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Life Experience

GETTING REAL ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE

I had an email from Greta Thunberg on Monday 1 November 2021

She told me that ”the planet is screaming for help”. And “We are catastrophically far from the crucial goal of 1.5°C.” Words like screaming and catastrophe are not scientific or measured and do nothing to encourage sensible discussion or practical solutions to the genuine problems that are part of climate change.

A new belief system

This kind of talk is hysteria and unfortunately hysteria is infectious. It has already spread around the world to create a new kind of belief system, a new kind of religion (climate activism), which is not open to discussion or questioning and is only loosely related to facts.

You can be saved

Its approach is designed to generate fear and develop a following through a desire to be saved from a Terrible Fate. It leads to such bizarre behaviour as people gluing their hands to tarmac in order to draw attention to the fear they think we all should be experiencing. They believe they can offer us salvation and seek to convert the world to their beliefs by their show of passion, conviction, certainty that they have the answer.

The reward

If we follow them we can save millions of lives, stop the ice caps and glaciers melting, stop the desertification of farm lands, stop rising sea levels, stop extreme weather events, wildfires, hurricanes and floods.

The media love disaster stories

Unfortunately, the world’s media thrive on stories of shock and horror and talk of imminent disasters and so are only too happy to spread the alarmist rhetoric. Every natural disaster is good news for the media who will not miss an opportunity to highlight it and explain its cause – climate change, of course.

Climate alarmists

Climate alarmists get a disproportionate share of the headlines as compared with people taking a rational approach to dealing with global warming.

Global warming has been happening for centuries

Scientists tell us that global warming has been going on for the last 27,000 years. 27,000 years ago an ice sheet stretched down across Scotland and Northern England as far as the Midlands and took another 16,000 years to melt off the UK. Sea levels have been rising all this time.

Continued global warming

Continued global warming is inevitable and is accelerating in some areas which is certainly a matter of grave concern.

We know where to expect natural disasters.

We can expect more natural disasters and we know pretty well where they will occur. A French atlas I have, published in 2003, shows the areas of France where natural disasters are likely to occur and what they will be. Armed with this knowledge people can make preparations to cope. Similar knowledge exists in countries around the world.

Surviving climate change  –  tested methods that work

The people of the Netherlands are not waiting for sea levels to rise. As far as they are concerned the sea level has already risen. The sea level is already higher than much of their land but by skilful water management and engineering they have saved themselves with flood defences and pumping stations.
Strengthening flood defences is a major task for many countries and may be more effective than trying to halt climate change. Quick and definite results can be guaranteed.
Hurricanes cannot be prevented but buildings can be built to withstand them.
Forest fires may be worse now partly because many occur in forests planted by humans and consisting of very resinous and highly flammable pine trees.  Seriously wide fire-breaks might be incorporated in planting schemes, so, perhaps, re-thought forestry management systems may help.
Some effects of climate change may be impossible to mitigate and so we hope policies designed to “halt climate change” may have some effect.

Nuclear power station releasing huge quantities of water vapour into the atmosphere, a climate negative, but the greatest danger is radioactivity, the risk of accident, and the long-term storage problem that has no known answer and unbelievable and unknowable cost

A climate change solution to avoid

I would like to highlight one proposed solution to the climate crises which is dangerously inappropriate as it carries huge, and very long-term environmental risks to be suffered by future generations. Please see my post on this issue. About the dangers of nuclear power.

There’s more to say about climate change

Obviously there is more to the climate change issue than considered above.
This article doesn’t cover all my thoughts on climate change so I will write another article soon. This will be on climate science and the questions campaigners don’t address.
Please also see my memories of an extreme weather event, the Fenland Floods of 1947. It includes a remarkable video.

YOUR OPINION

Do you believe that if we all drive electric cars, use heat pumps instead of gas boilers, insulate our houses to the maximum, never fly again  –  then floods, rising sea levels, forest fires and all the ills of climate change will end?

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David Roberts

Writer, publisher, music promoter

Born in 1942, I now have time to enjoy life more widely and reflect on my experience, interests, and contemporary events.

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