Global warming - a hoax?

These are just some thoughts on global warming denial and where we find ourselves at this point in time in relation to the environment. 

Don't expect to find any solid data in this article to back my belief in the reality of catastrophic climate change, this is more of a heart piece I guess. I think there's so much data available now, it's a given. Just on this small site, there's hundreds of recent related news items summarized; collected just in the the first couple of months since I started What you see on this site doesn't even scratch the surface of the environmental disaster rapidly unfolding.

Ever since NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies made a correction to data that seemed to show 9 of the ten hottest years in U.S. history occurred since 1995 (turns out it was 3), the more vociferous of the "global warming deniers" have used this error to prove (they say) the whole idea of global warming induced climate change is a huge hoax. It smacks somewhat of desperation I feel.

I find it very difficult to believe that this one faux pas undermines the whole global warming credibility issue. I think it's a smokescreen so some folks don't feel pressured to make changes to lighten their impact on the environment. 

If you've been used to living in a particular way and don't want that way to change, then denial of it possibly changing is a totally normal human reaction. It's a well known stage of grief. Wrap it up in a few cherry-picked facts and scientific gobbledegook and it even becomes believable.

But then again, the same can be said of the global warming believers I guess. I think the difference is the volume of data confirming the climate change reality - and not just words and numbers, but phenomenon we can see and feel.

Even if the U.N. came out tomorrow and said "ok, everyone, we got you good - global warming is a hoax" - I really wouldn't stop believing it unless many respected authors of various studies also admitted it's a hoax, if the Mauna Loa Observatory boffins said their atmospheric carbon dioxide data was a hoax and if my "spidey sense" said it was a hoax.

The "spidey sense" is an important element of all this to me. 

In fact, a whole stack of organizations would need to come forward and say their data was a hoax before it would even put a dent in my convictions. I feel the planet dying, I feel the changes - have done since I was a child. I see the changes in plants and animals, I see the difference in the sunrises and sunsets. I feel the winds of major change; a whisper at first and now rapidly building into a storm. Global warming and climate change are only elements of it - we are witnessing a convergence of environmental crises - critical mass, toxic overload; whatever you like to call it.

When I was a fisherman and we were a long way out to sea, we knew to watch for a black line on the horizon. When it would appear, it was time to pull up our lines and skedaddle as it signified a storm was coming. If the storm should hit and we were still out there; there was nowhere to run and hide. I see the black line of global warming on our horizon now.

Animals are well adapted to detecting catastrophic change. We humans are not so sensitive, but we still have some of that instinct left over from our primitive past when we were more in touch with nature. Put the studies and debate aside for a moment. Reach inside yourself - what do you feel?

While my vision of the immediate future isn't rosey to some, it's not apocalyptic in the popular sense of the word by any means. The word "apocalypse" has its roots in Greek and means "the lifting of the veil". I do believe we're living in that time; religious beliefs aside. The apocalypse is not the end - it's the beginning. And like any storm, it will buffet us, create havoc, but behind it; the air will be clear and fresh.

Getting back to the deniers, many of them do raise a very valid point which certainly explains some of the recently more desperate nay-saying and screams of "hoax!". They are being marginalized. Some 'believers' are even going as far as saying their denial or skepticism borders on a crime against humanity. 

The belief in climate change occurring has become so widespread, the deniers/skeptics feel threatened each time they express any opinion about a possible global warming hoax. Many are forming tight knit groups online to protect themselves, so they can continue to cling to their beliefs in a supportive environment. And that's perfectly natural too.

On an emotional level, I have this gut reaction that says that the global warming deniers are dangerous in that they interfere with alerting everyone to the dangers ahead and prevent the rapid, collective action necessary to minimize damage resulting from climate change. But on another level I know that's a very wrong way to be. 

For starters, skepticism and denial are two very different states of being. A skeptic is someone who habitually or instinctively doubts or questions. Nothing wrong with that.

Debate is good. Various points of view being expressed is healthy. An opposing view seeking holes in a popular belief is wonderful. If the belief stands after all the holes have been pointed out and addressed, then belief becomes truth. The real truth. 

I just don't think we've got a lot of time left to go through that process.

If anything, the various passionate diatribes and in some cases very intelligent arguments against the concept of global warming have done nothing but affirm my beliefs it's real, climate change is happening now.. and that it's going to have even far more reaching effects than I can comprehend at this point in time.

We need to let people have their opinion - allow them to express it and if they are doing so respectfully, treat it with respect. Listen to what they are saying; check out their sources. Far too often I see the global warming debate on forums and blogs denigrate into ad hominem attacks. This does nothing to help either side. It's simply wasting time.

Someone asked me a question along these lines recently; "if you believe in global warming so much, what's the point in living?" My response was basically, we all know we're going to die, so why do we continue to live? It's a basic imperative of living things to survive, but further to that, I see a chance at us minimizing the damage and perhaps a better world resulting from the changes about to occur. 

Even if by some sort of miracle this global warming thing is just a big honest mistake; many of us have experienced an awakening. We've been alerted to the fact that we don't make rules on Planet Earth. We've taken steps to green our lives and generally be more respectful of the environment. Isn't that a good thing? Seems to me like it's the kick in the pants we've all needed.

This is my opinion. 

We all need to remember though that nature doesn't give a tinker's cuss about our opinions. Nature will do what it needs to do, without our consultation, approval or validation. 

Nature is not a democracy, it's a benevolent dictator.

Michael Bloch