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This May Be My Only Posting….

March 29, 2012

A guy called Dave just posted a comment over at the Planet Under Pressure – Live post. It was eloquent, passionate and well constructed.  I think it is worth posting here, with my own reply to Dave’s comment below it.

“This may be my only posting – I live at sea level and the world I’ve known for 60 years is going to hell in a handbasket, faster than I can explain the changes to my grandchildren. How do I explain that while the Titanic is only minutes from hitting the iceberg, most people are drunk, dancing or arguing on the back deck, or simply watching the BBC?

My sense is that most “activists” who contribute so many frequent keyboard strokes to this website simply have too much time on their hands, or have no real community they can participate in building. Some may have economic reasons for keeping up a steady flow of bafflegab that has yet to introduce much new evidence of scientific malfeasance. To me it seems like the time for the eloquent punditocracy is over, the time for action is upon us. Our grandchildren might ask if we were merely blogging and tweeting while the Earth burned and drowned. We’d do better to be using our muscles at something real like growing our own food, or helping out around town instead of waiting for the govt. we despise to do it for us, using taxes we dont want to pay.

Of course we are terrified of the “New World Order”, or any other creeping symptoms of fascism that can co-opt the widespread angst about how we’ve crapped in our nest and have to live with the sh*t for eons to come. We are terrified of governance in general when we have so many examples of utterly dysfunctional and corrupt governments on the national scale, and now the added spice of ascendant religious factions trying to bring their own end-times prophecies to fruition.

But we still have science. Hard, cautious and validated scientific evidence. Scientists even know how to co-operate and achieve amazing things. But we as a species are in Overshoot, and are still climbing out on the branch that is inevitably going to break. We have indeed created the Anthropocene in the blink of an eye, we are indeed hurtling towards the Bottleneck of biodiversity with a brick on the accelerator pedal, and the consequences of such folly are never good.

Planet under pressure? Surely we little monkeys can’t be the problem, the Earth is so big and the Sun is even bigger. Oh dear, how we underestimate our hubris! How we distort the scales of time and space. Not only are there 7 billion ambitious and competitive people and their 4 billion hungry livestock, there are also 3.7 billion internal combustion engines on fire, several tens of thousands of power stations and half a billion fossil-fuelled fishboats chasing far fewer fish. There are standing armies of 400 million brainwashed men, armed and ready for the kill with weapons that must be used before they become obsolete. Add it all up and Nature, let alone Peace and Compromise, doesn’t really stand a chance when push comes to shove. We are like yeast in the vat just before the final doubling. We are at 11.59 on the doomsday clock, and hey….”all is well”.

Carry on folks, I’m sure there are plenty of messengers like me for skeptics to shoot at. Just make sure the target isn’t just an ugly image in the mirror.”

First of all, thank you for you comment Dave.  I welcome opposing views in a debate.  That stands in stark contrast to blogs like Skeptical Science and Real Climate who have been caught altering,  deleting, changing context and ignoring the comments of people who have challenged them in their blog posts.

Let me tell you about me.

25 years ago, at the tender age of 14 I stood up in front of my parents when the 6 o’clock news was on and started to rant.  I could not understand my fathers skepticism of the reports that global warming was the greatest threat to humanity ever.  I ranted that the ice was melting, the polar bears would die and I would not have a future.  The planet had a decade before it would become dangerous, unstoppable and overhwhelming for our society. For a decade I held that view and was a nailed down left-wing, Labour-voting, trade-union supporting socialist environmentalist.

Then I realised that it had been 20 years since that rant I had made aged 14, and I could see precious little changing.  Sea level rise was little different in pace than it had been since the end of the last ice age.  Antarctic ice extent was increasing.  Arctic sea ice was decreasing, but the polar bear population was stable or increasing past 25,000 animals. I looked closer at the claim the Arctic was the “canary in the coalmine” and began to realise that we have absolutely no idea how thew Arctic sea ice grew or shrunk before the mid 1970’s.  I realised, with no rational thought process whatsoever, that Arctic sea ice was assumed by the experts and the advocate to basically remain completely static – with no evidence to support that assumption.

Everywhere I looked I saw evidence of a slightly warming world, but without the catastrophe I had been promised happening.  I looked at the global air temp record and saw that there was an equally steep rise between 1910 and 1940, when scientists said that the human fingerprint on climate has only been there since the late 1970’s. I wondered how the Viking artifacts on Greenland were only just beginning to be uncovered beneath the tundra.  I wondered how high-Alpine archaeology was only just becoming possible due to retreating glaciers and yet finding evidence of high alpine settlement in the bronze age.

I wondered how the first IPCC report showed a Medieval Warm Period, yet subsequently, every dataset seemed to seek to suppress it.  I looked at Michael Mann’s “hockey Stick” which eradicated it completely.  And on, and on.

I wondered how people like Hansen had proclaimed gobal apocalpyse when the PDO, for example, was not identified until 1997.

I live at sea level as well Dave, have done all my life.  I sail coastal, eustary and rivers.  I have seen the water rising inland a small amount over that time. But nothing that is not in line with the water rise since the last ice age.  I read that where I live in Eastern England, that the land is sinking as we rebound from the ice age as well.  I see that part of that water rise is due to channeling of rivers that used to drift of their own accord.  I see nothing terrifying happening down here at sea level. I just bought a house here as well, 400 yards from the river.  I suspect I will be typing blog posts from it in 30 years without wearing wellington boots and I suspect my 2 year old son will be selling it on fine when I pass away in a few decades time.

