Climate Change – it is not our fault and it is not happening

Although the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have not yet published their latest report, governments are getting nervous about climate change. The recession has caused many governments, including that of the United Kingdom, to ask scientists to explain why global warming appears to have “paused” in the last decade. Can this “pause” be consistent with the theory of global warming? Is the planet really warming up, or are all those scientists simply wrong?

Perhaps governments doubting whether the expenditure of taxpayers’ money on measures to fight rapid climate change should be reminded of the science. You cannot create or destroy energy. Heat is a form of energy. When something warms up, it takes heat from somewhere else. When something cools down the heat does not vanish, but makes something else warmer.  So if we are to try and judge whether the earth has been warming or cooling, we have to look at the whole planet, not just at the land or the sea or the ice,

Most of the measurements of earth temperature are taken from a thin slice around the surface, and most of the measurements are taken from land. It is these measurements which show a apparent pause in temperature rise, Other measurements – such as the volume of ice at the north and south poles, the extent of Arctic sea ice  and ocean temperatures seem to indicate that heat for the past ten years has been going elsewhere; heat usually takes the line of least resistance, and I expect that when published the IPCC report will conclude that the oceans and the polar regions are retaining more heat and that overall our planet is warming up. The explanation of this phenomena is probably down to the influence of aerosols in the atmosphere, most of which are created by the activities of man.

I expect the anthropological caused rapid climate changed has been paused, bring humanity a brief and welcome pause, which will give it time to get its act together.  Whether humanity takes advantage of that pause remains to be seen. Most climate scientists are treated with the same contempt and disbelief shown to Cassandra by some sections of the popular press, and this treatment has managed to persuade many people to change their minds about climate change. Although there is still a majority in the United Kingdom who are prepared to trust the judgment of scientists on this matter, there is a large minority, probably around 20% who are not prepared to trust the vast majority of  scientists who are convinced that humans are causing this planet’s climate to change rapidly.

Being in a majority does not make you right and being in a minority does not make you wrong. What makes you right or wrong is probably a question of prejudice. A person can say the right thing in the wrong way and be held in contempt because the manner of his assertions are wrong, rather than the assertions themselves. The way in which the assertions are communicated can tarnish or even destroy the value of those assertions.

The IPPC will publish its report in a scholarly manner, using scholarly language and scholarly information obtained by hard work and copious study by people who have devoted their careers to scholarly study. They could be wrong, but they are unlikely to be wrong. Nevertheless some people will want to believe what they want to believe and what serves their personal interests rather than the interests of the common good. That very human trait is what has created the phenomena of rapid climate change stands in the way of preventing it.

“It is not our fault” or “it is not happening” are the prejudices that the IPPC report must seek to overcome.

One Response

  1. I love hearing debate from both sides, as each contain persuasive elements.

    Historically, science and politics have had many disagreements.

    Toss in some religious and business pressure, and anything can evolve (or not).

    “Only listen to advice which assists the cause”.

    Anyhow, it always gives me plenty of material for my cartoons.

    This is my latest . . . .



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