Catastrophic Climate Change: It's Real, It's Here, and It's Happening Near You.
It ain't what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain’t so.
- Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens - American Author)
It isn't lunar cycles. It isn't solar cycles. It isn't the orbit of the Earth around the Sun. It isn't the Sun becoming more
or less powerful over the past few decades. Yes, there are such cycles, but they don't operate on the timescales that align with
the evidence we are collecting about the dramatic warming of the planet in the past century. It's also not aliens with big
mirrors and magnifying glasses in space. (But what if it was?)
We have collected a fair chunk of data now, and the trendlines aren't debatable by rational beings. Yes, scientists get stuff
wrong (even if you have never made an error in your life). However, the thing about how we do real science is that other scientists
(and occasionally curmudgeons like me) actually read and review their stuff, try to replicate results, check their math, and then
challenge items where we take issue. That review process makes for better information. So, you are free to believe what you
want, but you do not get to have your own set of uncorroborated data, or your own 'facts'. If you want to challenge the conclusions
of the science, I encourage you to do so - and supply your own theories - backed by evidence - to do so. I have some theories of
my own (but you probably won't like them).
The Science is Settled
As much as science is ever settled, we're done with this. We knew this was happening in the 1980s.
(The oil industry knew it was happening in the 1960s.) Theories have been
written and tested, models have been built, and much of what we are seeing now in terms of weather system impacts were predicted.
(The rate of change, accelerating rate of change, feedback loops and thresholds are still being discussed, but so far, none of
those is suggesting we're going to be OK on our current trajectory. In short, things are bad, getting worse, and are probably
even worse than you think or the current models project.)
One question I get a lot is: why should you believe me? Answer: you shouldn't. You should question what is provided to you,
especially in this arena where vested interests (fossil energy companies and their puppets) are continuously spewing disinformation
into the collective consciousness. So, I urge you to take a few weeks and do your own research, and reach your own conclusions.
The Business of Climate Change Denial
Another question I see and hear a lot is: If the science of climate change is settled, why do I see
so many items and articles on the news, on social media, in emails I get from organizations that say
otherwise?" The answer: money.
There are many people who have money and power because of the causes of climate change. Combating climate
change is a direct threat to their future earnings, wealth, power and influence. They're prepared to continue
on the present path - or even accelerate it - to obtain more money. They know a united and informed population
will be the end of that. So they're prepared to fund campaigns of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) to stop or
at least slow a significant, effective response to climate change. They pay 'experts'. They control mass
media, and require 'balanced' coverage of climate change stories. They block the use of the words 'climate
change' and 'global warming' on mainstream media. They mount social media disinformation campaigns. They
smear and attack those legitimately raising the issues. They work to defund legitimate research work. They
fund universities to do the studies they want done, and influence the content of the results and decide if
a paper will actually get published or not, or in which journal. It worked for Big Tobacco for decades. It works for
political campaigns, and it works for those who profit from the causes of climate change.
People like to hear things that reinforce their current beliefs, and dismiss those things - however much
data and evidence supports them - which don't align with their current beliefs. We'll even pay for messages
we like (advertising, television programming, books, social media funding campaigns, political parties ...).
One thing I have learned over the years: it's hard to make a living telling people what they don't want to hear.
So the climate deniers have spawned an industry to tell people who make greenhouse gases and waste heat and
pollutants, toxins and carcinogens comforting stories about how they're not doing anything wrong, and there's no
reason to worry about the consequences which might occur in the future, as the 'science isn't settled'.
One thing I agree on with the climate change denial industry is: what you believe matters. If you don't
believe there is a need for changing our behaviour, then you won't act or support measures to bring about the
needed changes. You need to decide if you want to continue listening to the lullabies of the fossil fuel
industries and their brethren, or if you're prepared to wake up, get informed, and make changes - even small
changes. What do YOU believe? Are the documented changes in weather patterns (climate) just random and no
big deal, or do they indicate a trend (hotter) which is a real problem?
Here are a few starting points for you: Report of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment Stockholm 1972
United Nations Conference on Environment & Development Rio de Janerio, Brazil, 3 to 14 June 1992, AGENDA 21
The IPCC Reports (there are a few, dating from 1990 to 2018)
The U.S. Fourth National Climate Assessment (2018)
The 2018 report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change
... and there is so much more you can find with a simple Internet search.
Take your time. This page will still be here when you're ready to continue.
Those are the facts. They aren't my facts. They are THE facts, based on real data and real evidence and real work. You don't
get your own 'facts' unless you bring the data and peer-reviewed work to back it up.
Or you could take
Chuck Todd's word for it (take the 10 minutes). Moving on ...
It's Happening Now
You could just check the increasing frequency and intensity of climate events - pretty much anything which is a change
from the 'normal' weather PATTERNS of the past 10,000 years which gave rise to human civilization is probably 'climate change'.
In the past few years, we have come to call this 'the news'. Droughts, larger forest fires than a couple of decades ago,
stronger storm systems with more rain or snow or higher winds, more and stronger hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, tornadoes...
Or check out this graph from NASA:
(original source: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/features/GlobalWarming/page2.php accessed 2019-01-01)
There are dozens of other credible sources showing essentially the same trend. As these graphs tend to get updated
annually or more often, I'm not going to try to provide a comprehensive list, as they don't add new information beyond what
the graph tells us. But, if you want more data, please go look, and you will see that the trend is planetary and going
in the wrong direction for the survival of our species.
Like gravity, climate change doesn't care if you believe it exists or not. However, like gravity, ignore the
changing climate at your own peril. It can kill you.
We could have fixed climate change starting 30 years ago.
Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change By Nathaniel Rich, Photographs and Videos by
George Steinmetz - AUG. 1, 2018
We knew it was real, it was starting to make its
presence known, and we knew what we needed to do to address it fairly easily and inexpensively. We chose not to,
probably because the consequences seemed far away (decades). Well, the consequences are here now, so it's our
lives that are being impacted.
January 2019 -
On thin ice: World’s lake cover shrinking as global temperatures climb (Globe and Mail)
Climate change is the issue of our time. The question of our time is, do we have to will to fix the
problems we have created for ourselves?