So Dave, what has happened at sea level where you are (Canada)?  You made the point, so it must have relevance.

What are the changes that are happening so fast that you cannot explain them to your grandchildren?  Are these changes unique, unprecedented and dangerous?  Or are most of them projections, calculations and guesses?  What has actually come to pass that threatens your grandchildrens future?

“Our grandchildren might ask if we were merely blogging and tweeting while the Earth burned and drowned.”

It sounds to me like you are having a late-mid-life crisis Dave. Technology is wonderful, it has given us tha ability to debate,  gain knowledge and develop society. It has created global communication and broken down despotic regimes. Yet you dismiss it as a distraction.  Is the earth burning?  Really, you believe that? You think the Earth has never been this hot ever?

I would suggest Dave, that the reason life has exploded, that food is abundant and that you can consider growing your own food with ease is due precisely to that warming in the past 35 years. The alternative of course, if you believe that CO2 drives climate, to suck it all out again and increase the chance of catastrophic crop failures.  Just maybe a bit of warming has done us good, whatever has driven it.

And is that warming solely down to man?  I think you will find very few people who deny we affect our planet.  BUT, we who are still unconvinced by the doomsday scenario, do find the suggestion, based upon questionable, idelology-driven science, that 392ppm of CO2 is going to kill us all quite frankly laughable when you consider the physics and the chaotic Earth system.  We worry that the climate “consensus” is nothing more than an engineered situation that has allowed now powerful NGO’s an unbalanced voice.  Climate change as a debate has given the hardline ecoloons a  Trojan horse into the heart of global decision making. Unelected, unaccountable, unbalanced.

That is scary.  More scary to me than a couple of mm’s of sea level rise a year, half of which is natural and another quarter of which is down to the sinking of a tectonic plate where I live.  Tuvalu? Doing fine. Population has doubled since 1985 mind you so I can see why they are making contingency plans to get people off the island.  Global warming has offered them a get out of jail card for not managing their resources or population.

You mention the sun.  The sun that climate science claims does not affect the Earth’s temperatures. The constant sun that is irrelevant to the current warming.

So go and have a look at this page. Enter UK, Annual and mean daily maximum temp. Wow. Scary. Look how temps have gone up in the past couple of decades.  Must be down to us.  Couldn’t be the sun.

Now change the parameter from maximum temp to sunshine.  What’s that you see? sunshine hours have also increased at a similar pace over the same timescale?  Wow.  Must be a coincidence.  Let’s think about it though, more sunshine recorded over a timescale like that means consistently less cloud cover. Which must be absorbed by the sea and raise land temps in some way.

Now you know that Dave, go and have a read about Svensmark’s cosmic ray theory and how it is gaining momentum. Go and find out just how well climate models have dealt with clouds.  genuine science and data.  Ignored, marginalised and ridiculed by the scientists whose starting position for every paper they write is “man is warming the planet through CO2 emissions”.

Now can you see why I am becoming healthily sc(k)eptical Dave?  Probably not, but then you seem scared of the climate bogeyman and also appear to be ensuring that you scare the hell out of your grandchildren as well.

Let’s hope that they are not visiting you grave in a few decades time at sea level and asking themselves how an evidently intelligent man lost the ability to be objective.

Dave you have complete right-of-reply.  Post it as a comment and I will paste it into a post.


From → The Climate War

  1. MangoChutney permalink

    Really good answer and similar to my thinking

    Well done

  2. MangoChutney permalink

    Is it possible to overlay the sunshine charts with the temperature charts? Eyeballing certainly does give the impression sunshine hours and temps match, but it’s difficult to be sure

  3. Mick J permalink

    The first post reminded me of this gaggle of predictions. With your interest, probably something you have come across but worth a review for how many have already failed the empirical sniff test. Half way or so on the sea level rise claim and still being measured in millimetres per year.

    “Disappearing countries

    The best models we have predict a range of effects on climate as the Earth warms up. The biggest global effect will be a rise in sea level – warmer water simply takes up more room, and some of the world’s ice will melt.

    The seas could rise by up to a metre in 30 or 40 years’ time. That might not sound much but it could lead to whole nations disappearing beneath the waves.

    Countries like the Maldives and some of the Caribbean and Pacific islands are first in line. To make matters worse, the weather in many places will become more violent, which will make flooding more severe.

    The current El Niño event may be more intense because the world is warmer, and the increasing number of tropical storms in the Caribbean and elsewhere is also thought to be due to rising temperatures.

    According to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN’s scientific advisory body, global warming could produce millions of refugees in Asia, as rising sea levels force people from their homes in low-lying areas such as the Ganges and Mekong deltas. And coastlines in general tend to be economically and agriculturally productive regions.

    But there will be wide variations in what happens in different areas of the world. Some places may actually cool down. Some will become wetter, others drier. Whole weather systems could change drastically. There is a theory, for example, that the Gulf Stream which brings warm water to western Europe will switch off, making the continent much drier and colder.

    Tropical diseases such as malaria will be able to migrate into more temperate zones and from lowland to the hills, as their insect carriers find more places where they can survive.

    There may be some positive effects. Inland farmers of crops like wheat might find they can grow more because of the warmer climate. But overwhelmingly the consequences of global warming are thought to be negative.”

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