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Summertime?

Posted: 08:07 27 Jul 2019
by Kentishgreen
Why is it taken as some kind of achievement that we’ve just reached the highest temperature ever recorded in this country, well it’s been bleddy hot anyway. I’m not a scientist so I don’t know if this is just a cycle the earth has always gone through or if this represents global warming. I think we have to look at the balance of probabilities. Sure we’ve had long, hot summers in the past but a pattern seems to be emerging now. All I know is I’m glad I don’t live on a Pacific atoll right now!

Re: Summertime?

Posted: 10:06 27 Jul 2019
by Willis88
It's a reflection on how short term the world has become. Everyone basking in the sun remarking on how nice the weather is and how it's a change to have nice weather (not that we have it every year) forgetting that it just gets hotter and hotter because of what everyone is doing to the planet.

The trend for immediate gratification these days has removed the long term reality from people's minds (probably because the long term reality is too depressing to consider).

As a species we're now at that point where either we stop everything we're doing and for-go many of the benefits of life (heating, aircon, flights, single-use plastics etc.) and hope the planet recovers or just accept our fate as doomed.

Re: Summertime?

Posted: 18:26 27 Jul 2019
by Greenrod
Willis88 wrote: It's a reflection on how short term the world has become. Everyone basking in the sun remarking on how nice the weather is and how it's a change to have nice weather (not that we have it every year) forgetting that it just gets hotter and hotter because of what everyone is doing to the planet.

The trend for immediate gratification these days has removed the long term reality from people's minds (probably because the long term reality is too depressing to consider).

As a species we're now at that point where either we stop everything we're doing and for-go many of the benefits of life (heating, aircon, flights, single-use plastics etc.) and hope the planet recovers or just accept our fate as doomed.


Sceptics will say it is cyclical and that it was hotter 128,000 years ago prior to going abruptly into an ice age.

Re: Summertime?

Posted: 18:49 27 Jul 2019
by Willis88
Greenrod wrote:
Willis88 wrote: It's a reflection on how short term the world has become. Everyone basking in the sun remarking on how nice the weather is and how it's a change to have nice weather (not that we have it every year) forgetting that it just gets hotter and hotter because of what everyone is doing to the planet.

The trend for immediate gratification these days has removed the long term reality from people's minds (probably because the long term reality is too depressing to consider).

As a species we're now at that point where either we stop everything we're doing and for-go many of the benefits of life (heating, aircon, flights, single-use plastics etc.) and hope the planet recovers or just accept our fate as doomed.


Sceptics will say it is cyclical and that it was hotter 128,000 years ago prior to going abruptly into an ice age.


Head in the sand mentality is what's causing the problems. Just because it's not what they believe doesn't mean it's not true.

The biggest problem is these sceptics are given the time and space to spread their lies in the name of "balance"

Re: Summertime?

Posted: 06:50 28 Jul 2019
by Mike E
People are more likely to believe the 'facts' that suit their own agenda.

For many years a majority of top scientist's have been warning of the growing threat of climate change, yet all it takes is one scientist in the payroll of the petro chemical industry to cast doubt upon their findings and anyone who expresses concern is branded a tree hugger.

I believe the human race has some fantastic minds and the ability to pull together to find solutions, even without too much disruption to life as we know it.

Globalisation versus nationalism is the key sticking point. If the world pulls together it can pool its resources (our great scientific minds and funding) to find the solutions to problems we face. Regressive nationalism, isolation and trade wars are leading us in the wrong direction.

The whole world could move as one to protect the rainforests by purchasing them.
There are enough renewable energy sources in the world to replace the dependance on fossil fuels. The technology for electric vehicles, airplanes, ships etc is already at different stages of development.

A problem identified is a problem that can be solved it is only when a problem is denied that nothing will be done about it.

The obstacle to recognising the climate change problem is the current incumbent of the White House and all those that support him.

Re: Summertime?

Posted: 08:47 28 Jul 2019
by Frank_Butcher
It's a shame mike_gss doesn't post on here any more. I believe he was of a scientific background - geology perhaps - and used to offer some very well reasoned arguments as to why the argument was never as clear cut as positioned by either side. Not a denier by any means, but I'd suspect he understood the science a whole lot better than anyone else on here.

Re: Summertime?

Posted: 11:37 28 Jul 2019
by Kentishgreen
Yes I know it’s not clear cut that’s part of the problem. I’m a baby boomer so in 30 years time I won’t be here, that’s also part of the problem. Why should the apathy of people of my age group affect my grandchildren who could easily be around in 80 Years time or their children. When there’s scientific doubt I think you have to fall back on the balance of probabilities and it’s probably true that human action has affected climate. So human action can also affect it in a positive way. At the moment it looks like a gambler’s choice

Re: Summertime?

Posted: 12:54 28 Jul 2019
by Frank_Butcher
And I wouldn't disagree with any of that Kentish.

