Hot air and imbecility

The IPCC report on Climate Change came out.  Frankly we should be bloody scared about what it says because if we don’t get our backsides into gear and actually do something it’s going to be terrible.  Start with intensifying storms and increased frequency and severity of natural disasters to acidification of the oceans (leading to the devastation of aquatic life as the smallest things at the bottom of the pyramid starve hence everything else will), to raising sea levels, to potentially major extinctions (some experts currently believe we’re in a mass extinction event now).  Bloody hell!

What’s depressing about the whole thing…. well how many things are depressing?  I’m not talking about potential outcomes, I’m talking about how it’s being discussed in the media.

The first thing is that huge numbers of normal folk seem to think that it’s all overblown.  Is it?  Possibly.  My opening paragraph will be read by some as hysterical nonsense.  Well that’s just a description of the outcome if the bods doing the science are right – the only questions there are “how soon” and “what can we do to stop it”.

And then the “facts” keep changing.  Do they?  Yes well inconveniently the surface temperature hasn’t risen much since 1998 – hah, caught you.  AND the arctic ice sheet has expanded this summer, hah again!  OK well 1998 was a massively hot outlier caused by a known climate phenomenon so picking that is like saying “computers aren’t getting any faster ‘cos the US had a supercomputer back in 1998 and my desk top isn’t that fast even now”.  And this is the hottest decade on record, and the one before that was, at the time, the hottest on record, and the one before that was the hottest on record etc etc…  And the arctic ice did expand – to the 6th lowest level ever recorded.  Ah but what about the antarctic sea ice – that’s expanded hasn’t it, they cry.  Yes, yes it has.  In area.  Volume however hasn’t, and major ice shelves are breaking apart like never before.  What’s so depressing about this tack is that every single one of the objections has been answered but people don’t want to hear it so they parrot basic unthought through facts as if they’ve landed a stinging blow to those who’ve spent years actually looking at the details.  No matter how many times they’re rebuffed they’ll keep parrotting nonsense until someone they’re talking to hasn’t heard the rebuttals and then they’ll both nod sagely and think how wonderfully clever they are seeing something that thousands of profs and PhDs haven’t seen (or refuse to see ‘cos they’re only it for the moolah of course).

So yes, apparently the scientists involved are only in it for their “lucrative jobs”.  But apparently the known funders of the denialist campaigns are oil magnates aren’t in it to keep their somehwat immense profits.  If you’re looking at funding then surely the billions profit to the oil companies far outstrips the probably less than £100k salaries of the very top scientists (and certainly dwarfs the salaries of the post grads and such – UCL’s website suggests top qualified lecturers get around £40k after many years of work).  Do people really think that scientists earn immense amounts of money?  Really?

And then it’s all about tax isn’t it.  Oh yes those sneaky governments just wanting to find ways to tax us more.  What an utterly pathetic argument.  That’s right yes the government just wants us to have less money that’s right.  Why?  Because they do.  Oh yes I forgot governments just want lots of money, no doubt so they can spend it on subsiding food and drink at the houses of parliament eh?

Such a depressing thought that I share air with such imbeciles.

So on one side we have a body set up by the UN, presided over by a multinational panel of experts in their topic looking at thousands of research papers, answering every single question put to them by the governments of the UN, yes every question no matter how banal or how often asked before, and kicking out a paper that has to be agreed on by the signatories – no mean feat in science (apparently scientists aren’t easily herded sheep unlike the masses).  On the other the fat bloke down t’pub says it’s all bollocks cos he read an article that questions it written by a journalist with no more knowledge of science than a bleedin’ slug.  And what good did scientists ever do anyway, with their frankenfoods and bombs and that?

Who are you going to listen to?  The level of certainty shown in the report is the same that says “smoking causes lung cancer and heart disease” and “HIV leads to AIDS” – there are denialists who think those things aren’t true too but they’re routinely looked down on and laughed at – because that’s what they deserve.

I’m sure it’s comforting to repeat the mantra “It’s not happening, it’s not happening” to yourself over and over as you slowly crouch into a foetal position as the consequences become clearer and clearer over time.  But that’s really not helpful.

We’re an inventive species – we can sort this, or at least have a bloody good go.  What benefit is it to NOT do something?  Well you’ll save some of that extra tax no doubt.  You pathetic moron, you have evolved intelligence, bloody use it.

Leave a Comment

This blog is protected by Dave\'s Spam Karma 2: 36253 Spams eaten and counting...