Friday, 18 December 2009

Is it or isn't it? Does the question actually matter?

With Copenhagen in full swing, and headlines all over reporting what progress (or lack thereof) is being made on reaching a global climate change deal, other things are happening.

For starters, Denmark is full of German police vehicles (now THAT must trigger some unhappy memories!) as apparently they don't have enough of their own. Whether it is a real threat posed by activists, or just plain old Gestapo-ghost influence, the Danish police are armed with automatic weapons and not being their usual selves.

 Here in the UK every two-bit politician seems to be jumping on the bandwagon, even those that before had never expressed an opinion on climate change. (Did you now, Linda Gilroy & Alison Seabeck?)

And yet, there are deniers.

Now to start with, let me nail my colours to the mast, just in case I haven't been too clear about how I feel: I completely believe we humans, every one of us, have mucked up the planet right up to the point of no return.
There are no ifs or buts. Admittedly you may have done less damage than George Dubya Bush, but given that you haven't started any wars to protect US oil interests, that is to be expected. Still, none of us are off the hook!

To get back to the point, and the title of this post, many people are doubting the science behind climate change. They come up with all sorts of reasons (most of these backed  by oil-funded "scientists") as to why climate change either isn't happening, or is an entirely natural process outside of human influence.

And maybe you believe the deniers. Maybe you're just not sure.

Here's the thing: what if climate change wasn't happening - would trying to reduce CO2 be such a bad thing? Would reducing pollution be so terrible? Would saving the rain forest be a crime?

If you own your house, then you most probably have insurance on it. You don't expect a disaster and you certainly don't want one, but you need some peace of mind for those "what if...?" scenarios.
You're prepared to pay good money to cover yourself against something, even though there is a slim chance of it actually occurring. But you're not prepared to do the same for the planet?
You can always build or buy a house to replace one lost in a disaster, but once the planet's destroyed, well, as they say, there is no Planet B!

So why the unwillingness to do something about climate change? Why the resistance? Not resistance from Dubya - he's a short-sighted oil man so it's expected from him. I mean the resistance from Joe Public. It doesn't make sense, does it?

Copenhagen is about trying to implement a strategy to prevent the planet warming by 2 degrees C. More than that and we can expect cataclysmic changes - droughts, floods, starvation, disappearance of entire nations (Maldives, Tokalau, etc.)

Even if there was just a 1% chance of that happening, would you still do nothing, or would you take out an insurance policy, bearing in mind the potential cataclysmic changes will kill millions of people?

Would you be happy to look your fellow man in the eye and proudly state that you did nothing, and that you didn't believe it'd happen?

If so, then you're either stark raving mad, or one of the most selfish people ever.

If not, then do something!

Drive less, drive slower, use less plastic, recycle more, use less electricity, etc. You know what is needed and if you don't, Google "reduce my carbon footprint".

Not so long ago cigarette companies had doctors and scientists telling us that smoking represented no health risks - today we know how they twisted things to hide the truth.
Reminds you a bit of how the oil companies are behaving, doesn't it?

You know the truth, no go and do your bit, because if we all do our bit, we may still have time to turn this thing around!