is up to the task good. Heck, predicting next week's weather is still a challenge.

Many of us who lived through the spectre of the cold war and threat of MAD, courtesy of the US and Russian missiles/bombers, see climate change (when did it change from global warming?!) as just the next big thing....actually the kissing cousin of 'Terrorism', to keep our attention focused. Rather like driving past a traffic accident, we know we shouldn't look, but the pull is irresistible and, much like Bluebeard's wife, we reluctantly count the cost of our curiosity.
Of course it's different if this is all on/in the daily news; the traffic accident comes to you, with advertising for free

Rather than give up, I've decided that the easiest thing to do is compare the copious information with what I already know, am experiencing and can see out the window.

My thoughts are:
1. That humanity is really wasteful and polluting
2. We need to clean up our act for other reasons as well: oil shortages (an associated plastics made from oil) and the bizarre goals of increasing profits and economic growth when surely, we should be aiming for stability?
3. The world has bad and good weather all the time
4. Humanity has an exploding population that has increasingly little tolerance for food supply
5. There is no proof of humans causing this current situation: if there was, then it would have been packaged up nicely and delivered to everyone well before this conference in Copenhagen.
6. The change in living habits, that the activists want, is the right thing, for the wrong reasons (as they're not conclusively proven).

I am really worried that bankers/traders/profiteers will somehow hijack the whole scenario and make lots of money from pointless trading in carbon (does this remind anyone of the emperor's new clothes?!) while Greenpeace and the other groups are labelled as the bad guys for lowering living standards. There must much more on the agenda that we're not privy too.

If we do end up assisting the 3rd world, by transferring wealth to them (yes, I'm in a 1st world country), then we should actually go to the countries and do the work in partnership. I've lived and worked in 3rd world countries. My experience has been that the standard way of business is to skim the money and then the local companies are not very effective anyway. They do do their best, but if we're committed to making the big changes in the best way, then this better be done right and not like a lolly scramble that only the lucky ones take part in.

An entertaining, skeptics, guide to climate change/global warming/tour description... is here:

What do you think?