Saturday, August 1, 2015

Greenpeace Co-Founder, on Climate Change

1 comment:

Hugo Pelland said...

Hi Stan,

With the 'opinions don't matter; what you can prove does' principle in mind, I hope the following information will be considered relevant:

- The narrator is not who he claims he is; or at least the video editor misrepresented who he is:
http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/news/greenpeace-statement-on-patric/
http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2014/06/27/who-founded-greenpeace-not-patrick-moore/

- The video shows only 1 graph to support its claims, but it does not even have labels on it. In any case, that 1 graph is used to show that CO2 did not correlate with temperature change in the past. It's partially true, but shows a logical fallacy on the part of the climate change skeptics: it's not because CO2 was not the main/first driver of climate change in the past that it cannot be the main driver now. The Earth has never experienced such a quick and strong increase in CO2 in its history, as far as we can tell. And past changes in CO2 did influence the climate by creating feedback loops. So CO2 may not have always been the first driver, but it did in fact influence the climate drastically.
http://skepticalscience.com/co2-lags-temperature.htm
http://www.skepticalscience.com/skakun-co2-temp-lag.html
The problem with this argument is even more obvious when one asks the following: what is the effect of doubling the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere? It is obvious that the answer is not 'nothing'; we know that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. It's actually an essential gas to help keep the planet warm; otherwise it would be too cold for us to live on it. Climate change skepticism seems to completely ignore the fact that, regardless of the models/predictions/everything else we know, it is extremely naïve to pretend that humans have no influence at all on the climate, when we know that we pumped CO2 in the air more than any natural sources combined. Moreover, we also know how where that CO2 comes from and why we are adding a net positive increase: the oil we burn contains carbon from plants/animals that died thousands/millions of years ago. It's a simple unbalancing of the carbon cycle.

- The "university" behind the video is purposely non-accredited and offers no real degree of any sort. It is a vehicle for sharing opinions and nothing more. Claiming it is a "university" is extremely misleading. By their own admission, they don't do research, they don't give degrees; they don't even hire actual scientists for all we know (I did not look that one up). But, what's certain is that their opinion on Climate Change goes against every single body of scientists we can think of. Literally every one of them agrees that Climate Change is real and humans are the main driver behind the recent warming. Regarding the consensus: http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024

- Finally, the video is not completely wrong. Actually, most of the claims in the video are correct, but they are non-sequitur. Yes, the climate has always changed and will continue to change, naturally. Yes, the Sun is the main driver of climate change. Yes, the orbit and the tilt of the Earth also have an impact. And a few more points. The problem is that these do not address the recent warming, which is real, unlike what the video claims without citing any sources.

p.s. To be clear, there is no need to panic about Climate Change imho; I believe that humans are smart enough to adapt, but we may need to start doing it sooner rather than later. Basically, I am not an "alarmist", not at all. For instance, I just bought a brand new un-ecofriendly Audi just because I like to drive, so I am not here to judge behavior ;-)