Global fooling...I mean cooling


Ever since a former American president released a movie on inconvenient truths and another film maker created a piece of art related to perceptions related to shale gas it seems as if everybody is now aware of the problems we face in terms of preserving the environment. On a local scale we see great concern stemming from the environmentalists in the Karoo. A professor of mine said that we should separate environmentalists from environmental scientists and let the data speak and not some naked person running around with a placard saying “stop fracking with the Karoo”.

Recent work suggests that climate change is cyclical and has occurred over the past few millions of years at various points in time. Furthermore the research does point to exacerbation of global warming due to the excessive amounts of greenhouse gases emitted by anthropogenic activities. There are multiple arguments floating around in the scientific arena related to the subject matter. Some even argue that there is no such thing as global warming and that it is merely a figment of our imagination. I agree, because it is not just necessarily warmer, but also cooler in certain places at specific times. I landed in Germany in 2010 and they had the worst winter in 50 years with temperatures averaging at minus 30.

The fact remains that the facts should do the talking and not emotional talk related to the number of people who have fire in their water. Science is concerned with the data and interpreting that data, not how some politician or movie maker feels it should be. Furthermore the scientists should be allowed to do the work and not be swayed by political or financial interests. It is Jarod Kintz who said “Abstain from reading comedy or government economic statistics”. I think this could be linked to the point made by Nassim Nicholas Taleb “Economics make homeopath and alternative healers look empirical and scientific.” I am not bad mouthing economics or statisticians, it is just to emphasize a point.

Science is the only thing left that is honest and open, excluding statistics of course. This is due to the fact that Benjamin Disraeli said “There are three types of lies – lies, damn lies and statistics”. Yet one finds it amusing to see that this very tool aided in the removal of outliers over the years from climate data, and thereafter the addition of these outliers lead climate scientists to better understand Elnino and changes in the climate.

The point is that those who work in their field should be the ones who are consulted for a professional opinion, not a politician who shouts for the nationalisation of everything and could not even pass woodwork in matric. The times are changing, and so is the climate…

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