Monday, May 1, 2017

Climate change, science and phobia


My last post was about the  "Monkey Mind", that state between sanity and information overload.  This topic occurred to me  when a friend commented on Facebook that he couldn't tell if it was global warming or global cooling, to which I responded "It's always global something".    

Global something, indeed,  I am not a "Climate Change Denier" I am also not convinced that people are so bad for the planet that we should eliminate ourselves from it. We have to eat, we have to get places and in Alberta the only thing that keeps us from freezing to death is central heating and quarter inch thick pieces of glass.  I actually do understand some of the science and  the model of a positive feedback loop:

The more ice melts, the more dark sea water, dirt and rocks  are exposed which absorb more heat, melt more ice, which causes more dark sea water, dirt and rocks to be exposed which absorb more heat and melts more ice. That is a positive feedback loop and climate change in a nut shell. 

Science will also tell us that young trees sequester more carbon than old trees, so cutting old trees and planting new ones, like the forest companies do, is good for the environment.  In nature, a tree will eventually release all of carbon it has sequestered when it dies or burns down. That's why trees are carbon neutral and if, you can make something out of the tree before it dies or burns, like lumber or paper, you are actually sequestering the carbon forever.  So buying more paper and cutting down old trees for lumber seems like a good solution.

The worse thing about the climate debate are the people doing the debating, if climate change and carbon sequestration are well  beyond the purview of elected or self appointed leaders from any party or group I got to thinking: what motivates the folks in this debate and I have found some great medical phobia's that might describe the whole thing.

Allodoxaphobia- Fear of opinions: Especially ones you don't agree with.

Euphobia- Fear of hearing good news: Most of the people in the climate debate are clamouring for bad news.

Gnosiophobia- Fear of knowledge: This one is pretty obvious on both sides.

Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia- Fear of long words: This is why science is having such a tough time making inroads.

Hypengyophobia or Hypegiaphobia- Fear of responsibility: Unless, of course it fits the election cycle.

Next time you wonder why nothing but doom and gloom seem to be forthcoming on this topic, this might help explain a thing or two. The folks involved aren't just zealots, they have deeper  issues.

Here's where I see it going: Climates change all the time, if not we'd be yielding to tyrannosaurus's on the highway and our beaches, deserts and mountains would be all wrong.  We have survived ozone layers depleting,  Chernobyl is the most natural place in Ukraine, nature just created a beetle that eats plastic, this critter will be popular until he eats a hole in your $400. MEC backpack.  Carbon dioxide, like natural gas in the Turner Valley days is simply a compound for which we haven't found a use yet, but we will, of that I am sure, because while the science of  climate change remains fuzzy over who we should blame, the science of fixing it,  regardless of who's fault it is, is going ahead full speed. And that is the beauty of being human and loving science.


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