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Contributor:
Dallas Boyd
Dallas Boyd

Is all this global warming/climate change rabble just twisted fear mongering designed to make money?

The rich get richer. The poor get poorer. You know how it goes.

When I was younger, I used to imagine the stereotypical “environmentalist” as a tree-hugging, bare-foot, hippy. Now I see the emergence of designer-hiking-boot-and-suit wearing, capitalist environmentalists. This type spout the slogan “Green Makes Green” at board meetings and conferences - the idea that promoting environmentally friendly products and services makes money. (I am not making this up, in the past year I have had two meetings with people who have told me “Green makes Green.”) How cool is it to be green now??

Recently I watched “An Inconvenient Truth” for the first time (ok, I know that movie’s been out for ages now, but whatever). As I lay on the couch in my pyjamas, overdosing on biscuits on Sunday afternoon, I totally drunk in Al Gore. (By the way, did you know that we burn more calories when we are asleep than when we are watching TV? This may have explained my zombie-like state). “Wow” I thought, covering myself in cookie crumbs. “Al Gore sure is an environmental trooper. A real crusader!” I especially enjoyed the snapshots into the life of Al Gore as a simple farm boy growing tobacco. What a neat touch. I don't want polar bears to drown. I was onboard!

Then I went to the other side of the spectrum and read a book called “State of Fear” by Michael Crichton. Although the book is fictional, he spent three years researching environmental texts before writing it (or so he says), and the entire story is footnoted with scientific articles, followed by two appendixes (which include sources of the data for graphs), and an annotated bibliography. This book suggested knowledge I hadn’t heard before… (obviously amidst a plot fit for a bad-ass action movie, with conspiracy, attempted murders, car chases, and a guy getting eaten by cannibals and stuff. )

This book pointed out things like...

  • Even if America - the biggest polluter - had signed the Kyoto Treaty, the actual effect would apparently only reduce global temperatures by .04 Celsius by the year 2100... Four hundredths of a degree.
  • Mount Kilimanjaro is apparently not melting because of global warming, but because of deforestation. Deforestation has been causing it to melt since the 1800’s, as the rainforest at the base of the mountain is cut down and the air blowing up loses it’s moisture.
  • Carbon dioxide may help stimulate plant growth, and satellite studies have apparently shown that the Sahara desert has shrunk since 1980.
  • Apparently sea-levels have been rising for the last 6 thousand years anyway, and one study noted the South Pacific has fallen slightly in several years. (By a few millimetres… who cares). 
  • Plus, if cities are getting hotter (even though some are slightly cooler and some have showed no change), you have to also consider the “Urban Heat Island” effect - the idea that cities are hotter than the countryside because of all the concrete, skyscrapers, and asphalt. And the more a city grows, the hotter it becomes.

And on it goes.

So what is going on? Really???

I’m not an expert. Like anyone else, all I do is parrot what I hear or read - and I don’t do this fairly either. I cut and paste and only repeat the interesting stuff. So clearly nothing I say can be trusted 100%. Likewise, if the “facts” being presented by the media (or whoever else) are wrong or twisted (to make money, to create fear as a means of social control, to push certain agendas, or whatever) then we’re living in some pretty serious fantasy time. It’s a cliché example, but yes, we used to believe the world was flat and if anyone dared to say otherwise they faced some pretty serious backlash. 

Scientists funded by industry are accused of being biased. Scientists funded by environmentalist groups are accused of being biased. And most scientists who dedicate their lives to research conclude “We cannot be clear that…” “Further studies are needed…” “There is no evidence to show that…” “The results suggest…”

Be careful what you read and what you hear - there is truth in all things, but no one thing is all truth. (Man, just think about the confusion and fear surrounding the idea that power lines cause cancer! But some health stores and magazines advertise and sell magnetic jewellery for the benefits!)

The earth was here for a lot longer than humans began galloping around on their high horses as masters of the universe. It was in a changing state then and it is in a changing state now. To suggest humans are solely responsible for changes and can control them absolutely is nothing short of arrogance. To try and make money off it, well that’s nothing short of human.

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