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Global Meltdown Apocalypse of Doom

March 25, 2010

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, I’m sure that you’ve noticed the extreme growth in the popularity of “being green”, “reducing emissions”, and holding events for “global climate change awareness”; including a fair helping of international paranoia. Lately, I have noticed advertisements for Earth Hour 2010, and I thought to myself… is this all really necessary?

Global warming, oh no!

Reading this CBC article about Earth Hour, an hour on the last Saturday of March when everyone is supposed to turn off the lights internationally, gave me mixed feelings. First, let’s be honest, a 5% reduction on some participating cities’ power grids for 60 minutes is not going to make a significant difference to global emissions of anything. Second, you may realize this and say it is the symbolism that matters, which is great; but what are you trying to make people aware of?

I agree that it is desirable to conserve energy and resources, to reduce pollution due to human activity, and not to rape and pillage the Earth’s flora and fauna. But is global warming even real? I want to remind everyone that it is only a theory (like evolution, by the way), and while it is backed by many scientific societies and researchers, could it not still be a cycle that spans a larger time than we have yet observed? Or maybe a part of some cosmic variation on a grand scale? The fact is, nobody knows for sure if any change is mean surface temperature over the last 100 years is due to human activity or not, and if it is, is it likely that humans are the sole contributors? Besides, weren’t people concerned about a second ice age not too long ago?

Maybe I would be able to take things a little more seriously if scientists and governments weren’t preaching like it was doomsday whenever the words “climate change” come up. Even the Wikipedia article on Global Warming reeks of fear and over-certainty, with graphs, tables, and figures perfectly tailored to look as terrible as possible; as does a Google search (including the images) for “global warming.” Then there is the opening video played at the COP15 UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, featuring a little girl’s world being ripped apart because nobody will help her and the planet (ouch, my heartstrings). Oh, speaking of the United Nations, did you hear that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is being investigated for possible forgery/tailoring of its data and “poor substantiated estimates” in its reports, including hiding any cooling trends?

My point is that we need to turn down the paranoia and stop pouring obscene amounts of money into projects that will prevent human-induced climate change when the evidence of that change is not yet concrete. If the government wants to spend billions of dollars of our money on research into the existence and possible causes of global climate change, I still won’t be entirely happy, but go for it. Spending that same sum on insane ways of offsetting human impact (such as pumping carbon dioxide underground) and stopping global warming in its tracks (such as a satellite system to reflect the Sun’s energy before it reaches Earth), however… no thank-you.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Emma permalink
    March 25, 2010 11:56 pm

    Zing. Paranoia and emotional manipulation are not science at all. After Copenhagen opened with that video clip, it was hard to take anything else that followed seriously…

  2. Cadence permalink
    June 5, 2010 12:03 pm

    Oh hey there

    First of all, evolution, I’m pretty sure, has been proven. Even if not, assuming you are a christain by your potent disbelief in evolution, religion is also just a theory, a story if you will.

    Secondly, ignoring your dig at evolution, you do raise valid points. But I wouldn’t chalk up polar bears dying, and Calgary not enjoying a summer for the last two years soley to government hype and need for control. Humans have a tendancy to destroy things in an overzealous need to have and to hold. Animals wouldn’t be extinct without human’s need to have their fur or their land, fertile land would still be available if it wasn’t for oil sands and humans need to possess black gold. Why isn’t it possible that we are destroying our atmosphere because of our need for greater and better things?

    Also, do you honestly believe that the gross stuff we spew in to the air everyday don’t effect the planet in any way? (Hello Hiroshima?) Seriously? And while it is possible for those that have protested that climate change will be the end of us to manufacture data, isn’t it just as possible for the other side?

    Believe you me, I agree with you that propaganda gets out of control and establishes and manifests fear and irrationality that may not have been present before but we do need to take a serious look at what we are doing to our planet. It has provided a place for us to live and oxygen to breathe and water to drink (basically giving us life) and you seem to think it is ok to destroy it. I gues you won’t be here when it eventually dies though will you. The future isn’t our concern.

  3. Darin permalink
    June 5, 2010 12:38 pm

    Good point Cadence!

    To touch on the argument about evolution, we as humans evolve from the time we are concieved to the time we die. We start as embryos and evolve not just physically but mentally and emotionally. If God exists, why wouldn’t he/she see it appropriate to have humans evolve over time as well as over the course of each individual’s life? Why would evolution rear its ugly head in one aspect yet it is unfathomable, according to you, for it to even be an option throughout Earth’s history. We don’t know the great heights humans can reach in 10 000 years yet (if our change our ways and respect our plant a little bit more), and getting to these heights is the greatest challenge. Wouldn’t God want to give humans in the beginning the opportunity to embrace these challenges?

  4. June 9, 2010 8:13 pm

    Thanks for your thoughts, people. I’ll reply to the comments that are on topic first:

    Cadence,

    I never said that a change in global climate due largely to human involvement was impossible – I only said it was not yet proven. You can’t draw connections because they are convenient; the death of polar bears, if it is on the rise, is not necessarily related to some global climate change event. Same with Calgary’s weather. If you look into history, our weather has always been sporadic (proximity to the mountains is a main cause), so much so that snow has fallen in every month of the year. Again, even if the trend is changing, there is nothing to say that it isn’t random fluctuation (which is present in everything) or a greater Earthly or cosmic cycle. And by the way, if it wasn’t for human greed and ambition, you would not be sitting in your warm house typing happily on your computer, posting to the entire world via the internet.

    That said, it obviously isn’t okay to pump whatever we want into the air. Just look at places like China where there is a visible smog that causes health problems for locals. Emissions can definitely become a problem, it has been proven on a local scale. What I’m saying is that there is no solid evidence that human activity is causing changes to our global weather systems. There is absolutely no way that you can compare atomic bomb fallout at Hiroshima to global climate change, by the way; a concentrated nuclear explosion that sent billions of radioactive ions into the surrounding area (which slowly decayed over time, causing disease until the end of their life spans) is absolutely nothing like the unmeasurable human contribution of greenhouses gases into the atmosphere.

    I do agree with you, wholly, that we need to take a serious look at the state of things and make informed and sustainable decisions. Just because I am skeptical about global climate change doesn’t mean I don’t care about our children and children’s children.

    As for the evolution comments:

    I am indeed Christian, but disbelief in evolution does not necessarily make me Christian. Contrary to popular belief, it is *not* a scientific fact. There does not exist a direct chain of biological evidence that links the first single-celled life on Earth to modern human beings, and the current chains that do exist are built on mere fragments of skeletons or fossils with timeline gaps of thousands and often millions of years. I am aware that the theory of intelligent design is also a theory, but neither of these are going to disappear as possibilities until they are disproven.

    Even if biological evolution is proven, I think that my faith might even be solidified. Do you have any idea how statistically impossible a transformation (even over billions of years) from amoeba to human being is? There is no way that it would ever happen unless guided by something higher than our understanding or current knowledge.

    And Darin, with all due respect, your argument does not make sense, especially your closing statement. You cannot compare growth through the stages of a single organism’s life to the random convenient mutation and natural selection that would cause a complete chain of biological evolution. They are not the same thing at all; going from fetus to baby to adult to aged to dead is just individual life as it is proven and observed to occur. Also see the above paragraph.

    All evolution arguments aside, I am just saying that everyone is jumping the gun. Global climate change has not been disproved, but it is far from being proved; the paranoia, grant applications, and extreme measures being suggested are often nothing short of ridiculous given our current knowledge.

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