Saturday, 15 May 2010

A layman's guide to global warming.

I've just finished reading Michael Chrichton's 'State of Fear'. It was quite an amusing read (intrigue, action, steamy stuff), but the book seemed to be (or is trying to be) an exercise in credible scientific representation, complete with footnotes. The latter part even pissed me off - write fiction, point of view, or thesis, but don't place your ass between the chairs of all three.

This book exposed for me many problems in today's society: namely a conflict between science and the status quo of... general ignorance. Therein, habit seems to win over anything else today.

I really don't understand the arguments 'for' or 'against' global warming. What other choice do we have but to trust the ~consensus~ of those who do the fact-based research that we ourselves don't have time to do? Normally we should all be capable of accepting scientific consensus, but what twists opinion seems to be the motivation behind each 'position' - or selection of facts. Either you are happy with the 'business as usual' model (in thinking that, in maintaining the status quo, your progeny will remain 'on top of things'), or you think that change (of habit) can only benefit your progeny (probably meaning that you're a bit further down in the economic consumption chain). Unfortunately for all, especially science, the former position usually has the most voice as far as media is concerned.

I can't even begin to comprehend the complexities of the earth's climate, but one element that I can understand is the effect of CO2 in earth's atmosphere - it is a bona-fide energy encapsulator, and this is an undeniable and measurable human creation - addition, if you will - to the function of earth's climate.

No matter how our climate functions, CO2 can only be an accelerator within: ocean currents, winds, evaporation: the more energy the atmosphere encapsulates, the more dire (and unpredictable) the effects our atmosphere will have upon us. Cooling and warming alike between regions will be amplified, as will the effects of everyday tempestorial phenomenon (tornadoes, thunderstorms). In all the arguments presented, for or against global warming, this one remains the most solid for me.