Friday, 26 March 2010

Climate Change: Man-Made or Not?


As I See It……………..

A year or two ago, the majority of the public believed that man-made CO2, caused by the burning of fossil fuels, was raising the Earth’s temperature and, consequently, was changing the Earth’s climate, and that if the man-made CO2 emissions were not drastically reduced, there would be disastrous results. Of late. opinions seem to be changing – now more than half the population no longer believes this to be true.

It is a fact that the temperature and the climate of the Earth have always changed over time. These changes are due to “natural causes”, that is, causes which have nothing to do with mankind’s activity.

It is a fact that over the last 100 years, millions of tons of man-made CO2 have been added to the atmosphere that otherwise would not have been there. With the increasing industrialization in the third world, the amount of CO2 added to the atmosphere annually is set to increase, year by year, for the foreseeable future.

Leaving aside such issues as misleading “hockey stick” graphs, Al Gore’s motives, tampering with meteorological data, bribing of scientists, vested interests of both the fossil fuel and the renewables industries, ice core samples and tree rings, flawed computer models, biased interpretation of data, etc, we are, as I see it, left with one question with two possible answers.

The question is, over and above changes in the Earth’s temperature and climate due to natural causes, will this additional man-made CO2 --
  • have a significant effect on the temperature and climate of the planet and is very likely to bring about catastrophic results for mankind, and that urgent action needs to be taken? (The Activist’s case)
  • have no effect, or only an insignificant effect, on the temperature and climate of the planet? (The Skeptic’s case)
Which case do you believe is right – the Activist’s or the Skeptic’s?

The way you answer the question leads on to other issues.

If you believe the former choice that the threat is real and urgent, then the question is what do you think should be done about it? What actions should be taken to cut down CO2 emissions and how drastic should those actions be? How is the inevitable detrimental effect that cutting CO2 emissions will have on the World’s economy to be handled? With this choice, you accept the risk that the Skeptics were right after all.

If you believe the latter choice, that there will be no, or only an insignificant amount of warming and climate change, then the quite considerable measures that have already been taken by governments to limit CO2 emissions should be dismantled forthwith. With this choice you accept the risk that the Activists were right after all.

My own personal opinion is the latter; that the additional man-made CO2 will have only an insignificant effect on the temperature and climate of the planet. (The Skeptic’s case). I believe that all CO2 emission reduction measures should be dismantled forthwith.

However, for an entirely different, non-CO2, reason, I believe that all countries should be taking urgent steps to secure their energy needs from sources other than fossil fuels.

March 2010

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