Finally the winds have changed and the temperature has dropped. It’s been too hot and humid for too long and I haven’t liked it one bit.
Look – this data is from the last 31 days, I can vouch for the previous 31 being equally uncomfortable. Eight weeks of heat exhaustion has been gruelling.
But that’s not ‘global warming’ that’s the weather.
Often when the subject of global warming comes up so too does the fact that our records are very short and that climate is something that is variable and somewhat cyclical. We know, for example that there have been ice ages and heat waves in the history of the planet. I remember being told that it was once possible to grow grapes and wear toga’s in wet and grey England thanks to a hot spell, I also remember thinking that would be lovely and that it couldn’t come quick enough but that too tends to happen when we focus on the good side of a situation and ignore the bad – I was a teenager trying to get a summer tan at the time. Now I also know that too much sun can give you skin cancer. Oh my goodness….
Anyhow I want to talk a bit about climate change and global warming etcetera, etcetera but I also don’t. You see I am a scientist by trade and have listened to ‘the science’ and the updates time and time again. I’ve been both convinced and not so much by what people have to say. I have to say that when Al Gore first burst onto the scene with his ‘Inconvenient Truth’ monologue he actually made me believe more than ever that this was just some big government con job. It felt like he was trying to recruit people into a cult and my instinct was to seek out the small print, question and challenge, find the flaws. But I got busy and on the whole ignored it while carrying on trying to live as responsibly and respectfully as I could.
And that’s where I am today.
Since as long as I can remember I’ve believed there to be a better way of living life than burning forests, polluting the air and taking our clean water for granted. I remember questioning my dad about economic growth and ‘more stuff’ back in the 1980’s when I was a just a child. I was always fascinated by my dads philosophy that each generation gets richer and lives better than the one before. I’m not sure he still thinks that but back in the 80’s he did and I didn’t. I was a challenging child…… I couldn’t see how this never-ending upwards spiral could keep on going on a planet with only so much stuff and I still don’t although now I’ve realised that money is just a concept and as long as everyone (or somebody) agrees you sort of can just keep on making it (thanks to fiscal easing for de-coupling currency and commodity).
So I guess what I’m realising is that my thinking about the environment and the economy haven’t really changed much in thirty years and, more importantly that I was on the right track when I was a child. Right for me anyhow.
So where does this leave the global warming situation?
Well it sure has been hot here at home and I’m absolutely noticing the relief that a cool breeze and a 10C drop in temperature and humidity brings but that is ‘just’ the weather.
Whether it is hotter, wetter, dryer or as expected no change in the weather is going to make me question whether my philosophy of life is right or wrong because it clearly is right.
My philosophy like many others that I know is to work with and as part of nature rather than as separate or against it and that requires me to care for and about the environment and make choices based on what will do the least harm for the greatest good or something along those lines.
And these days that is so much easier to do.
Unlike the 1980’s today we have so many more options available to us with regards to power generation, farming practices, consumer goods, modes of transport and more besides. Now more than ever I feel that every breath taken in trying to argue the stats or ‘whether it is true or not’ would be better placed just doing something better and cleaner. Now I know that economists and governments have to have strategies and don’t like to take risks and are especially adverse to anything that changes how the economy works (the economy has replaced God as supreme leader) but I just wish they could explain to me how the risks of being wrong about climate change outweigh the benefits of just being more responsible and respectful of how we treat the planet?
I no longer think that the original science was a con job and it’s not because of the science or the way it was spoken, it’s because of how many powerful people have continued to ignore or oppose it and plough ahead with their old-fashioned polluting ways. This is a major problem here in Australia. If the science was rigged to the advantage of the power class I’d have expected them to be charging me for the sun by now but they aren’t. Yet.
So what to do?
Well I don’t know about you but I’m finding these Elvis lyrics just about say it all really:
A little less conversation, a little more action please
All this aggravation ain’t satisfactioning me
A little more bite and a little less bark
A little less fight and a little more spark
Close your mouth and open up your heart and baby satisfy me
Because there is never been a better (or cheaper) time to stop polluting the planet regardless of whether it warms the planet or not.
Well that’s what I think anyway.