Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It Can Be Depressing Sometimes...

globeandmail.com: New York-sized ice cap collapses off Antarctica

No, I'm not talking about the reports of ice melting in Antarctica. I'm talking about the "discussion" (if it can be called that), that follows such reports.

Within an hour of the above article appearing on the Globe & Mail website, numerous comments were posted bashing the integrity of G&M for posting the article and ridiculing any suggestion that Global Warming/Climate Change was either a threat to the planet or that humans had anything to do with it even if it was happening.

I'm not a climate scientist, and don't expect I ever will have the credentials or qualifications to identify myself as such. I am a layperson who seeks out the expert opinion of those qualified in their field of expertise to help me form my own opinion on such matters.

I said as much to Professor Denis Rancourt a couple of years ago when he fired off a rant on his own website ridiculing those who were concerned about global warming. Back in June, 2007 I told him that...

I am of the opinion that some aspects of climate change are attributable to an anthropocentric source. However, I accept that, as a "layperson" I am out of my depth in discussing this with you on a scientific basis. My rather "simplistic" notion is that I find it very difficult to believe that the massive increase of human population and the subsequent large scale increase in emissions would not have some form of impact on the earth's climate systems. Maybe I am naive, but I note that it took over a million years to sequester carbon in oil and coal. It was, in the human time scale of things, a fairly lengthy process. We, as humans, have managed to release into the atmosphere roughly half of it in, essentially, the blink of an eye of time. Call me crazy, but it seems to me it would have an effect.
I don't believe that you need a Doctorate in Climatology to reach this conclusion.

However, to this day, whenever there is another report in the media of melting ice in polar regions, or anything else which may be supportive of the peer-reviewed IPCC scientific reports, comment blogs light up with ridicule from the masses. Almost inevitably, they question the motives of the scientists they mock, often suggesting they are only in it for the money. I get it. These scientists are somehow manipulating the data that purports that human activity is affecting the weather to keep them employed. Furthermore, they have been able to dupe every scientist who participated in the peer review process, not once, not twice, but hundreds of times. Talk about a conspiracy!

At this point, the only logical conclusion I can come up with is that those who claim that any suggestion of human induced climate change is a hoax are themselves simply trying to protect their own profligate ways. They actually can see the writing on the wall. They see the big picture. They have more intelligence than I have, until now, been attributing to them.

They understand that if in fact the science is true, that the only way to protect the earth from human induced climate change is to greatly curtail the release of CO2. Such a prospect, of course, scares the hell out of them. What, cut back their automobile use, give up that annual trek to the Caribbean because it's too cold in Canada for them? Stop eating strawberries in February? They really are in a state of denial, but not just about climate change. What they categorically refuse to accept is that the way we have been living is completely unsustainable. No wonder they say such stupid things.


  1. It can be very lonely on the Globe and Mail trying to counter the massive disinformation campaign. Thanks for your comments.

    I'd welcome comments and ideas for my website if you are so inclined.

    Alan Burke

  2. Alan,
    Thanks for all your work and presentation of scientific data on your website. As mentioned in my posting at G&M, I am not a scientist, and generally don't engage in the nitpicking over data points. It simply is beyond my realm of expertise. This is why I depend on reports of peer-reviewed expert scientists. I really became engaged in this discussion a few years ago when I met a couple local people in Ottawa who were authors of the 2001 IPCC report. My primary concern at this point in time has to do with how our democracy works, or perhaps more succinctly, how it doesn't work. Democracy, unfortunately and perversely, may be the greatest impediment to bring about the change that is desperately needed, because it allows for this countless navel gazing and allowance for different points of view. I love my freedom, but, it may lead to the downfall of civilization if it ultimately delays action beyond a tipping point.
    Of course you are free to use anything on my website if you think it is of use.
    Leonard Poole, Ottawa