Recently, a friend explained to me how he thinks the global warming “scare” is a political argument hoisted by liberals.
He insisted that there isn’t any proof that global warming is caused by human activity and he pointed to the evidence that temperatures have always fluctuated naturally.
I couldn’t help but notice how he was missing the point…
I don’t think that the IPCC report that pro-corporate politics is scrambling to discredit is a “liberal argument”, I think its professional advice, pure and simple. The scientific argument was over when the vast majority of climatologists reached a consensus, which isn’t to say that they found the “truth” – just that they’ve arrived at a consensus. After all this is science not religion. This consensus never claimed that humans are 100% to blame for global warming either; it was simply a point where they agreed that our impact on the environment is significant enough to where changes in our behavior could reduce the environments reciprocating effect on us.
The political argument came as a political reaction to the scientific advice, which for almost-understandable reasons isn’t welcomed by everyone.
To use an analogy, the IPCC report isn’t much different than a doctor advising a patient with a thyroid issue to watch his calorie intake. If the patient screams back at the doctor and says that his thyroid is making him fat, then the doctor can explain that the patient’s thyroid is indeed a contributing factor, but that it’s hard to deny that 7,000 calories/day isn’t also a factor and that by reducing his calorie intake he may be able to reduce the magnitude of his problem. In other words, do what’s within your power. Now, if the patient is anything like a pro-corporate politician, he will just scream the same thing back at the doctor – perhaps his macho burritos are more important to him than his health. Well, at that point the doctor has the fortunate option to back off and say – “ok, it’s your body…” Unfortunately, people can’t do that for global warming because we all share the same planet, so now we have a “political argument”.
The stupid thing about this political argument is that it’s so focused on “blame” that the point of “action” is completely missed. Global warming, regardless of what caused it is probably the biggest danger we face today. Our supply chains are so sensitive to climate conditions that billions of people will probably starve to death long before the ice, or even the cute furry polar bears disappear. As far as I’m concerned the urgency isn’t about saving the “planet”, it’s about saving “us”.
And we already know about the natural causes of global warming, you can see that when the scientists roll up their eyes whenever Exxon pays someone to point his finger at 20-year old data or to say that “the sun has solar flares” and for those whom Exxon can’t blind with wool, it’s still plain to see that we are emitting tons of greenhouse gas by the hour – it really doesn’t take a genius to figure out that our carbon emissions have SOME effect, and it shouldn’t take a liberal to understand what the IPCC means when they say we can’t stop global warming, but we can try to at least manage it. The problem is that humans aren’t always willing to take care of themselves, especially when obsessed with macho burritos, SUV’s or profit margins.
At least I get some giggles out of the pro-corporate expressions. My favorite one is that the global warming “alarmists” are conspiring to destroy capitalism. I heard that one on a right-wing radio show. I guess that means that if we’re going to die, at least we can do it laughing.