Time to wake up

 In preparation for this week I had a look through my notes file and found this paragraph:

"Some people simply don't believe climate change is an important issue; they cite 'natural climate cycles' and point out that it has happened before and will again - no problem.  These people clearly cannot comprehend the variety of the timescales involved." 

I read that and thought: "Yup - that should do it".

It is true that there are many people who do not accept humanity's role in the current warming of the globe, some of whom, no doubt, are reaching for their email device of choice right now.

My view on this is that while the planet undoubtedly goes through natural cycles of warming and cooling due to such effects as Milankovitch Cycles, the current warming is happening at such a rate as to place it well outside the scope of any hitherto observed natural cycles.

How is it that there can be such disparate opinions on a subject which is apparently so well documented? I have been accused of advancing too much rhetoric and not enough fact in this column. I, like many others gather my information from a variety of sources, predominantly online, and this information is widely available to any who seek it.

However, I think this could be where the trouble starts; the sources of information are innumerable and each of us (whether we admit it or not) brings a certain amount of prejudice to the party. Add to that the myriad ways in which we might choose to interpret the 'facts' and it is a wonder anybody agrees about anything.

And so I present my opinions here, based upon how I see the world and what happens in it. Let's not forget, too, that these are just my opinions, regardless of how right I think I am. And I do, by the way.

As a result of the things I write here I receive a few emails most weeks, some interesting, some thought-provoking, some sensible, and some plain loopy. The loopiest of which so far has been the idea that the concentration of CO2 in the average living room containing a family of four watching TV is way above the concentration of CO2 in the wider atmosphere and the family suffers no ill-effects, ergo - everything is fine.

Those who write to me will have noticed by now that I do not reply. I publish my email address so that people can suggest individuals and businesses in the local community worthy of mention for their environmental efforts - if anyone wants to take issue with anything I say, I would encourage them to address their thoughts to the editor, who may or may not decide to publish them.

This may precipitate a discussion within our community on environmental and climate change issues - which would be a good thing.

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