Climate Crisis Q&A

One of the most respected news sources in Sweden has recently published an article dealing with some of the questions readers raise in the global warming debate. DN relies on the following sources: Nature, Science and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences – all filtered through IPCC. I thought that it would be interesting to do a quick rundown of the latest Q&As related to global warming and environmental issues. I am going to provide very short answers because I am not in the mood to elaborate, if you want the full answers I suggest you go and look through some of the sources mentioned above. Although I have short answers I try and give you the overall notion of the answers.

Why do you just let one side state their opinion? There are researchers who do not believe that mankind affects the climate.

All published sources that DN relies on are sources that almost all share the same view and has passed through IPCC. One of IPCCs functions is to collect and present the paradigm-like views and research.

Have you seen “The Great Climate Swindle” documentary?

Apparently one of the sources in the film; Carl Wunsch is extremely misquoted and has in an open letter declared that he was tricked by the producers of the documentary. So from DNs point of view it is not a decent form of documentary partly because of this and what it supports.

The results from satellites and weather balloons do not support the climate researchers arguments supporting today’s leading perspective on global warming.

The results used to bug the researchers but it was because of the analyses. The problem has been dealt with.

The planet has been warm before if we look throughout its history.

Yes of course. Researcher Milutin Milankovic both believes and shows that earth’s motion around its axis have three different cycles. These variations affect the temperature on our Earth. Then you have other contributing aspects such as the amounts of snow and ice, the oceans' temperatures and sediments that contain a lot of ‘stuff’ which when released into the atmosphere contribute to raising the temperature on our planet.

Today’s global warming is due to variations in the sun’s radiation.

No, the sun’s radiation can only explain a small part of the global warming.

I do not have the energy to deal with the last question in the article; I suggest that if you understand Swedish you should read it yourselves instead. When I look back on what I have written and the overall mood and the way I declare what the news source has published then I can see a lack of inspiration from my part. This is due to several things.

My concern is that the different ‘perspectives’ seem to leave out the good stuff from their oppositional point of views. Surely all data on anything ‘environmental’ should be a part of the explanation on why the planet is becoming warmer. Shutting down some views and supporting others can make us miss essential stuff or give us an attitude that we should brush aside everything that has not been allowed by the IPCC. This attitude which is gained by choosing sides and make us force it upon other people is dangerous. It becomes environmental bullying - science and religious aspects merge into a ready made package. Science has to rid these elements out of its nucleus structure, otherwise we will yet again see science diminish and we will face The Crisis of the European Sciences.

Animal Mass Extinction Thought Experiment

I was talking with a thoughtful friend the other day, one whom I have come to know through philosophy studies. We discussed the possibility that some species may face mass extinction in the future and if or why mankind should do anything about it. He especially pointed out some oddities concerning mankind’s values in relation to animal mass extinction.

First of all let us take a moment and engage ourselves in a thought experiment: Species number one, a monkey living in a remote area of Africa faces extinction. Species number two, a cranky spider roaming about in Australia also faces extinction. Let us presume that mankind have the resources to save one of these species from mass extinction. The initial questions I now ask are: Which species should we save? Why should we save that particular species rather than the other? What are the good arguments for saving that species?

Did you choose to save the monkey? How did you make your decision? What were your good arguments? I did not mention that the spider in my example might be more beneficial to the environment and ultimately to mankind. Let me rephrase the questions. Should we really try and save species at all? How do people intend to choose between saving a particular species rather than one that is either unknown or seen as a hazard to the environment?

Man is not the measure of all things – animals have faced mass extinction long before man even appeared on the scene. Even if we blame ourselves, tell people that we are trying to save species for generations to come or proclaim that the entire eco system will collapse if certain species die, there is no way we can ‘make it right’ and do natures job for her. We do kill animals, we do pollute and threaten eco systems but why choose to tell the world that we ought to save a certain species and then ignore hundred and thousands of other species? Perhaps we should not try to save certain species. We should instead try and save ourselves by dealing with our problems and face reality.

We should ask ourselves if it is really more important for us that certain species survive than what it is for the environment. We do not have the resources to save all the animals that affect the eco system, our values are not entirely rational when we choose our rescue missions and we inaccurately heighten our capacity as benefactors to the environment. We face a grim future, we are staring it right in the eye and we cannot really ‘feel’ its consequences. The efforts are missing the bigger picture – we might have to let certain species go nonetheless because they face extinction with or without us helping them to survive. Governments should deal with problems concerning the environment on a large scale rather than politicise it. However, I am not saying that we should stop researching about the environment and species locally, but we have to ask ourselves about our own values and arguments when we engage in such activities.

Now let me come back to the thought experiment and try to make some witty comment about it. I would want to save the spider, because a cranky spider can be much more interesting to look at when it is indeed cranky. It is more likely that it may be easier to save because one might be able to breed it in labs placed in the spider’s natural environment. It is probably a great benefactor around the country side, scaring people and stray cats as it roams about. The monkey is simply too hard to keep alive, it will cost so much money, time and effort. It will keep on eating leaves on trees that we need now when we are going to breath less of our much needed oxygen in the future. If we have evolved from monkeys, then evolution has moved on for a reason regardless of what we know about it.

My point here is that I call for a re-evaluation of one’s handed down values. Transcend these values by asking yourself the right questions, your answers will lead the way to a new individual understanding, once there you will be ready to adopt values in accordance with your new found understanding.