Go Ahead, Deny Climate Change.

So with the current state of the United States, and the questionable decisions of the Trump administration, I’ve been faced with several instances of people in my social circle talking about the global warming conspiracies and denying human involvement in climate change. These are valid arguments, and criticisms, but I think I need to make some points clear.

The climate is changing.

Oh, I’m not talking about vague statements, or perceptions, I’m talking scientific data. If you don’t agree with the data, well, there’s nothing I can do about that, but scientists are very clear about this, it’s getting hotter. Now I know what you are going to say, the earth has a natural tendency to shift it’s temperature, hotter and colder, we can’t control how the earth works. This is in fact true, but the changes that the earth has gone through since we have been able to record it have been extreme. If you really want to be extremist though, and deny the impact of man on our climate, then you need to embrace the other reality which could exist, that we are about to move out of our relatively warm period (usually about 9,000 to 10,000 years) and into another ice age. That would pretty much eradicate us anyway, but whatever. There is a great graph that illustrates the temperature changes here: http://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/88000/88607/monthlyanoms_gis_201607.gif

I wonder how severe the droughts of the 1930’s would have been if the temperature had been just one degree hotter?

Humans are contributing to that change.

You can say what you want about how many scientists are in agreement or disagreement, it’s just a numbers game anyway. On the internet, any news can be manufactured. I’ve read some really interesting articles which pick out points of data which only support one side of the argument, the side that the article writer tends to believe in. (I will not claim that I haven’t done this by the way) The best part is when the scientific data is used to provide proof to a claim that the data didn’t address in any way. If you don’t want to believe that humans are contributing, that is fine, but do some research into the corollaries between the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and the rise in the temperature, that is data, not opinion. Why is there more CO2? Because humans burn stuff. Lots of stuff. Here’s NASA’s take: http://climate.nasa.gov/causes/

Wait! This is all a big conspiracy!

To do what? Make billionaires of all the solar panel manufacturers? Crush the oil and gas industry, thus eliminating thousands of jobs, killing the economy and bringing on another recession? What in the world makes you think that the oil and gas industry will be crushed by some level of responsibility? That they are in such dire straits that they will fall apart at the slightest bit of environmental pressure? As far as I can tell, the oil and gas industry, which makes HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS of dollars, is doing fine and will continue to do so. Their biggest concern is a reduced profit margin, which is bad for business…well I mean, they will still make HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS of dollars, but you know…less. So yes, it must all be a big conspiracy.

You are just being an ALARMIST!

Nope. Well, maybe? Let me try to illustrate this point:

You have an house with an attached garage:

  • 75% of Scientists say that leaving your car running in the garage is really bad for you.
  • 50% of Scientists say that leaving your car running will likely kill you.
  • 20% of Scientists say it’s not good, but turning the car off will not change anything.
  • 5% of Scientists say that it does nothing.

Under those opinions, would you then choose to leave your car running in your garage? Would you claim that the majority of scientists are just making it all up, because really, you haven’t died yet, so it must not be bad for you. Would you say, “I leave my car running because I worry about the impact of not running my car on the oil and gas industry.” Would you say, “I have a cousin in China, and they all leave their cars running all the time, why should I change if they don’t?” These are all stupid arguments, and all are basically the exact same arguments made about climate change in Alberta.

But what is your point?

My point is this: Denial doesn’t change facts. I get it, forcing people to confront realities about climate change and CO2 is awkward and unpleasant, nobody wants to think that they are contributing to a greater problem. I am the same way, I’m not even a little bit green, I drive my mid-sized SUV a lot, recycle when it’s convenient, hate paying for energy. I look at the situation as a way to be better informed, and less judgmental of people who have our best interests at heart. I’m not granola, (no offence) or an alternative power advocate, I just see a lot of room for improvement in our culture, and in our province. I could always be wrong, and I freely admit that. That being said, I would much rather be wrong and have tried to protect my children, than wrong and chose not to, when we had a chance to make things better.

When it comes to making sure we don’t all die in an apocalyptic desert wasteland, I’m not sure the big oil companies have our best interests at heart.

Chris Evans 2017

(I’m not a scientist or researcher, please feel free to do your own research)

Here are some interesting articles.