Monday, Aug 18, 2008
Let me say first of all, I love the environment.
In fact, I spend most of my time in some environment or other.
My family lives the low-packaging, low carbon, tedious recycling lifestyle.
My wife is so committed to recycling that I’m convinced that when I’m gone, my body will be dragged to the curb on Wednesday night.
So I have to say in a quiet voice that I’m sick and tired of hearing about carbon footprints, offset credits, green shift and global warming.
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Don’t get me wrong — I think looking after the Earth is a good thing.
I don’t like messes, pollution, toxic waste, whale hunts or anything else that makes this planet a worse place.
But even for a bearded hermit living in a cave, a zero footprint is impossible.
Even the simplest life is messy and we need to consume.
And within reason, in the first world we are lucky enough to expect to be comfortable. And humans elsewhere aspire to be comfortable too.
You want to tell me that some of us consume too much? You’ll get no argument from me.
And some people make far more of a mess than they have to.
I think sharing the planet and making sure there is lots left over for the next generation is a good thing too.
But I think it’s a little much when there isn’t a single thing that isn’t pointed out as the result of global warming. A hot day in the summer — global warming. A cold day in the winter — global warming. Too much rain — global warming. Not enough rain — global warming. Didn’t finish your school homework — global warming.
The human effect on global warming with all its variations has become the new religion.
Actually, it’s become the new big business of activists, consultants, pundits and others who have grasped it with both hands as a way of being taken seriously.
And woe to the heretics who publicly doubt the science behind it.
People like the 100 respected scientists who pointed out in a letter to the United Nations earlier this year that global warming is not only a natural phenomenon, but there isn’t much evidence to support the idea that we puny humans riding on the Earth’s back are making much of a difference one way or the other.
They point out that “Recent observations of phenomena such as glacial retreats, sea-level rise and the migration of temperature-sensitive species are not evidence for abnormal climate change, for none of these changes has been shown to lie outside the bounds of known natural variability.”
No one wants to hear that average temperatures are in the normal range of the last 10,000 years, and there’s been no net increase in the past decade.
Humans have pretty limited vision when it comes to a lot of things, so we assume a lot based on our 70 or 80 years on the planet. In the last several billion years, the Earth has been steaming hot or a big ball of ice more times than we can count. And you can be pretty sure the last ice age didn’t end 12,000 years ago because some caveman left their SUV idling.
People like Vaclav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic, has gone so far as to say that proposals to address global warming are not justified by current science and are, in fact, a dangerous threat to freedom and prosperity around the world.
So, be nice to the planet. We all live here. But if you want to base a massive change in human activity on predictions about global warming, just ask yourself how often the weatherman gets it right.
This article was posted: Monday, August 18, 2008 at 2:24 am