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To think that we are all in denial about climate change?

(97 Posts)
toptramp Mon 12-Dec-11 14:52:19

What's all this David Attenborough backlash about? On last week's frozen plant there was clear footage of ice breaking up. Ok- that alone can't proove that man is causing climate change but he is right imo.

It's not the fault of the polar bears or teh penguins or freak weather systems but it is man that is causeing much of the damage. Man and our pollution. I was just reading the Telegraph today and in the artice 'Attenborough stumble on melting ice' Charle's Moor writes about the last frozen planet "Beyond a vaguely uneasy feeling that climate change around the poles might be important and dangerous the programme had no message" Really? I thought the programme had a very clear message "stop burning fossil fuels" being one of them.

The problem is we don't like to admit that we might be the problem here as that would involve big changes and we don't like big changes. I just don't understand why some people can't admit taht yes man is soiling his own nest and therefore lets do something about it; lets make changes. I will be very sad when (and not if) polar bears go extinct.

CarefullyAirbrushedPotato Mon 12-Dec-11 14:55:03

not all top

SantieMaggie Mon 12-Dec-11 14:59:52

Most are yes.

Although there has always been climate change we are making the effects worse and the worst thing that ever happened was naming it 'global warming'.

AMumInScotland Mon 12-Dec-11 15:07:51

Some are in denail about it. But probably many more reluctantly accept that it's happening but can't see any connection between their own choices and any chance of "doing something about it", so don't see much point in worrying about it above all their other worries.

After all, is getting the bus instead of taking the car going to make a change that bears any proortion to eg China's coal-fired power stations?

Until people can see that any effort they make is going to make a blind bit of difference, I don't think they're going to "sell" the idea that we as individuals need to be making changes.

Civilon Mon 12-Dec-11 15:11:40

YANBU. It is completely mad for people to stick their head in the sand over this.

I think it's particularly odd in people who have kids. What do they think their dcs' future is going to look like unless radical action is taken to mitigate climate change?

LaurieFairyCake Mon 12-Dec-11 15:12:25

I know it's happening but as long as governments witter on about 'personal responsibility' rather than effective legal change (like an individual carbon footprint) we will go nowhere.

I do as much as I personally can, I don't want to shirk my responsibilities but a lot of people do nothing.

And also there are no easy answers - we can't come down hard on India and China who are trying to grow as we had all that opportunity and growth 200 hundred years ago.

aldiwhore Mon 12-Dec-11 15:17:11

Some are in denial and some cannot agree about it, whether its an acceleration or a normal change over time, the end of one era beginning of another. Some experts can't decide if the damage is done, or is still being done, or exactly what that damage is and what it means.

The facts are clear though, the poles are warming. Whether that is a direct affect of 100years of burning fossil fuels, or whether its manmade chemicals etc, is more complex. There are certain areas of the globe where its obvious that the damage is directly related to human beings.

I agree with Amum there's a level of 'why bother' when the affect of changing from standard lightbulbs to energy saving ones is minimal in comparison with the real villans, when I could drive my car for a year and leave less of a footprint than one flight... I think apathy plays a major part.

When the experts agree on exactly what is happening and why, when there is a real alternative to what propels our lives (wind farms are not the answer) when it won't COST us more, then I think people would happily change and care more.

Civilon Mon 12-Dec-11 15:17:58

We could all vote for politicians who were motivated to do something about it.

And then keep nagging them once they're in.

We're not completely disenfranchised in this country, although it often feels like it.

somebloke123 Mon 12-Dec-11 15:49:08

Climate has always changed and always will. For most of the Earth's geological history there has been no ice at the poles.

There are many natural phenomena that can and do affect the climate; for example Solar activity, changes in the earth's orbit (e.g. Milankovich cycles), volcanic activity, ocean currents, tectonic plate movements, cosmic ray incidence (which varies as the solar system moves with respect to the interstellar medium) etc etc etc.

