Climate change happens. This is a fact. There is no doubt about this what so ever. The Planet we inhabit is a dynamic system.The debate on Anthropomorphic Climate Change / Global Warming has become muddied and almost meaningless. On either side of the camp we have those who are hell bent on forcing their views on others. We essentially have a similar show being played out as of the Left / Right Political paradigm.
The danger of the muddied waters in this debate is that it carries further into other environmental issues.
It is plain to see that in these changing global economic times the “carbon” market place is growing. There are already carbon traders making money in this new economy, and as such there is a political emphasis. This then translates into the woolly world of half baked media write ups on scientific data that is neither conclusive with regards to the level of impact humans have with regards to the changing climate. Essentially even if we humans were not on this planet, the Climate would change – it has done in the past, and it will do in the Future. There is political motivation to enhance and distort the role humans might play with regards to climate change.
The problem I see that has arisen over the last 20 or so years with regards to the AGW / none AGW debate is that those on either side of the argument are so hell bent in making their claim heard that they fail to actually see anything else that is around them. Both views have become almost an ideological stand point that essentially makes the person who holds the view blind to anything else, much like any other fundamental belief – a rational debate becomes impossible. The science with regards to Climate change and Global Warming is complex, and deserves more than the half digested reports that are splattered on blogs and web-sites of either side. The emotive and explosive level of reporting (on both sides) does it very little service.
The problem with the politicization of Global Warming and Climate Change is that the real issues get lost. People on the anti-AGW side feel that because the science hasn’t proven anything with certainty that they should carry on as usual, that human life (and especially western liberal democratic life) can continue to do as it pleases. Essentially a lifestyle that can not be maintained in it’s current form. Those on the pro-AGW side feel that it’s plainly obvious that humans are causing Climate Change – and that we can some how stop this. Which is completely nonsense. We can’t stop climate change, and even if we all suddenly stopped using any form of fossil fuel the Climate will still change, and we’ll still be in exactly the same situation. This might sound incredibly negative and nihilistic, but it’s essentially what is happening.
Now here is the real crux, the real point of the ramblings of this post. Humans as a species on this earth have exhibited through out history a blasé attitude to their environment around them. It doesn’t take much digging to see how this has translated into environmental disasters. The current trends in western post-industrial countries and the emerging industrial countries of China and India are exhibiting this on a huge level. Previously when the destruction caused by humans occurred it was generally small scale (for example take Easter Island and the deforestation), but now with Globalisation and the global “free market” the destruction that is occurring is on a huge scale and at a level never experiences in the past. The idea that the continues consumer culture that has emerged over the last 100 years can continue, unchecked, unchanged seems unbelievable – essentially fanciful.
With that in mind, I see the current trend in the media and on the web of people discussing AGW is essentially nonsense. It’s people arguing over an issue that has become almost an aside. It’s something that highlights a much bigger problem that we as humans on this planet are really causing. Life will carry on regardless of us. The Planet will carry on through the climatic cycles and changes that will occur.
Climate Change is happening, How we as a species adapt with it is the bigger question which seems to get lost with the squabbling and the blame games of both sides of the AGW debate.
Of course one solution is to carry on, and to see what will occur. After all human life on this planet, like other species, is transitory.