We should realise that something as complex as climate has many contributing factors that lead to change. To assume that everything is caused by humans or everything by natural causes is far too simplistic. For that reason it is rather difficult to make any precise predictions of the future. So … processes that contribute to warming and such contributing to cooling … not only can happen, but they do, and they always did. What now is sold as new ideas and change to previous scientific knowledge is actually nothing really new other than that one aspect from an extremely complex process is taken out and displayed as the whole truth.
For a long time, I’ve had some fairly unconventional thinking about climate change.
It all began when a friend studying geography in the mid-1980s told me about the arctic ice melting. She was way ahead of the game. I listened to her with some interest but didn’t really understand the potential consequences.
I was more concerned about keeping my grades at the straight-A level and how my new stereo system sounded! College… back in the 80s the stereo system was a big deal. Not sure if that holds true today.
Anyhow, my friend tells me her tale about the melting ice cap and soonafter I go overseas, winning a Commonwealth Scholarship for India with those straight-A’s I worked so hard to get.
Suddenly I understand what it means to live in a warm – make that hot – climate.
Indian winters were like summer and summers like hell. It felt like the devil was breathing heat through my open window on a hot summer day. A good experience but I don’t know if I would want to live that way.
Now the entire planet is warming up. Apparently, we’re about a degree and a half hotter than the 20th-century average. At least, that’s what a recent US report says.
Why did I doubt climate change?
Well, I never fully doubted the data about warming. Although I must say, I wonder if incomplete and inaccurate measuring techniques in the past contribute to recent comparisons.
Put simply, we have the tech to monitor the global temp now. But it wasn’t always that way. A few dodgy mercury thermometers dotted around the planet in the 1700s do not compare with today’s meteorological and climatological methods. So any comparison between the past and the present must face and admit the fact of measurement uncertainty.
Still, today’s receding ice compels us to accept that yes, the Earth seems to have warmed a net amount, even if the Arctic is warming faster than other areas.
Most interpret this as bad news but it might not be bad for everyone on the planet. Many of those who have a good time now, environmentally speaking, are concerned they will lose that. However, some in the frozen north wonder if a bit of warming might free up new greenspaces.
To add to the story, to say that climate change is wholly manmade is something we cannot be certain about. Sure Mr. Trudeau will tell you it’s all about carbon because he wants to rationalize his carbon tax. He also wants to appear like a ‘global leader’ because that’s his game.
One thing I do find alarming is the lack of intelligent discussion about climate change. I am not a denyer. But I do like to think about things as fully as possible.
Is that a crime in the 21st century?