If a GP told me that a mole on my skin looked questionable and that it would be best to have it removed, would I then ask a geologist, meteorologist or my mate, whose sister in-law has a cousin who is a nurse, for a second opinion?
As much as the scalpel scares the hell out of me, I trust that the GP to know better than the others or myself and quite frankly, I don’t want to run the risk of fighting cancer if I can avoid it.
I did something that in retrospect caused me more frustration than what it was worth and began reading the comments posted in response to a number if excellent blogs. The lucidity of these blogs is beyond question, however, in the comments, there is a lot of room for misinformation and it is very disheartening when otherwise intelligent people ignore the blatantly obvious for what is little more than an inappropriate and overwhelmingly pointless debate, fuelled by the wrong people for the wrong agendas.
Over the past few months, I’ve moved away from this debate, while (hopefully) keeping the common sense approach for change. The call I hear a lot in my field lately is one of increasing conviction and avoidance of the debate over climate change because of the very reason stated above.
Regardless what we choose individually in regards to this argument, very few of us are climate scientist, and very few of us have even done any relevant analysis or read from the bulk of mounting research. It really doesn’t matter what we choose to believe, what matters is that the world is undoubtedly changing (land use / clearing, species loss, water course pollution and diversion, unsustainable farming / fisheries, greenhouse gas concentrations, ocean acidity etc) and that we are greedily chewing up non-renewable resources that we’re heavily reliant on (ie. fossil fuels for energy and nitrogen fertilisers).
It’s a lot like what I witnessed in someone close to me recently who is incredibly sceptical of medical science (especially vaccinations and medications), but the first to fall into the doctors lap, pleading for a wonder drug to be administered NOW, when they felt as though they were dying.
The fight is far less costly and far less energetic the sooner we address the problem – it’s the old “prevention is better than a cure” which we all know yet all too often ignore. I’ve heard many different arguments of why we often ignore this wisdom, although they hardly apply to this situation; many of the point’s addresses above are irrefutable and we have the technology and research capabilities to begin the shift to an increased sustainability, yet we continue this slow square dance with the people that will have us do nothing.
A couple examples;
Recently, we had Monckton in the country. Unfortunately he was given air-time to debate climate science with Dr Ben McNeil (who has actually earned the right to discuss the science through years of training, rather than being nothing more than a good public speaker). Monckton made the point that biofuels (the result of climate change hysteria) are starving millions of people.
Without even considering climate change, I argue that, if we continue down Monckton’s black brick road, fossil fuels will deplete – leaving combustion engines solely reliant on biofuels, natural gas currently used to create nitrogen fertilizers will cause first a massive increase in food costs (as it becomes rarer) and secondly as the gas is used up completely, an inability to meet food demands, and lastly with increase transportation costs in a fossil fuel depleted world, this expensive food will be even more expensive further away from the farm: all of which will make a much hungrier and expensive world and certainly one with greater divergence from food to biofuels. Read here for an example on our reliance on non-renewable nitrogen sources.
In a previous post, I’ve suggested that synthetic food will most likely be our only option on the present road.
Although it’s at times hard to hear Ben, he makes the point clear that the science behind climate change is not about promoting biofuels, but one to address our unsustainable actions and as far as I’m concerned, Monckton is basically addressing logic with fear propaganda.
Another example is one that I hear from America a fair amount and one obviously shared with Nick Minchin; it is that climate change is a fear tactic by communists and socialists in an attempt to de-industrialize the west. Every time I hear such nonsense, I can’t help but be reminded of the Seinfeld episode with the communist santa or Monty Python’s “American defence against international communism” advertised with crelm toothpaste in “And now for something completely different”. I’m glad to have been born after the paranoia of the cold war had dropped a few notches. That said, this fear obviously still lives in the hearts of many people around the world.
It’s easy to address Nick’s fears however; when fossil fuels are too expensive for the vast majority of people, I can’t help but question how industrial the world could remain when most of us can no longer afford fuel to drive or power for the house or food from the shops. Maybe the truth is that these do-nothing dropkicks are really on the payroll of the Amish; because they will probably be the best suited to a world without fossil fuels where we took little to no effort to move away from an non-renewable and depleting source of energy!
These two examples did not even require climate change as a motivator and if Monckton is not opposed to general warming pattern that we are seeing in climate, as he seems to suggest in the video liked above (rather the cause of it is in dispute in his eyes), then why is he kicking up a stink against the climate scientists who are in the business of understanding our climate better which would lead us to better decision making regarding improved agriculture?
In every respect he and others like him are nothing but the instigators of a future of hardship rather than being tomorrow’s heroes; saving us from the World Bank and a global government, that others label them as today.
I guess all that remains is a simple question; when you notice a new mole on your skin, whose advice will you trust, your GP or Lord Monckton and the do-nothings?