The global warming conference now taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark got me to thinking about something from years ago. I was just a kid at the time, but I remember the big freeze scare back in the '70's. Yes, 30 plus years ago scientists and environmentalists were screaming that the earth was headed for a new ice age and drastic action was needed NOW to save humanity and the planet. Can you say deja vu? I knew you could!
Don't get me wrong. I believe that the earth has warmed a bit in the last couple of decades. I don't need a scientist to tell me that. I can see for myself the difference between the winters from my childhood and the winters now. I can also see the difference between the summers. Both seasons are warmer. So, yes, the climate is changing a bit. What I'm skeptical about is the cause of the change.
Global warming true believers insist that people are the cause of the earth's climate change, but I have my doubts. I remember learning in school that, millions of years ago, the North Pole was as warm as the tropics. Imagine that, the North Pole a tropical paradise! And there weren't any people around back then to cause that run away warming, or stop it. It was just the earth doing its thing. Remembering that lesson from my childhood, I don't buy the true believers' man-made global warming dogma. But I also don't entirely dismiss the possibility.
The climate of the planet is complex, and climatology isn't an exact science. Diligent, honest, well-intentioned scientists and activists can disagree. Skepticism about man-made global warming is NOT a character flaw, as the true believers seem to think. Differing opinions on climate change and the solutions for it should be welcomed, not discouraged. What should be unequivocally rejected is any attempt to exploit climate change to further agendas having nothing to do with the environment. I feel that is what some "solutions" for global warming, like cap and trade, are really all about.
If climate change really is a threat to the earth and its life dispassionate discourse, not hysterical ranting, is the only way to find solutions that will work. My suggestion to the true believers: put away your dogma and open your mind. The answer to global warming may be where and what you least expect. Time to drop the dogmatism. Time to have a real discussion. Time to have some climate change common sense.