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Changing Opinions about Climate Change
And things that are more important than who's to blame for climate change!
In the beginning, the world was without opinion, and people went on using resources ad-hoc and blowing smoke and muck into the air like there was no tomorrow. Then a small minority of people started saying "Stop! You'll change the world's climate". They were not taken seriously, and were mocked, ignored, and accused of political left-wing motives. But then later people generally started to realise there was some truth in this theory, and more and more credibility was had in the Global Warming which was the fault of humans. Eventually even the most stubborn of politicians got onto the eco bandwagon and started enacting laws which forced people to seem like they were being more ecological. But then, just when it seemed the earth's climate was being warmed and it was everyone's fault, a small minority of people started saying "No, it's not our fault! The earth's climate goes through changes anyway". They were not taken seriously, and were ignored, mocked, and accused of political oil-dominated motives. But soon the ideas started to creep into the popular view, as people had got sick of hearing from the eco-flagellants that it was "all our fault", and various evidence was found, sometimes very shaky evidence, to counter the new conventional view of ecoism.
Science is not about political opinion, but is about fact, truth, evidence, things that can be tested and re-checked to see if they are true or not. The trouble is that the argument between "it's humans who are to blame for climate change" and "global climate changes anyway" movements, has itself become far too heated, and there is a sense of being unable to afford to be wrong, for political reasons, on both sides. As a result, there tends to be cheating in the arguing, which masks the truth which needs to be found in calm well thought out investigation.
Another thing which clouds the issue is a quasi-religious notion that there is some divine justice in the ecosystem: Humans pollute, humans get killed off. Sounds like a grain of truth, until you realise "humans" don't have a collective responsibility and can't be punished fairly by the forces of nature. The fact is that the worst polluters tend to be gas-guzzlers in the West, whereas the people who are flooded out first tend to be Pacific islanders who have not been guilty of any eco-sin. So, no justice there.
After such things as the 800 year lag between climate change and CO2, and the actual measurement of the figures to do with volcanoes, are sorted out, there is an underlying reality which has to be found, and that's more important than winning the argument.
There are some things which are facts, such as the 4,600 million year history of the earth and the fact that the climate has changed lots of times, with global warming and global cooling, sometimes over millions of years and sometimes over hundreds of years. There's no getting away from it; it's there in the ice core data. In the past 750 thousand years there have been eight ice-age cycles. The truth will probably turn out to be that global climate changes quite a lot by itself even without humanity influencing it, but humans burning loads of stuff must have some contribution to it. That contribution to the change in global climate might be small or might be very large, but it's got to be reckoned and can't be ignored.
More important than who is going to win in the battle for who's to blame for climate change, there are some things to do with ecology and the environment which remain unchanged. Many of these date back to before ecological things became fashionable, and were originally based on good financial money sense. For example, conservation still works! Resources which are finite and will run out should be conserved. Saving money by using electricity more efficiently will always make sense. Pollution is bad and should be avoided wherever possible. (Pollution involves many toxic substances). Having systems which are renewable rather than slash-and-burn, this has to make good sense for long-term survival. The diversity of species on the earth should remain and should flourish, instead of species extinction figures continuing to rise and being quoted as if they are deaths on the roads this year. Technology should continue to advance and progress will continue to produce benefits to people as it has always done.
Please don't write in to try to convince me of some pro-eco or anti-eco argument, or any kind of political or religious stuff. However, do: plant another tree, save money on your electricity bills, drive an energy-efficient vehicle, etc.
Also, when climate change happens, which it will, regardless of whose fault it is, have some plans in place for yourself! See Survival. Even if you don't fancy living up-hill and having a backup generator and two months supply of food in the deep freezer, at least keep your hard disc drive upstairs!
Other things: Shopping around for the best deal on electricity and gas helps to reduce pollution even if you use the same amount of energy. See uSwitch and Energylinx. Also, when you see a documentary about climate change sponsored by one or other eco factions, don't just believe it or disbelieve it; check up on the facts and figures for yourself.