The UK Declares an “Environment and Climate Emergency” over Global Warming.

by Pitt Griffin on May 4, 2019 · 0 comments

in Climate change, Politics

Months of protests by the Extinction Rebellion activist group and the opposition Labour Party have born fruit. The British Parliament has officially declared an “environment and climate emergency”. It does not define what that means, and it does not mandate any particular steps be taken. But as a symbol, it commits the government to do something about a problem too dire to ignore.

The Trump administration, on the other hand, has taken to the head-in-the-sand, whistling past the graveyard, ‘what, me worry?’ approach of the short-term, profit-obsessed. Their mantra is that ‘climate alarmism’ is just a socialist plot to interfere in free markets underpinned by greedy scientists trying to protect their grant money.

Hogwash. Science doesn’t work that way. First, peer review pits scientist against scientist with the reviewer looking to score ‘points’ by discrediting the paper-writer’s argument. Second, if scientists were people looking for cash, they would have gone into the money-making industries of banking, finance, or politics. Third, if money was the motivator, a climatologist could sell his soul for millions to the right-wing cabal of think tanks and other institutes.

But the strength of the dissemblers cannot be denied. It starts at the top. Trump, the go-it-alone Luddite, first removed the US from the Paris Climate Accord and is now demanding references to climate change be removed from an international statement on Arctic policy.

Meanwhile, the ice melts.

The science is unequivocal. The Earth is warming rapidly. The heat gain is man-made. And the effects will cause potentially catastrophic changes in weather, agriculture, desertification, and coastlines. Even the fossil fuel companies acknowledge it. The American military considers global warming a national security threat. And companies from Walmart to the corner deli are doing what they can to reduce their carbon footprint. 

But let’s, for argument’s sake, conduct a thought experiment. Imagine you were presented with some possibilities. One, the earth is rapidly heating, man is causing it, and it will lead to disastrous results. Two, there is no such thing as climate change. Three, there is climate change, but it won’t hurt us. Four, there is climate change, but it is part of a natural cycle, and we can’t do anything about it.

It boils down to two choices. We have to do something about climate change. Or we don’t have to/can’t do something about it. 

Now let’s consider what happens if we take action or not, based on whether our original assumption was right or wrong.

Let’s imagine we are right that climate change exists and we do something about it — that leads to sighs of relief at a planet-threatening bullet dodged. If we are right that climate change does not exist and we do nothing — no problem.

Now let’s imagine that we are wrong about global warming and we address a problem that doesn’t exist — we end up with a cleaner planet. We use less energy more efficiently. And we have some exciting new technology.

But what if climate change does exist and we don’t do anything about it? That leads to catastrophe.

So without arguing the science, we can see that addressing global warming — whether it exists or not — provides a far better outcome on average than if we don’t address it. So even if the science were 50/50 we would be better off doing something.

But the science isn’t 50/50. It is 97 to 3 in understanding we have a looming manmade problem. So any discussion is just wasting time, action is needed — immediately.

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