Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Climate: Gates and Melting.

After my last post I learnt two things:

  • The best posts are those you write just on the whim in the middle of the night. I can't remember who it was but a very famous author said "You never have to go back and edit what you get up to write at 2 in the morning."
  • People have an aversion to leaving comments around here. I got messages and texts and all manner of comments about it, but none were left here. Leave it here biatches.
Anyway, on with the show. After preaching about the evils of preaching yesterday, I'll today be preaching about climate change. Well, not so much preaching as talking about, but the two sometimes blend.

Climate change, it's the modern day evolution. Most serious scientists who study it agree it's happening, but it doesn't sit well on the stomach for others so they decide to flat deny it or put it down to 'natural cycles'. Please try to stick this through because even if I can persuade one person that this is a real threat it'll be a victory, though only a small one if its just the one. So here's what the IPCC say and what I'll be arguing is true:

"An increasing body of observations gives a collective picture of a warming world and other changes in the climate system... There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities."

Now it says something on how strong the argument is that on one side you have the scientific societies of many countries, whole dedicated organisations and nobel prize winners, whilst on the other you have a handful of scientists who usually don't even study a hugely relevant subject.

But still, we have to keep making the argument because in the most recent survey I could find on YouGov only 28% of people agreed with the majority of scientists that global warming was an urgent problem, whilst another 29% thought it was happening but we had plenty of time. Amazingly 33% of people thought scientists were divided on the issue and another 7% thought it definitely wasn't happening. Some of you might point out that even if I say only a few scientists disagree with the orthodox view, that's still a divide. Well, it is, but you can never expect every scientist in the world to agree on anything. I'm sure there's a few somewhere in the world that think the earth is flat and the moon is just the back of the sun. They are massively stacked on one side of the argument, unlike the public it would seem.

Maybe that's starting to change now, even the disgusting, xenophobic, horrifically written piece of dirt newspaper that is the Daily Mail, which has long been the home of the sceptics, seems to have changed its mind. (Can you tell I'm not a fan of that particular 'news' paper?)

But anyway I promised some evidence, that is if anyone is interested enough to bother following the links, but they're there if you want them:
  • The largest study into changes in global temperature found that it was 'very likely' that man was responsible for the bulk of observed climate change. - "Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations."
  • This warming does not fit into the so called 'natural cycle' of a warming and then cooling earth over millions of years which some people claim is the real driver behind climate change. - "Palaeoclimatic information supports the interpretation that the warmth of the last half century is unusual in at least the previous 1,300 years."

  • Even if we keep levels even or only reduce them down to year 2000 levels, warming will still continue at a fast pace. i.e. We need drastic action. - "Continued greenhouse gas emissions at or above current rates would cause further warming and induce many changes in the global climate system during the 21st century that would very likely be larger than those observed during the 20th century."
So there you have it, here's some of the other places that say man is the major contributor to global warming and its devastating effects - The IPCC, United States Global Change Research Program, Arctic Council as well as the royal and scientific societies of these countries: UK, US, Germany, France, Japan, China, Canada, Italy, Malaysia, Ireland, South Africa, Turkey, Brazil, Zambia and quite a lot more.

I'd say that was a pretty conclusive consensus. I certainly can't find this 'divide' that the UK public seems to think is present.

Well done if you made it this far, I appreciate it might not be the most interesting topic, but it's certainly an important one. And whilst a lot of the time it may seem like scare-mongering, that's because without emphasising the risks, no one would ever take an interest before it was too late. This isn't something you can wish away with money once its happened, you have to sort it before the event, and that can be a tricky thing to sell to the population.

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