Conclusions on Climate Change


Want to start a fight? Try talking about climate change. 

There are two sides to climate change: the environmentalists and the traditionalists. Each party is convinced their ideas are right. But each party has put on blinders to block out other views. It’s time we took those blinders off, put the agendas aside and started a healthy discussion to find the truth on this issue.

Environmentalism

Environmentalists are dedicated to preserving the earth. But their zeal to protect the earth often causes them to forget how complex the earth is. At one time, we used to “protect forests” by putting out forest fires. Recently people have realized that preventing small forest fires causes larger, more destructive fires later. We’ve also learned that forest fires can be helpful to bring more diversity to an area. With something complex as the earth and our ecosystems, our actions often have unforeseen consequences. 

I’m sure that in many ways, preventing excess carbon is a good thing. But are there side effects to carbon that we don’t know about? Do we need the gasses and extra humidity to create rain? 

The earth is complex, so it makes sense that there would be a multitude of reasons behind the issues. But environmentalists have a simple answer for every issue on the earth: greenhouse gasses. I am honest enough to admit that my knowledge of the earth is very limited and I am not a scientist. But I’m also intelligent enough to know that one reason for a vast array of issues is unlikely.

Imagine if a neighbour told you that the reason you were asthmatic, had poor eyesight and blonde hair was because you didn’t eat enough carrots. Eating carrots may be healthy, and the vitamins may help your eyesight, but eating carrots won’t change your hair colour or help your lungs. Likewise, the greenhouse effect may be partially responsible for melting glaciers and rising sea levels. But is it really responsible for droughts and hurricanes also? 

Before you accuse me of wearing blinders myself, allow me to share my experience. Environmentalists warn that the glaciers are melting. I wonder how many have actually seen a glacier? I am privileged to live in a remote location very close to glaciers. I literally can walk out my door and jog to the base of a giant glacier. I get to see things change daily and seasonally. And yes, the glaciers are melting.

Even more concerning is what is happening to our forests. We used to have forests full of  lovely evergreens: Douglas Fir, Engelmann Spruce and Lodgepole Pine. But now, entire slopes have turned a sad burnt orange color. The trees are dead. There has been a massive migration of mountain pine beetles. Previously, there wasn’t a problem with this invasive species as the harsh winters killed them. In the past few years, the winters have not been as harsh and long. One could easily attribute this to climate change and global warming. 

It could also be explained by simple weather cycles. I can say that the last few years have been warmer than normal, but I can’t speak for much else. Yet when stating weather facts, we hear that since the industrial revolution, the temperature has been rising. But this is right around the time when we started tracking the weather. Isn’t it more likely that our perception of past weather is off and we are just now getting an idea of the weather patterns and long-term cycles? 

Environmentalists seem to be solely focused on saving the earth, and view facts however they want to fit their picture. Traditionalists are so sceptical of facts that they ignore everything in order to maintain their world view.

Traditionalism

Traditionalists will discount climate change based solely on their individual experiences. Again, how many have actually ventured out to see the world? Often they will state how global warming is a giant hoax to control us and make us spend more on “eco-friendly” products. While it’s true that many healthy options cost more, no one is being forced to buy them. It is merely an option; you get to vote with your dollars. Could it be a hoax? I doubt it. There are countless scientists who have researched the issue. The earth is changing, but maybe agendas are clouding the real facts. 

Traditionalists don’t believe in climate change, so they will often discount every environmental initiative for that reason alone. When restaurant chains switch to paper straws, it is a big deal. Because it has an environmental impact, they find a way to turn it into a negative, it doesn’t matter that paper straws work just as well as other straws.

We need to weigh each change based on its own merits. It’s not fair to discredit something good because you disagree with climate change and a product promises to be eco-friendly. I am happy to use a reusable laundry ball because it is convenient, cost effective and fits my nomadic lifestyle well. Oh, and it eliminates laundry detergent entering the water system. Even if climate change isn’t a thing, it is good to reduce our consumption, waste and pollution. 

Balance

Climate change issues are no longer weighed honestly on their merits alone. It has become a political and commercial issue. When each side is blinded by their own agendas and preconceived ideas, we won’t find truth.

Climate change should remain a scientific topic so we can continue to follow the scientific method to find truth.  

Both sides have misconceptions and are purposely oblivious to any evidence that contradicts their point of view. Environmentalists are focused on change, but only in one direction. They tell us to limit plastic, walk everywhere and stop farming. This, they say, will stop climate change. But only if everyone follows along. 

Traditionalists are skeptical. They point out how impractical it is to carpool. They wonder aloud how horrible it is that we have cows to feed us. They want to continue life as normal. 

We need the differing views. We need the environmentalists to push us to change. We need the traditionalist to question exactly why we should change and how we can effectively do that. 

Why are efforts focused on stopping glaciers from melting and the temperature from rising? Why not research how to live in a warmer world and how to survive in a dryer climate once the glaciers are gone? The earth has cycles. I highly doubt we are big enough to change or reverse them. But we can adapt to survive them. 

While oral histories are not able to produce accurate numbers, they can give us patterns and trends. We can see that the earth goes in cycles. Throughout history, there have been periods of warming, followed by cooling periods. People didn’t survive these changes by fighting with each other and trying to stop the changes. They survived by working together and adapting to the changes of their environment.

Maybe it’s time for a shift in our perspective. 

 

Comments

  1. Very interesting. Your article is so convincing that I can never stop myself from saying anything about it. You are doing a great job, thanks for sharing such a great blog. fire ban sunshine coast

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