Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The bottom line on climate change 1

I am absolutely appalled how easy it was to convince the average person we have something to fear from our climate. I may not be a scientist but a law degree trained me to judge evidence and a counselling diploma trained me in understanding people's minds, and unfortunately both here are totally lacking.

This is a summary of their case. SOME (mainly kept secret- for "commercial reasons"- clue there for a start) temperature measurements show the average temperature has increased since 1970, combined with an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere. That's it.

The current CO2 is 380ppm. The temperature rose .5' in the last century. We are leaving an ice age so the temperature has risen since the last one, an ice age means there is polar ice, and there currently still is. Once all the polar ice melts then the ice age will be over until the next one.

These figures are presented as if they mean more than that. In 1961 Time-Life books published one on earth science, and then the CO2 concentration was accepted not as an absolute figure but a variable. 240-400ppm. Now in 2010 it is 380ppm. So if that was normal in 1961 how is it not in 2010?
Secondly what we are told to fear is not the present, but extrapolations based on so many variables (the very same chaos theory is based on, a second clue there), showing a 2-6' rise in the next century. That was made about ten years ago, and although there are still various sets of quite different figures (not anything to base my confidence on) most show the temperature stabilised soon after and has not actually risen yet. It clearly isn't linear or logarithmic, but as the theory suggests, chaotic. Too many variables. Philip Stott who is qualified says we only know 5% of what drives the climate, and why would he invent such a figure?

So once the fear was created the worst case scenario was presented as a problem that needed a solution, a classic totalitarian formula. Want safety from terrorists? You'll have to lose many of your liberties but better than being blown up? No, not really. Anyway, Al Gore and James Hansen took the worst possible result from the far end of their projections and presented it as inevitable (even though they were clearly at the crazy end of the range). As a result, despite no actual changes beyond the norm (can they tell what it would have been like without the extra CO2, which is about 3%?) they have convinced the UN to tax energy usage. As people have no choice to heat or travel then they have to pay the tax and save in other areas (funny how the biggest tax burden in history coincided with a worldwide recession in 2007 onwards) thus creating a net equality of usage and vast increase in revenue. The oil and energy companies are accused by the sheep/bedwetters of sponsoring people like Philip Stott, David Bellamy, Johnny Ball, Nils Axel Morner, Piers Corbyn and every other scientist who disputes this as total bollocks. The fact BP and Shell are actively campaigning for said taxes seems to go straight over their heads despite the fact oil companies get a huge share of this extra revenue.

None of this is complex. None besides the absorption spectrum of air gases and the Aqua satellite findings that water vapour (the greatest natural greenhouse gas) displaces CO2 (not very powerful at all) are beyond most primary school children to understand, yet so far people either work this out themselves as I have or ignore every fact that implies the whole authority system of the world is indeed corrupt and they can no longer trust them. So that being so frightening they'd rather believe the sky is going to fall in despite historical records showing man thrived in warmer times and always will. And despite having no polar ice the bears are still here.

The actual consequences of global warming (the full phrase is climate change due to global warming, but they dropped that bit when it was clearly not happening) are not chaos, but well known. The weather patterns move north, the sea level rises as it always does, and whatever weather people were getting to the south/prevailing wind area before shifts to the next area along. The end result is colder areas become more habitable while deserts move north, while the lowest lying land is swamped over hundreds of years as the ice is the last thing to melt due to the latent heat required to do so meaning it has to be more than 1 over zero for some time before it responds. The time it takes to clear low lying land, which should in most cases never have been colonised in the first place, is a lot less than it takes to be flooded. If there is so little room on this planet people had to settle flood plains then there are too many people here.

So yes, eventually the sea level will rise noticeably, but not until many generations of humans have passed. Our climates will change, places like Greenland and Iceland will become more like Scotland, and places like England will become more like Spain. But nowhere will not become like somewhere else, and at present the only land which is uninhabitable is the South Pole, due to the ice. There are deserts everywhere and few people live there, but many animals and plants do, and if you dig down far enough you'll usually find water there. Again, if there's not enough room for the desert dwellers to move north that's not the climate's fault, but there are too many people. And although no prediction is really science if not on a fixed path like the heavenly bodies, one did say severe weather does not increase as the temperature rises. Unfortunately Al Gore's film couldn't be edited that late so is still part of the new bible. They certainly move around so Britain could get the odd hurricane if the Atlantic heated enough in the summer, but Florida is still heavily populated with no shortage of them there. Apart from hurricanes and tornadoes (which are so rare they even have their own region across the USA) the only other effect could be floods. I've already dealt with them, if you build in sensible places only then the water can't reach you. If you have proper drainage then the water is channelled away as it falls, if not immediately within a day or so. The monsoon areas are very heavily populated and they know what to do during the season and don't bugger off to the high ground either.

So, heat, wind and rain. That's it. The heat is here now and like the low lying areas people move away when they become impossible to inhabit, they always have. We have the rain and wind already and people live with it. Have I missed something?

No comments: