Here are a few commonsense observations worth giving a little thought regarding anthropogenic (man made) climate change and global warming. I will keep it "short", simple and very much original.
In the press and from the "group" often referred to as climate change deniers there has been a lot of fuzz lately regarding temperature fluctuations. The objection is against climate scientists apparent audacity to claim that both extreme cold and extreme warm weather could be due to man made global warming and its effect on climate change.
Before going any further let us take a quick look at what the expressions "global warming" and "climate change" usually refers to. Global warming is used to indicate the rise in global average temperature over time, while climate change refers to how global climate or the climate of a specific area changes over time. And the argument at hand is if the globe is actually warming, and if so could this warming possibly be man made and drive climate change?
Could extreme fluctuations from cold to warm temperatures actually originate form the effect global warming has on climate? Climate scientist and the models say yes and from what I have seen and heard about this subject myself I am quite convinced they are right. So called climate deniers may say that this is bad science and faulty models, but the science is very much there and extremely compelling if you take the time study it closer. And of course, those not believing in man made global warming and climate change are absolutely right, the models are faulty, of course they are. This is all extremely complicated stuff and will take time to get right.
This climatic "uncertainty", although most serious and peer reviewed research clearly points in one direction, and the complexity of the science opens for an ocean of unscientific opinions. So given that climate models are not perfected yet, and there is apparently no real concrete 100 percent scientific evidence proving that we humans are guilty of causing global warming and extreme weather, how do we choose side?
Let's take an unscientific approach, as this seems to be quite popular. Have you ever considered that what we are doing is to extract carbon that natural processes have taken hundred of millions of years, even billion of years, to store deep under ground, and pump it all up in the blink of an eye? In +200 years we have radically reversed what has taken an incomprehensible long time to build up. In just around a 100 years or less (not sure about the exact timeframe, unscientific paper remember) the stored carbon will pretty much all have been released out into the atmosphere. Are we to believe there will be no consequences, that what may or may not happen is due to Earth's natural warming and cooling process? There is nothing natural about it and I think you are able to recognize that if you consider what we are actually doing. If you completely reverse a natural system by severely disrupting it (severely does not even cover the extent of what we are doing by the way) what tends to be the outcome?
I just have to mention this in case anyone should be thinking about it as I have heard the argument several times. I addressed the reversing of the carbon cycle in a discussion following a disturbingly illogical article by naturalnews.com, which may still be a useful page regarding natural processes in the human body, although they seem to miss the point about natural processes outside it. Regardless, on my rant about how we have reversed the carbon cycle I was met with the following argument by a fellow facebooker: "Mother nature reverses her own natural cycle each time she blows a fuse! Mother nature will produce more pollutants in a single eruption of a volcano than man will produce in 10 years!"
My answer to this individual was as follows: "We are not talking about 10 years and as far as I know volcanoes don't burn fossil fuels on an ongoing basis, the one has little to do with the other. Volcanoes do what they do, what we do is an entirely different story."
Another individual joined the conversation and as my communication with him inspired me to write this article and made me realize the blatantly obvious that you will find under the headline "Unsustainable denial" below, here is a small bit from that too: "We do not have that evidence for man made global warming and you will not be able to find it as it is based on faulty models proven to be inaccurate. The only evidence we have from ice cores is that temperature drives up CO2 levels and not the other way around. So your points are all fine and very well but it is only opinion not science."
My response to this was: "I think you will find most of what is being stated here in this discussion are simply opinions. You are serving quite a big opinion yourself, although it is obvious climate models are faulty, kind of complicated stuff. I am just reaching out for common sense. If the science is not there yet as you claim, should we sit still and do nothing until we are proven right and the damage might very well be done?
And as a side note, most of modern science today is based on theory, still we rely on it every day in all aspects of our life. I guess climate science is the odd exception..."
Enough of who said what on facebook. Let's get to the real core of the issue here. Besides doing our best to release all the carbon stored since life evolved on Earth, the argument for us humans not being guilty of crime against life on this planet..., let me rephrase that. The argument for us humans not being guilty of warming up the oceans and the surface of the Earth through our consumption of fossil fuels, and thus contributing to climate change and extreme weather conditions, is based on unsustainable consumption of natural resources. Now that is something to give some thought to. When has unsustainable practises ever worked for us? That is not even a tricky question, the word "unsustainable" gives the answer away, so let's be honest; never. And there is no debate about this. No person can rightfully claim that our consumption of a finite resource and the devastating pollution that comes with it can be sustainable. So regardless the conclusion we have to do something, we are on the wrong path.
History is full of examples and educated speculations into the demise of various civilizations due to overconsumption of natural resources, it is what we humans seem to do (animals to an extent as well by the way). Call me unscientific, but how can anyone possibly argue with all the destruction and pollution we have spread around us. Not a single beach untouched by plastic waste, forests in constant decline and species eradicated faster than we discover new ones. We have even managed to litter space. Satellites are today under constant and increasing threat from space debris, yes we even have a name for it. Since the industrial revolution we have changed everything faster than ever before and now it seems we are getting ready to consume everything as well. Should we spend the last drop of fossil fuel before we realize that unsustainable practices can only go on for so long before there will be dramatic consequences?
Science does not seem to work for us at the moment, we can't agree, politicians are not able to act and not enough people are willing to lead. But maybe common sense could get us around, maybe we can end unsustainable denial. Regardless of whether we are causing global warming and extreme weather or not we still need to change. That is also why I think the climate debate in many ways has become a dead end. The bickering on both sides seems, like many have pointed out before me, to take on religious proportions. It is time to put aside who believes in what and realize that it is ultimately what we DO in this world that will get us anywhere.
You too can plant a tree - Audun at Better Globe's tree plantation in Nyangoro, Kenya 2011
Personally I am an avid consumer and I like to travel, but I also try to be a conscious consumer and choose organic and natural as much as possible. No doubt could I contribute far more, but I do have one ace up my sleeve; my family and I are completely carbon neutral. And in a few years time I am sure our whole existence will be completely CO2 free. We achieve this through buying trees and Donation Packages from Better Globe, which you will find a lot more information about here on our portal, should it interest you. There are of course many other things you can do, just search around and you will find no shortage of green alternatives. The best advice I can give you is not so much about what specifically you should do. That is for you to find out. But I do hope that those caught up in unsustainable denial will give their position a good rethink and for anyone else: Don't waste time and energy debating or arguing, just simply do something you believe in!
Learn more about BetterGlobeTrees.com.