Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Global Warming

Two essential books to read: Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming by James Hoggan - how the oil and coal industries are behind the denialist spin doctors - will make you angry. Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity by James Hansen - will make you scared.

James Hansen is the NASA scientist who is probably the worlds top climate expert. Industry and politicians don't want to hear the message he has been trying to get through for years, that the situation is much worse than the IPCC projections already. He provides the research background for the safe limit of 350ppm of CO2 that is being promoted by some at Copenhagen at the moment. We are already at 387ppm, and increasing rapidly, and we are seeing irreversible changes in climate as the ice melts. James is calling for a worldwide moratorium on building coal fired power plants as a first step. The oil and coal has to be left underground.

Human civilization has occurred during a time of very stable sea levels, over the last 7000 years. Before that sea levels have changed more rapidly and over a range of hundreds of feet. Human induced global warming is forcing change an order of magnitude stronger than the natural changes in climate, and is still accelerating. With very unstable sea levels, ports and coastal areas are going to flood, and it will not be possible to establish new ports on a permanent basis, as they will be flooded in turn within the lifetimes of our children and grandchildren. The huge numbers of refugees is an even bigger problem.

What can we do?
Read those two books.
Sell coastal property while there are still people who will buy it.
Don't invest in oil, coal and insurance companies.
Put up solar panels and switch from gas to electric appliances.
Sign up at the web site, join the 350org facebook group.

I get books via the Kindle service and read them on my iPhone, instant delivery, and always with me to read.
Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming

Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity

A good summary of the arguments is at Skeptical Science

I have read everything I can find on this subject over the last year or two, I have an Applied Physics degree and enough science and statistics that I can tell who and what makes sense and who doesn't. Every single denier and contrarian that I have heard of is backed by the coal and oil industries, often through opaque organizations and astroturf groups with innocent sounding names. They have been exposed as liars and cherry pickers, but really they are spin doctors sowing confusion. If you listen to them you are deluding yourself, and you should be investing in real estate in Florida...

1 comment:

  1. Adrian,

    Have you read Stewart Brand's book, Whole Earth Discipline, in which he proposes 3 solutions to global warming - urbanization, nuclear power, and genetically engineered crops? If so, what did you think of his solutions?



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