05 August, 2010

Global warming denier fail

Or climate change, whatever you want to call it...

I don't get the attitude of the deniers - those that reject the notion that humans are contributing to the warming of the planet. Even if you don't accept this fact, fine, but it is still clear that the planet is warming, so quit moaning and lets all work together and do everything we can to slow this down, or at least adapt to it.

Even if we have no power to change the warming of the planet, it is still a good idea to cut back in our use of fossil fuels (a diminishing resource), increase recycling, reduce waste and become generally more efficient. Doing so is a win-win situation, regardless of whether humans contribute to climate change.

Global warming deniers remind me of people who claim that there is no point wearing a bicycle helmet, because if a car hits you at 50 mph you'll die anyway. Stupid logic. What if you are involved in a low-speed accident? That helmet might just save your life.

Wearing a helmet is like reacting positively to climate change. In the worst case scenario, it'll make no difference, sure. But it's worth doing anyway for basic survival purposes.

The point is made nicely by this cartoon...


Ryk said...

Exactly how I feel. I am a bit of a "global warming denier" not that I think man made global warming is proven false(as many deniers do), I simply find the evidence unconvincing. However that in no way causes me to reject sound ecological practices, even the most die hard "carbon nazi" would find my carbon footprint enviable.

If global warming is man made then minimizing carbon is good. If not reducing other fossil fuel based pollutants which ARE deadly is great. Not to mention saving money on fuel and electricity, eating delicous homegrown produce, and getting lots of cardio from walking and biking.

rhiggs said...

Hi Ryk,

I accept that I made a few sweeping generalisations in the above post. I'm sure there are many who deny the effect of humans to global warming and also advocate most eco-friendly activities.

I have never studied the data in detail so I am officially undecided on it. However, my instincts tell me to side with the scientific consensus on most topics on which I have no expertise. Being a scientist myself I know that individual biases can be a factor, but an overall consensus is usually trustworthy.

Also, I have heard some 'deniers' argue that scientists are being paid off by the renewable energy sector to exaggerate the effects of humans. My response to this would be to point out that the fossil feul and non-renewable energy sector is still far far richer and influential than the fledgling renewable energy sector, so if money was really a factor for these scientists, they would be better off being 'deniers'.

Ryk said...

Honestly based on what I have read from "deniers" your generalisations aren't that badly off the mark. Many are of the head in the sand sort. I have studied the evidence in detail and don't see any particular basis for this consensus. Not that it isn't accurate, I am not an expert, but because none of the published material I have read shows it to be.

I am however a hyper skeptic. Consensus does not really persuade me, nor do things such as most likely cause and whatnot. I accept that many "probably" and "most likely" statements by scientists are simply an effect of the way science is discussed. In most cases a likely can be safely translated to mean is. Such as with the theory of gravity or the theory of evolution. However the theory of man made global warming, from what I can tell is a probably in the sense that non scientists use the word.

From what I can gather it is not known what causes global warming, and it is also not clear that even if carbon is the cause, that man made carbon is sufficient to be a factor.

At any rate, it should not be an issue. the need to move to clean renewable energy is clear even if global warming did not exist at all. My concern isn't if this is necessary, but what is the most effective way to do it.