The Jury Is In On Human Influenced Climate Change: But Now What?

I knew I wanted to express some thoughts on climate change, but where to start.   The anecdotal argument that it was a cold winter in your neck of the woods doesn’t fly.  It counts for nothing more than me making an argument for an exceptionally hot summer where I live being evidence of climate change.  Trying to convince others that climate change is a reality that is influenced by Man and that it requires immediate action is noble enough, but even catering to the argument seems to forestall any progress. We either trust the overwhelming scientific consensus on this subject, roughly 98% of the world’s scientists, or we choose to believe the chosen few scientists, well paid by corporations at odds with the interests of the environment, to inform our decisions.

Brain Trusts, Think Tanks, And The Art of Deception Through Misinformation

The debate is a fiction, in the States fueled by Fox News and corporations with interests fossil fuels.  The discussion and the debate persists, but not in any meaningful sense.  Much of  world agrees the problem is a valid one, even dire, but what to do about.  What can we do about it?.  I will not be so presumptuous to assume that either I, or anyone else who cannot comprehend the science on the collective joint effort of scientists  over decades and countless hours of research and investigation, can make an opposite determination just because we choose to, at least not with true self introspection and honesty.

Even without being scientists we can endeavor to be ever more scientifically literate.  We can look at the data measured for us by technology to get a degree of understanding, but just as important is our ability to know how to go about appraising an individual, or a resource, when deciding on what intelligence to accept and what not to.

The argument is made by climate change deniers that it’s still an open debate as to whether or not humans are impacting the climate.  The ground has all but been given on the fact the climate is changing rapidly, but the reason why isn’t so easily conceded.   They could argue next from the angle that the majority of climatologists are misleading everyone to their benefit.  It’s here that I see the biggest gap in logic I’m not willing to leap over.

Who Benefits, Who Is More Likely To Deceive You, Big Moneyed Interests, Or A Global Scientific Conspiracy To Secure Grant Money

Cui bono – ‘Two Whose Benefit’ – is a favorite legal term of mine.  I am certain I first took a liking to it hearing Alan Shore in Boston Legal mention it.   Most scientists are not rich.  When you grow up, if you’re inclined towards becoming wealthy, donating your life to the pursuit of science is not your quickest path.  There are still several lucrative professions, but in today’s world, and in today’s USA, working as a CEO to an oil company or to a major bank has its monetary advantages, put it as softly as possible.

First let’s touch on why scientists don’t get rich and famous off of a mass conspiracy about climate change.  Scientists must do significant research and present sufficient reason to get grant money from the Government or a private benefactor.   This money goes into the project and the life of the scientist is often laborious and often without reward.  How many rich and famous climatologists do you know of, heralded by the public as saviors   Maybe one day, but for now the best we can manage to imagine are those excellent at conveying science in general to the public, like Neil DeGrasse Tyson in present day, and before him the legendary Carl Sagan, and they are not rich, not by the standards of those we’ll talk about next.

CEO’s for corporations who deal in banking, oil, natural gas and coal industries are often worth hundreds of millions, even billions of dollars.  And we see how well that is benefiting the global economy for yourself, through your own observation.  But I digress.  The 2% of scientists work on the behalf of private corporations to do studies to confuse the issue and delay any actual change in the status quo that sees record profits year after year despite the global economic depression and, and certainly with no regard for the climate.   Charles and David Koch are well known benefactors of polluting the environment and excellent purchasers of politicians or pass legislation in their favor  and deregulate industries, such as the FDA or the EPA, that are there to look after us as a counter balance to innate corporate greed.  There’s no need for a conspiracy here, just the understanding that corporations have a responsibility to their shareholders to maximize on profits, and our knowledge of human nature informs us that we cannot rely on CEO’s to have the best interests of the masses at heart, concerning their health, well being and quality of life, when making financial decisions.   That is why regulatory bodies in the Government are crucial to mitigating the risk of an overzealous oil or pharmaceutical company.

