Monday, 7 December 2009

The Lost Copenhagen Post

Day 1 of the Copenhagen climate Change Summit and i had prepared a sparkling witty, thought provoking and altogether smashing post. Then didn't save it and lost it when my computer froze whilst trying to download AVG updates.
It's too much to try and remember what i said but i know i began by stating that people who said the World wasn't flat and that the Earth went around the sun were probably disbelieved at first and even after they were proved right, there were some who still refused to believe them.
The term 'useful idiot' was thrown in here because it just seemed to sum up exactly what i think of people who blindly follow the likes of Richard Lindzen who get well remunerated by those with an interest in denying climate change. He gets a back pocket full of dead presidents, you get wet feet and asthma for all your misguided simpering.
I then linked these strange folks to climate change deniers who, despite all the evidence, continue to shake their heads and think it's all some convoluted Government scam.
Next up was the science bit as L'Oreal say with 800,000 year old ice cores that show that at no point in the past 800,000 years did levels approach today's carbon dioxide concentrations of around 387 parts per million (ppm) and that the fastest increase seen was 30 ppm over a period of approximately 1,000 years which we have seen in just under two decades.
Then i went through the proof of what we are seeing now with desertification, changing weather patterns, the rise in sea temperature, polar ice melts, warmer summers, spread of disease, crop failure, raising sea levels and the loss of eco systems.
It was starting to get a bit long by now so i ended with a short and snappy sentence that went along the lines of if you can look at all this evidence and still say that the climate is not changing, then you are either Richard Lindzen, an employee of Exxon Mobil or just painfully ignorant.
Shame i lost it all, it was quite a good post so i suppose i will have to write about something else instead.


Nog said...

Hmm... I'm staying out of this one...

Someone needs to post some vehement objection to your post so that I can watch the blood fly on both sides...

Seriously though, when each side views the other as a vast conspiracy, well I donno...

Lucy said...

I would like to see someone try and refute the evidence Nog. We can argue over the how and why (i say its man made or at the very least man has sped up the process) but not the evidence of our own eyes that the climate is changing.

Nog said...

Anecdotal evidence is often used to support pre-existing beliefs. The winter in Santa Fe is colder this year than it has been since I can remember. South Texas winters seem colder as time goes on as well. Nature is a funny thing.

Obviously the climate is changing, and in noticable and trendable ways. Nobody of any sense on either side disagrees with this. The macro-scale stuff is what is at disputes. Those graphs that both sides show are not as easy to make, as straight-forward, or as objective as their creators would generally have us believe. From my experience with higher order science, the ways that higher order science is presented to the layman and the substance of it are often very different. Take relativity and curved space-time. The Discovery Channel and TV news presentations of the concepts are so completely divorced from the concepts that are supposedly being explained, that one could fairly say that the shows on such things are more about boosting up TV ratings and profits and scientists' egos than conveying anything of objective substance. If I wanted to tell someone about space-time and relativity, I'd talk about boring, mostly high school level, applied geometry and algebra (and perhaps a tad of the most basic calculus and trigonometry). Nobody of any sense or honesty would ever explain space-time and relativity with shinny spaceships and those weird diagrams of space-time with black holes in them (this graph does not represent anything comprehensible to a layperson).

And yet we get the shinny spaceships and not the boring algebra. Similarly, we get fancy graphs and graphics when folks try to explain things like climate change. Generally, when someone is trying to explain a natural phenomena, if 4 out of 5 don't fall asleep in the first 5 minutes, they aren't getting at the substance of things. The fact that most of the "evidence" on both sides of the climate change debate that I have seen isn't the sort of boring simple stuff that awes none and bores everyone is a pretty strong indication to me that I am not being told anything at all.

Everyone in the climate change debate thinks that they have irrefutable evidence; and everyone has good snippets of evidence to side in their favor and against the other side. Both sides seem to have good evidence and bad evidence and truthful supporters and untruthful supporters. Both sides consider the other a vast conspiracy. They are mirror images of each other in ways that neither would ever care to admit.

I'll say what I think that I can fairly claim. The same pollution that is said to cause macro-scale problems seems to most certainly cause micro-scale problems. And all atmospheric emissions of any sort are a problem because those who make the emissions are only faced with a small fraction of the costs of those emissions.

So this all leads me to two conclusions:
>A) The macro-scale claims have not been proven to my satisfaction
>B) It doesn't really matter, because I would propose similar policies to deal with various airborne emissions whether or not a macro-scale problem has been shown to exist on the orders of magnitude that some have said.