Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Brief confessions of a reformed global warming skeptic
I have commented briefly about my views on global warming in the past. I was perhaps rather hasty in my comments on such a complex and important topic. I apologize. I was also likely guilty of flipping trendy Gore movie moments around a little too quickly (although I did intro some controversial element).
Since the movie, I've been guiltily open to opposing views and content and I've been carrying around an article from The National Post dated Oct 13th. It was titled Nine Convenient Untruths. It was next to an article about the UK judge that ruled Gore's film "exaggerated" (here's the link to the same story carried by the Washington Post). I finally got around to reading it this week and the first impression I got was - this article really doesn't provide a lot of real data against what Gore (and of course the many other advocates) say.
Today I received an email from my sister-in-law about signing a petition to speak up and get our prime minister to uphold Canada's values, stop blocking UN climate talks and immediately start working with other countries towards a new international climate agreement.
I typically make pretty quick decisions on matters of petitions, donations, good causes etc. But this one is of course a big one. I first researched Avaaz.org and I was a little annoyed to find out that this was not a Canadian organization. How can they speak for me as a Canadian, I thought ? Anyhow, I got over that and tried to satisfy my need-to-know questions and try and become an informed and caring global citizen. If any of you have spent a lot of time with the subject of global warming, then perhaps you can appreciate how truly complex the topic is. It was very easy to get the general fact that the earth is in deed warming. But the hardest part is to ascertain whether (man made) CO2 is the main culprit. So I've spent the last hour or so reading a lot of (very well organized) info on this topic. There is a great many scientists investing a lot of their time in trying to explain this to us peons. A great source I found today was RealClimate.
So my decision on this is that there is just way too much scientific evidence that says man is the largest cause of global warming, and global warming is a big problem. There's no shortage of neigh-sayers, but I don't think there is enough weight in their anti-proofs. When I would easily be swayed into believing that global warming is a trendy, alarmist and politically motivated mission, it appears the opposite is true. There is just too much being said by very smart people about man's effect on global warming. The other side appears to be the one stirring the pot, throwing skeptic grenades in to the discussion and be more politically motivated. I have signed the petition and hereby apologize for doubting the experts.
I think it's easy to take the side of the skeptic. It's less work. With a subject as complex and important as global warming, it's probably a very good use of all our time to use our brain power for a few hours and get to know the topic a little better. That way we can be an informed advocate for doing the right thing and saving the planet for future generations.