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How do you know what you think you know? My latest blog on the Sustainable Industries Magazine web site...
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Silaz Carbryck's profile photoKyle Crider's profile photo
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Not a bad article. I recently had an argument with one of those people who like to say they are a 'revolutionary'. This guy claimed he is one of the Anonymous movement. He ended up blocking me on G+ because he seemed to have formed the opinion that I was a climate change 'denier', and was demonising me for my beliefs. I was merely trying to point out to him that it does not matter whether we are contributing to our planets' warming or whether this is a simply part of a natural Earth cycle of nature, which I happen to believe it is based on scientific evidence that goes back 420,000 years from the Antarctic core samples that have been studied. I tried to teach him about Milankovich cycles, but he would hear none of it, and did not seem to be willing to make any personal sacrifices in order to do something about our 'problem' of global warming.

The action we should be taking right now is exactly that of reducing our energy consumption, and becoming more energy efficient if we wish to maintain our standard of living as it is at the moment, for the next few decades at least, although we will still need to make many sacrifices, simply because we are now running out of cheap, plentiful energy, which our technological civilisation is based on, and so reducing our energy consumption, and becoming more efficient is not something we actually now have any choice in really.

Nature here is the dictator. It is nature that defines the factual parameters, that there is only a finite amount of cheaply recoverable fossil fuels available for us to take advantage of on this finite planet of ours. So it matters not what we think the reasons of global warming are, or whether we can actually do anything about it, which is merely a catalyst for the change that is required of us. But it does matter what we now do, and how we now react to this predicament we currently find ourselves in.

Because if we carry on making the wrong decisions now, our children, not just our grandchildren will be paying a terrible price for our arrogance in the very near future. Which, whatever we do, however we react, is not going to be quite so rosy as so many of us now think.
 
Thank you for your comments, Simon; I do plan to respond when I have a little time!
 
Following up, as promised. I certainly agree with your call to action. A barrel of oil is an incredibly energy-dense and, at least until now, cheap way to get around 10,000 labor hours of work. Two thirds of it may still be in the ground, but most experts believe only another third is recoverable at all, and that at tremendous cost to our economic and environmental health. We need to "Reinvent Fire," as Amory Lovins and the Rocky Mountain Institute wisely advise. But as a doctoral student studying climate change, I must respectfully disagree that climate change is being driven by non-anthropogenic causes. For an excellent overview with links to peer-reviewed publications, see http://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?n=359. Speaking personally, one of my professors at UAB (http://www.uab.edu/news/experts/uab-experts-marine-sciences-global-warming) has visited Antarctica many times and studied some of the cores you mention. They are what made him a "believer," not a skeptic.
 
Well, my theory, which I still must admit is only really based on what I've observed from the data I've been subjected to so far, and quite a lot of guesswork o nmy part is this:

Greenhouse gases such as C02 and Methane are released on a periodic basis on our planet when land-based animals have increased in numbers sufficiently, due to greater habitability of that land which is made available in between ice age periods during the 'warm times'. The methane and C02 is excreted by us, and our fellow animals, who then go on to consume vegitation, and when this reaches greenhouse proportions further methane is then released from storage in the ice fields at the polar caps, compounding the greenhouse effect. I do think that there are still perhaps scientific observations that we have not made concerning Sun cycles yet, and I don't know for sure but I think it may be possible that Earths' orbital eccentricity may bring us closer to the Sun every few 100,000 years, and this, as well as the other Milankovich cycles are the reasons for the Ice age/warm periods that we observe in this graph, which is a favourite of mine as I always seem to be showing it to people:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vostok_420ky_4curves_insolation.jpg

The main problem I have with most of the graphs that people seem to cite when claiming industrial reasons for climate change is that they only ever go back a few hundred years. And seem to ignore the big picture.

Although I like to think that I am not a conspiracy theorist, because I reject most of those theories, I do still believe at present that there is a political agenda behind blaming our industrial activities alone for climate change, which is simply about trying to encourage people to use less energy, in order to make it last longer, and this makes a lot of sense to me.

What so many people tend to ignore by arguing about climate change, and making it the biggest issue, is that it is not the only form of climate degradation that humans are inflicting on our planet due to industrialisation. Also I do not think it is conducive for climate change 'deniers' to then go ahead and say that our industrial activities are not a problem, when they clearly still are.

Whatever we do now, I don't think it's going to make a lot of difference to our environment. We can do a lot to clean things up, and try to maintain biological diversity as best we can, but realistically there's no such thing as a 'sustainable industrialised society'. It's an oxymoron. The only realistic option for us is to try an increase our energy efficiency in order to make that energy last a few years longer, or to spread it around some more by sharing it. If we want to fully develop the developing countries of the world, which would help to maintain world economic growth, which has reached a standstill in the western world, and is a popular and compassionate idea to the public, then we should understand that the cheap energy will not last as long for us, and we should be prepared to make drastic cut backs ourselves.

Either way, our technological civilisation is now stuck between a rock and a hard place, and unfortunately science and technology which go hand in hand with industrialisation is the primary culprit for our predicament. Sure it's allowed many billions of humans to live very prosperous and comfortable lives, for perhaps a little more than a hundred or so years, where no such luxuries have been so widely available to us in the all of past human history. But nothing lasts forever, as universal natural forces are not something we can keep at bay for very long. We will return to living on the land as poor people once again, and this, I am certain is not the first time such a thing has happened.

The Universe is a very large place, and there must have been millions of sentient, technological civilisations which flower ever so briefly in the cosmic wind both before us as there will be after. So really I just think that we should appreciate what we have right now, and celebrate our current freedoms of not being slaves to the land and nature, but understand that such a privilege comes at a cost, and just try to learn how to live less environmentally impacting lives in the process, as we try to get used to less energy, less freedom, lower living standards, and generally much harder lives. Which I can understand is psychologically very difficult to comprehend for people who's minds have been shaped by the myth that living standards will only ever get better over time.

Sorry about that.
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