We have had mass extinctions, warm periods, ice ages. There have been times in the earth's history when the concentration of atmospheric CO2 has been 10 or 20 times what it is now and the earth did not suffer a catastrophe, otherwise we would not be here right now.

It seems to me that the proponents of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) theory are under some obligation to show that changes observed now are outside the range of variability due to non-human causes. They have not done this.

There are places where polar ice is contracting and others where it is growing and thickening. Similarly for glaciers. Decide what you want your conclusion to be and there will be some suitable piece of ice to suit you.

There is no particular correlation over geological history (extending over 100s of millions of years) between CO2 concentration and temperature. Taking just the last couple of million years there is a correlation, but increases in CO2 tend to follow temperature increases by several hundred years, not precede them, suggesting that CO2 increases are an effect rather than a cause of higher temperatures.

Over the last 2 million years the earth's climate has changed on a roughly 100-130 thousand year cycle, which correlates quite well with cycles in the earth's motion (orbit, tilt of axis, distance from sun) with ice ages lasting around 100,000 years separated by warmer and shorter interglacial periods of 10,000 -20,000 years. Since the end of the last ice age around 13,000 years ago we have been in one such interglacial. If things continue along the same lines, we should be due another ice age within the next few thousand years.

The greenhouse effect is good. If it were not present, the earth would be around 30 degrees C colder than it is. Massively the most important greenhouse gas is water vapour, not CO2. On the simplest interpretation H20 accounts for over 90% of the greenhouse effect, CO2 a few %, and various trace molecules (e.g. methane, N2O) the rest.

CO2 is good. It is plant food.

It is indeed possible that observed rises in CO2 are partly as a result of human activity. (It is not certain because there is very incomplete understanding of the various source and sinks of CO2 in the atmosphere.)

If we are causing CO2 to increase that's more likely to be a good rather than a bad thing. More CO2 means more photosynthesis so plant growth is stimulated. On the other hand is is known that if CO2 concentrations go down to, say, half what they are now then plant life really starts to struggle.

Although CO2 is considered in isolation a greeenhouse gas, there's no real evidence (and I mean real evidence, not just predictions from simplistic computer models) that it results in anything but negligible warming.

But again, suppose that's wrong and it is causing some warming. That too is more likely to be a good than a bad thing. Warmer periods in the past (e.g. holocene warming, Roman warming period, medieval warming period (900-1300 AD) have been generally good and prosperour times to be alive. Cooler periods such as the Dark Ages (500-900 AD) and the "Little Ice Age" (1300 - 1950 AD) have been terrible times to be alive (starvation, plagues etc).

We have nothing to fear from a bit of warming - much more from a cooler period.

We should stop worrying. CO2 is our friend.

somebloke123 Mon 12-Dec-11 15:54:21

Sorry typo - I meant Little Ice Age (1300 - 1850 AD, not 1950).

The most bitterly cold bit of this was the "Maunder Minimum" (1650 - 1700) which coincided with a period of almost zero sunspot activity.

TheRealTillyMinto Mon 12-Dec-11 15:56:58

Yes probably

flicktheswitch Mon 12-Dec-11 15:57:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

aldiwhore Mon 12-Dec-11 16:01:13

Very interesting post somebloke

Though without the fear people simply won't look after this planet... its not a strong selling point to say "Nurture and respect the planet because its our only home and we should be keeping it 'nice'!" is it? Or fear of catastrophe will make people do what they should be doing.

I LIKE environmentalists because they care enough to at least want a nicely kept healthy home. I don't like the bullshit fear mongering.

I liked the fact that David Attenborough's team showed the facts without the preaching or opinions. Its a factual doco and therefore requires no 'message'.

somebloke123 Mon 12-Dec-11 16:12:37

Adiwhore: Point taken but I really can't see how predicting catastrophe without no real evidence is going to help. For one thing it starts to look like what Plato called a "noble lie" i.e. something that may not be true but we have to make the little people believe it because it will lead them into the paths of righteousness. I personally feel quite uncomfortable with that. It' just dishonest. Anyway it is more likely to lead to bad and alarmist decisions being taken (wind farms, carbon trading scam etc) and by the wrong people.

