Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Stop mixing the science of climate change with the politics of climate change!!!

Are there too many immigrants in Britain? No but there are too many people in the world. Is multiculturalism a threat to British culture? No British culture is always changing & I love living in a society with a diverse range of people. Is gay marriage a threat to 'traditional marriage'? No it will just mean that people aren't discriminated against based on their sexuality. Should Britain renew Trident? No the £30 billion or so it will cost would be much better spent on reducing poverty in the UK. Should we intervene in Syria? I'm not in favour of us doing an 'Iraq' on them but I definitely think we should do something, such as a no-fly zone or put pressure on different divisional commanders in the Syrian army to flip sides. Should the top rate of income tax in the UK be higher? No but I think the government should do more to clamp down on both tax avoidance & tax evasion by corporations & wealthy individuals. Should the UK bring back the death penalty? No it's inhumane & doesn't act as a deterrent. Would a communist society work? No but I believe capitalism will evolve into a more ethical & sustainable economic system within the next century. 

Now all of the above questions are asking me of my political opinion on such matters. I answered them with my political opinion, I may well be wrong on them & my answers will stem from a mixture of my logical & emotional reasoning. I can offer evidence for my opinions if asked but I don't think any one of my above opinions stated could be considered a 'fact'. 

My belief in climate change however is taken from a scientific perspective. After learning about climate change in a unit called 'Environmental Management' during my Business degree, I have looked into the science on many scientific websites, listened to what the national scientific bodies say & I am sure that human activity is the prime reason for the recent rise in warming in the last 200 years. My belief in climate change is as certain as my belief in evolution- the vast majority of scientists in their field support both theories.

I have researched the science of climate change by using reputable scientific websites such as the Royal Society's. The Royal Society acts as the UK's academy of sciences & is many of the world’s most distinguished scientists drawn from all areas of science, engineering, and medicine. The Society’s fundamental purpose, as it has been since its foundation in 1660, is "to recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity."

The following quote is taken from the official website of the Royal Society: "It is certain that increased greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and from land use change lead to a warming of climate, and it is very likely that these greenhouse gases are the dominant cause of the global warming that has been taking place over the last 50 years." 

And "The Society has worked on the issue of climate change for many years to further the understanding of this issue. These activities have been informed by decades of publicly available, peer-reviewed studies by thousands of scientists across a wide range of disciplines. Climate science, like any other scientific discipline, develops through vigorous debates between experts, but there is an overwhelming consensus regarding its fundamentals. Climate science has a firm basis in physics and is supported by a wealth of evidence from real world observations."

Here's what the world's most prestigious scientific bodies put it in a joint statement signed by the heads of the national science academies in Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK and the US:

"The existence of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is vital to life on Earth – in their absence average temperatures would be about 30 centigrade degrees lower than they are today. But human activities are now causing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases – including carbon dioxide, methane, tropospheric ozone, and nitrous oxide – to rise well above pre-industrial levels. 

Carbon dioxide levels have increased from 280 ppm in 1750 to over 375 ppm today – higher than any previous levels that can be reliably measured (i.e. in the last 420,000 years). Increasing greenhouse gases are causing temperatures to rise; the Earth’s surface warmed by approximately 0.6 centigrade degrees over the twentieth century. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projected that the average global surface temperatures will continue to increase to between 1.4 centigrade degree." (

Now onto my political beliefs regarding climate change- I believe through a mixture of environmental legislation, consumer pressure to make organisations more environmentally friendly & ethical, greater education & awareness about climate change as it increasingly has a negative impact on people around the world, we will help to prevent climate change from  making our planet uninhabitable. I believe the solutions to climate change will come from a variety of political persuasions so the sooner all sides accept the science the sooner we can focus more on the politics & the possible solutions. 

Below are several other reputable & scientific sources on climate change:

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