The Runaway Greenhouse Effect

The green house effect is well understood in science.  Many private citizens have green houses and have an intimate knowledge on the subject by working inside them.  In brief, when Carbon Dioxide, Methane, and other green house gasses builds up in the atmosphere it acts as a barrier to stop a portion of the sunlight’s heat from escaping into outer space.  Of course without these atmospheric conditions we would not have life on Earth as we know it, and so the green house effect is not intrinsically bad thing to have around.  The problem arises when there’s a runaway green house effect.  This happened on Venus, and the temperature there is 900 Fahrenheit on the surface.  We’re not headed in that direction fast, but we don’t need to approach anywhere near that extreme a scenario before we encounter devastating consequences.  The ice caps also serve as a shield against the seas becoming too warm – as when sunlight hits the ice caps its reflected back into space, and does not contribute to global warming. What is happening is called a ‘runaway greenhouse effect’, where as greenhouse gasses build in the atmosphere and the heat can’t escape as readily, the ice caps begin to melt, and the less ice caps, the more of the heat enters into the water, heating the ocean.. the warmer the ocean, the more the ice caps melt.. and on we go. This is one example – the overall science behind climate change is quite simple — proving it to a degree to convince the general public which is not as scientifically literate as would be helpful, is another matter, especially with big moneyed competing interests who own the mainstream media ensuring it gets barely any coverage, and when it does, it’s usually an interview involving a conservative shill.

Climate Change: What If It’s Too Late, What If We’re Toast?

I think we can all agree that we can’t depend on the world’s collective governments slowing, and eliminating carbon emissions fast enough to stop the impending climate crisis.  We’re already in the midst of it.  We no longer have the luxury to afford referencing it as a distant concept to be dealt with if and should it become priority issue.  In the US for instance, obviously a critical nation in the direction of the world’s climate change initiatives, will not fully commit to addressing climate change seriously so long as money is in politics, and the politicians are beholden to their financial backers, not the least of which are oil companies.   How many years will it then take to overturn Citizen’s United before the government can honestly address the issue?   What hope then do we have?  It seems in the end we’ll need to turn to scientists, not government or corporations to save the day.  Not only do we relay on them to create sustainable and cleaner energy, but if the problem is as advanced as most scientists believe, cures, not prevention, might have to be our best prospect.  I will explore these ideas concerning projects, both theoretical, and those in practical development already, in my next article on this subject.

For now I’ll leave you in the good hands of Bill Maher and Neil DeGrasse Tyson when they deliver a climate change denier’s ass to him on a platter.

 

3 thoughts on “The Jury Is In On Human Influenced Climate Change: But Now What?”

  1. Arctic sea ice is an important component of the global climate system. The polar ice caps help to regulate global temperature by reflecting sunlight back into space. White snow and ice at the poles reflects sunlight, but dark ocean absorbs it. Replacing bright sea ice with dark ocean is a recipe for more and faster global warming. The Autumn air temperature over the Arctic has increased by 4 – 6°F in the past decade, and we could already be seeing the impacts of this warming in the mid-latitudes, by an increase in extreme weather events. Another non-trivial impact of the absence of sea ice is increased melting in Greenland. We already saw an unprecedented melting event in Greenland this year , and as warming continues, the likelihood of these events increase.

  2. There was an identical system mid 1890s which is identified as cyclone. Instead of rmveing climate climax alarmist just look at evidence

    1. “Instead of rmveing climate climax alarmist just look at evidence” – Leo.

      Leo, could you please elaborate on that? I’m not sure if you’re saying the article is alarmist regarding climate change, and if people look at the evidence they’ll draw that conclusion.

      I should probably also point out the premise of the meme, and start of the article was that anecdotal evidence about one storm or another, or a hot or cold day, is without any value in the evaluation of climate change.

      If the system was identical in the 1890’s it was not a cyclone. A cyclone an easily recognizable phenomenon in meteorology. It has an eye, the smaller the eye, the more powerful the cyclone – a good rule of thumb. It also looks like.. well, a cyclone – or a Hurricane, or Typhoon, depending upon where you live in the world. Same principle, different names. There’s other factors that can be used to determine if a system is a cyclone too, but if you’re referring to the high winds, winds alone do not constitute a cyclone. You could have ‘cyclonic winds’ in a storm that is not a cyclone, but is merely giving you perspective of what to expect from the storm system.

      If I was off the mark in my response to you I’ll have another shot at it.. once you clear up that sentence in question. But thank you for the response!

      Cheers,
      -Alex

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