We all know how much hysteria the health of the earth is causing around the world. All the talk about reducing global emissions, the guilt trips to make you reduce your personal carbon foot print, the threat of rising sea levels – I used to find it all quite scary…
First we were told to blame it on the volume of CO2. Now we’re guilty of pumping huge amounts of methane emissions going into the atmosphere. And the supposed cause for all this methane is the number of cows that are now in the world. So we’re told we should cut down on the amount of meat we eat to reduce the number of cows on this earth. This sounds quite plausible until one considers the following points:
- Before Europeans settled the USA there were millions of buffalo covering the Great Plains. So were their farts different from the humble cow? I don’t think so…
- The methane contribution made to global warming by India’s 400 million sacred cows will still be there even if the whole of humanity is reduced to eating veggie burgers!
Then there’s the strange case of the mutating definition – first our problem was called ‘Global Warming’. We were told the whole earth’s atmosphere was warming up. But somehow, without us even realising, we now only hear about ‘Climate Change’. I take this to signify that we really don’t know what’s happening and perhaps the earth is not about to unitarily warming up. Does that mean that Scotland is not going to become a tropical paradise? Probably not – sorry Chris! (that’s my stepson who lives in Aberdeen).
Which leads me onto the infamous ‘Hockey Stick Graph’… In case you don’t know what this is, its the graph published in 2001 which showed the temperature of the northern hemisphere rapidly rising to temperatures way higher than any before (over the past 1000 years). This is the publication which started the great ‘Global Warming’ hysteria… There has been much to-ing and fro-ing of scientific and statisticians thoughts since then with talk about mathematical errors, left out data and the inclusion of erroneous data (something to do with pine tree rings). But the main points to consider are that the hockey stick graph does not show 2 major historical climate change periods that are known about:
- The Medieval Warm Period of about 500 years between c.950 and c.1450 AD – this is when Greenland was discovered by Eric the Red and colonised for farming, and
- The Little Ice Age which was actually a series of three distinct cool periods. It started with The Wolf Minimum about 1300 AD. After a slight warming around 1400AD, there was another cool period, The Spörer Minimum, from about 1450 to 1550, and this was followed by the Maunder Minimum from about 1650 to 1840 – this is the period when Londoners went skating on the Thames.
That leaves me with the question – how relevant is the Hockey Stick Graph? Perhaps we should just say that the earth is very temperamental and the climate is affected by so many different factors, including sun activity, volcano eruptions, the path of its orbit etc… Plus we have so many people now living on its surface producing so much pollution it’s not unexpected that it should cause some effect. But how much of an effect are we making compared to other factors?
Although I believe that we do create pollution and rubbish and waste and that we should accept some responsibility for our earth’s future, what I do really hate are companies and people that jump on the ‘green’ bandwagon. Especially as its generally for commercial gain and profit…
- How about the rock bands that played at the ‘green’ concert in London but flew there in their private jets?
- How about bio-fuels which create more environmental issues whilst at the same time pilfering food growing opportunities?
- What about companies that say they plant trees to offset their carbon emissions but then don’t plan for the long term management of the forests?
- How about the investment funds that specialise in renewable energy but have no long term vision – only an eye on their quick profits?
Where was I? Oh yeah – too many cows… Perhaps the simple answer is that we should all eat kangaroo instead. I believe they don’t fart as much!