Ii is of course possible to make a thoroughly biased documentary without factual errors and without overtly preaching, simply by being selective in what images you show. I haven't seen the Attenborough doc so couldn't possibly comment ....

NanAstley Mon 12-Dec-11 16:13:43

My friend's husband is a scientist working on climate change and he says exactly what somebloke has written. He says the media never gives their research any air time as theirs isn't the "popular opinion".

I often want to quote him when people start going on about climate change but I can never remember the points he makes or be as eloquent as him on statistics. I think I'm just going to copy-paste somebloke's post onto my phone and hand it over to everyone who starts spouting about melting glaciers.

We must take care of our planet and reduce our consumerism, but to think that man is solely responsible for climate change is really too self-important for words.

aldiwhore Mon 12-Dec-11 16:15:36

Oh I agree completely somebloke but not sure what the answer is to make us all be a bit kinder to this planet... the newly discovered 'earth's twin' is a little too far away for a quick getaway!

I don't like a noble lie either.

And yes, editting can make an argument for or against without any need for preaching. I've only just seen the clip. I'm not an eco warrior, so just thought 'oh an iceberg tumbling'.

HecklerNotKoch Mon 12-Dec-11 16:18:25

meh, its just a way for governments to ramp up the Green Taxes imo

its all cyclical anyway

Civilon Mon 12-Dec-11 16:41:25

Blimey. I think the OP just proved her point.

TroublesomeEx Mon 12-Dec-11 16:45:49

Thanks somebloke you said what I wanted to.

ViviPrudolf Mon 12-Dec-11 16:47:52

Where's Whatmeworry when you need her? I won't be able to cope with this thread until she pipes up.

retiredgoth2 Mon 12-Dec-11 16:53:24


Firstly it's supremely arrogant to believe that some minor tinkering by humans will precipitate an apocalypse.

It seems that every generation has to have its own bogey to fear. We had nuclear war to focus on (polishes ageing CND badge) and now it's climate change shit.

So. It's a choice. Wring one's hands and feel righteous, or get on with living.

It's a genuine choice. Feel free to make yours. I've made mine.

Just off to slice some dolphins to fuel the Landy.

Ta ra!

amicissima Mon 12-Dec-11 17:06:48

Exactly, somebloke.

I would be very worried if the world's climate stopped changing.

Jajas Mon 12-Dec-11 17:23:42

We are a mere blip in the history of our planet a mere blip. I concur that it is very arrogant to think that humans could 'destroy' a whole planet but I certainly agree that we are making it extremely unpleasant to live in some places and are contributing to many extinctions of both animals and plants.

I've been an ardent environmentalist for about 30 years and used to get so miserable and upset about what we are doing but I am more at peace with it all now. I think we will have our time and gradually we will fade away and something else or maybe nothing else? will take our place. The Gaia hypothesis pleases me as I believe the earth will regulate itself come what may and that we are just an unpleasant plague of fleas on her right now.

I have to think like that otherwise I would go insane with worry as to what is going on all around us sad.

somebloke's post is absolute bollocks. I'll give you it's convincing sounding bollocks, but it's stuff like this that means people are in denial about climate change, as you say OP.

Firstly, and most importantly, the world has been hotter/colder, but it didn't have 7 billion humans on it at the time. All of whom want food, and water, and most of whom have armies to take it from their neighbours if they run out.

Secondly, if the increased CO2 was being absorbed by plants, then the level in the atmosphere wouldn't be rising. But it is.

The rest of the points are bollocks too, but those are the main ones.

NanAstley Mon 12-Dec-11 17:32:05

we are making it extremely unpleasant to live in some places and are contributing to many extinctions of both animals and plants.

Yes, I totally agree. There is no doubt that we have to change our lifestyles and be more responsible about how we treat the earth and the people, flora and fauna we share it with. But climate change is not the reason why we should do it. We should do it to make the world a better place now and for the future. Banging on about melting glaciers distracts from the main point IMHO.

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