Lost somewhere, sometime along the way?
I woke up this morning and I was feeling bad. (Don't worry, I'm not going to grab the guitar and sing The Blues, at least not yet).
It felt as if I was living a great Blues lyric, Sunday Morning Coming Down - “Then I washed my face and combed my hair, And stumbled down the stairs to meet the day.” It was a Thursday.
I passed the central heating controls and flipped the heating on. It was May 30th. Had there been a climate change professor, a climate change Nazi, a climate change guru or a climate change capitalist with bulging pockets handy I would have gleefully chopped them up and put them on the bonfire. I could have masked the smell with sodden leaves from the garden.
Got breakfast. Heat still on. Braced myself to walk the dog. Put on my two fleeces, my scarf and my K.C. Chiefs hat and headed down the path. Dog may have preferred to go via the football club, but far too cold. Football club walk is exposed to the north wind.
Got home. Picked up the paper and turned to the weather section. The EDP is getting clever these days – burying the weather deep on page 14. It used to be on page two. Forecast for today – cloudy with high of 11 degrees. Yes, that's 52 degrees F. Wind off the North Sea at 10-20 mph. EDP page 12 headline – Grey skies fail to dampen spirits as thousands flock to Suffolk Show. (The capacity of English people to delude themselves never ceases to amaze me – this explains the “stiff upper lip” - it's frozen in that position!)
Meanwhile on page 11 comes the startling revelation that the “UK cut the most emissions across the EU in 2011”. France and Germany also cut theirs. Leader of the pack was Finland which cut emissions by 10%. Wooden spoon goes to Bulgaria whose levels rose by 9.6% in the same period. Anyone spotting a correlation here?
Back at the ranch, the EU is still in the grip of recession with millions of poor people suffering unemployment and cuts to their living standards. Any correlation here?
On page 14 we have an exciting development at the Wymondham Medical Practice. They have obtained planning permission to install a “biomass woodchip boiler to improve its green credentials”. I got confused. I stupidly thought that by burning wood (a carbon based organic material) Wymondham Medical would be adding to the greenhouse gasses. Apparently not. According to my research, burning wood does not count, because it is carbon extracted from the atmosphere in the first place to make the tree. Fossil fuels, on the other hand, are carbon based organic material extracted from the atmosphere millions of years ago. Clear? It's just a question of time – apparently.
Time to draw breath.
Only a few brave scientists and public figures question the premise that global warming (if it exists) is caused by burning fossil fuels. Their concerns are seldom, if ever, given much publicity. Humans would much rather believe that danger is imminent and we are, Dad's Army-like, “doomed”.
Recent evidence has thwarted the climate change brigade. The rise in global temperature has either stopped or slowed to a trickle in the last five years. Lot's of carbon is being burned but little seems to be causing any global warming.
So, in the midst of the coldest spring in living memory here in the UK what conclusions can we draw?
It's always been super obvious to me that putting more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere is going to cause global warming. But, folks who ought to know better seem to discount the ability of Gaia to cope with fluctuations in atmospheric carbon. More carbon in the atmosphere enables more plant growth. More carbon in the atmosphere enables the oceans to absorb more and oceanic creatures to use it to build shells and coral reefs. (Not sure? Check out the White Cliffs of Dover!)
Ah, say the nutters – it's not the change that's important it's the pace of change.
Let's see, how about some historical evidence. In general the climate has been getting warmer for about the last 12 000 years. Long before any fossil fuels were being used – or even discovered. What triggered this warming? You could spend all day and give yourself a serious Excedrin Headache Number 426 in the process reading about this very question. The theories are manifold. Some might even have elements of sound thinking in them. What is beyond dispute is no-one really knows for sure. But the Ice Age did end and global temperatures began to rise. They are still rising today.
Without real evidence how about a bit of logic? Where does the heat for this planet come from? The sun. Even fervent climate-changers will agree on this. What is then the most likely source of global warming? The sun.
What can we do to obviate the global warming if the primary cause is fluctuations in the sun's radiation? Nothing.
But this does not sell newspapers.
Sine qua non.