Have You Seen The State Of This Carpet? – Why Speculation About The Causes Of Global Warming Is Utterly Pointless
Recently I have been watching a lot of YouTube videos by this fella : Lindybeige. They are always entertaining and often thought provoking. He does make statements in these videos, but mainly what he does is ask questions. Here’s a two-parter in which he asks questions about Global Warming:
If you are a Daily Mail reader, you probably nodded along approvingly while watching those videos. If you are a scientist, you probably choked on your bacon sandwich or sprayed your computer screen with tea. Though neither of you should really have reacted in that way.
Lindybeige is not a scientist and I think it’s a fairly safe bet that he’s also not a Daily Mail reader. He’s not claiming to have all the answers, which is probably why he asks so many questions. His videos seem to express confusion rather than certainty. He is very knowledgeable about Mediaeval Weaponry though.
He raises some interesting points about Global Warming Theory. One of them, which no one ever seems to mention, is that The Earth should be warming up. Remember that Ice Age that you learned about at school? Or more likely, if you’re younger, learned about by watching an animated movie about a talking woolly mammoth. Yeah well, that Ice Age isn’t over yet. We’re still coming out of it.
Even if mankind wasn’t belching out poisonous gasses into the atmosphere, our planet would still be heating up anyway. For most of its history, the Earth has had no ice caps at its poles. The definition of an Ice Age is having ice at the poles. Hence the phrase. Ice. Age.
Another point is that correlations are not proof of cause and effect. They are just correlations. Here’s a correlation for you:
And another one.
These correlations are close ones, but how likely is it that the things they seem to connect have anything to do with each other?
The problem that scientists have in proving the correlation between CO2 emissions and climate change is that there is no control group. They can’t take their results and then compare them with another Earth where there are no man-made CO2 emissions. That other Earth does not exist and if it did we’d probably move there and start fucking that up too.
The only way to prove Global Warming Theory beyond any doubt is to keep on pumping out the greenhouse gasses and wait to see what happens. If the ice caps melt sooner than expected and much of mankind drowns, then the surviving scientists will be able to say they were right. Though they will have far fewer people to say it to.
The argument over Global Warming is a vexed one. Opinions on it form a spectrum. At one end of the spectrum are the people who believe we are already at the point of no return and that any measures we take will be like throwing a pebble at the oncoming locomotive that is the inevitable watery apocalypse.
At the other end of the spectrum are the people who think that The Earth is a self-regulating system and that no matter what we do everything will be ok. Until the ice caps melt in their own good time of course, and there really is nothing anyone can do about that.
It’s a bit of a lumpy spectrum though, heavily weighted with scientists at the “point-of-no-return” end and even more heavily weighted with Daily Mail readers at the “everything-will-be-ok” end.
It’s all this difference of opinion that perplexes me. It makes me feel like I’m a central heating engineer that’s been called out to a house to fix the thermostat. And in this house, some people think that the fault is caused by everyone shitting on the carpet and the others think that shitting on the carpet has nothing to do with it.
My first reaction as that central heating engineer would not be to investigate any kind of causal relationship between a wonky thermostat and shitting on the carpet. My first reaction would be to shout “Why are you shitting on your own carpet, you fucking maniacs?”
Surely Global Warming is not really the point here? The point is that, as far as our planet is concerned, everybody is shitting on the carpet. You, me, Lindybeige. Everybody. Maybe we should try not to do it so much anyway, no matter what effect it has on the polar ice caps. What have we got to lose?
© Copyright Michael Grimes 2015