I'm sceptical in part - I believe it's always healthy to strike a balance in one's own thinking. It's all too easy to believe what you are told by someone with a title or qualification (in any sphere, not just the environment). Believe it to be fact without really understanding any individual's or group's own vested interest. And it occurs to me that we have created a brand new industry that just didn't exist a decade or so ago- and which is making a lot of people wealthy.

But we have to be pragmatic. If there are underying cyclical causes then that's one thing, and of course something that's hard for us to do anything about. But if we believe our behaviour is exacerbating the situation then we have to alter that behaviour - as you say, it's a balance of probabilities.

But the challenges are many:

How do you prevent the developing world to minimise it's use of fossil fuels to play catch up with the rest of us - when we in the developed world have had that advantage for a century (case in point = China)?
How do you prevent a sovereign state from doing untold damage to the ecological and environmental balance in pursuit of wealth they've never had (e.g. Amazon rainforest)?
How do we unify our approach on a global scale (Trump et al)?

While we can all do our little bit on the side of prevention and feel good about ourselves, it's big strategic questions like these that really need solving.

Re: Summertime?

Posted: 11:50 29 Jul 2019
by Willis88
As a younger poster this is always a thing that brings greater concern to me, and my family given I've just recently had my first child.

Unfortunately all the issues listed above are very true and very prevalent, could we, in our right mind, actively limit other nations' growth because they're too late to the party. Could we overrule another nation's democracy if the fool they've elected doesn't care about anything but money?

The key problem are politicians who aren't willing to put their job on the line to do anything about it. As they're up for election every few years they're not going to risk being ousted as they've made a decision, which being massively beneficial to the world as a whole, has a negative impact on their constituency, especially as there's a skeptical politician waiting in the wings to pounce on it.

If I'm honest I can't see a way anyone can't believe the facts, there's way too much evidence out there proving this is a problem and humans as a whole are responsible for it, to suggest anything else is just attempting to absolve yourself of the blame.

But I think Kentish has hit on the real reason, the people who are capable of making these decisions won't make their lives harder for the remainder of it (30 years or so) to make someone else's life less hard (given it'll never get better, just less harder than it would have been) in 50-80 years time.

It's like trying to get people to save for a pension, get life insurance or eat less food to not gain weight you just can't get them to focus on the long-term benefit if it means short-term pain.

There is only going to be one occasion where this finally gets brought to the fore and dealt with and that's following a global catastrophic event, but then by that point it'll be too late and everyone's just wanting to blame someone else rather than themselves (some would argue that's already happened and no-one's noticed/care).

Re: Summertime?

Posted: 16:15 29 Jul 2019
by The Doctor
Kentishgreen wrote: Yes I know it’s not clear cut that’s part of the problem. I’m a baby boomer so in 30 years time I won’t be here, that’s also part of the problem. Why should the apathy of people of my age group affect my grandchildren who could easily be around in 80 Years time or their children. When there’s scientific doubt I think you have to fall back on the balance of probabilities and it’s probably true that human action has affected climate. So human action can also affect it in a positive way. At the moment it looks like a gambler’s choice


But in fact there isn’t really any scientific doubt, there is VERY clear Scientific Consensus (agreement) that human’s have had, and continue to have, very serious impacts on the Earth’s climate. Yes, you can find small numbers of individual scientists who will still argue that the changes are not related to human activity but the VAST majority believe otherwise due to the huge weight of supporting evidence. The most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is very clear on this (try reading the Summary for Policymakers from Working Group 1, which is freely available online via the IPCC website as a starting point).

I know that some people will say that the scientists are acting like some kind of cartel and that it is in their interest to push the climate change line as it gets them funding but that’s simply not true. Just because a few people say that something is the case does not mean that what far more ‘believe’ (based on evidence) is wrong. And usually it turns out that the scientists who deny climate change are in receipt of funding from oil companies so their view is often hardly free from bias.

The really disappointing thing is that all of the evidence/research suggests that countries that aggressively pursue low/zero carbon technologies see economic growth that outstrips fossil fuels based development. So, it doesn’t only make environmental sense, it makes economic sense to go down that route. It’s really rather depressing that the new Prime Minister has appointed a Minister for the Environment who i) is pro-fracking and ii) is a climate change sceptic - in fact it is just madness (but don’t get me started on what is happening with UK politics at the moment).

Re: Summertime?

Posted: 18:11 29 Jul 2019
by MickyD
Yep, as I wrote three months ago in the Climate Change/Population Growth thread:

There really isn't confusion among scientists - the overwhelming majority are 100% certain that global warming is real, and is accelerating at an alarming rate. The odd "renegade" has most likely had his or her "study" commissioned by the fossil fuel industries, or by someone who has major vested financial or political interests in them - people like Ol' Big Brain Donald Trump, who claims it all to be a "Chinese hoax designed to damage the US oil and coal industries".

NASA: 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree

And yes, climate change may be cyclical but it (usually) takes place over geological timescales, not in human lifespans.

Re: Summertime?

Posted: 13:50 31 Jul 2019
by Kentishgreen
Heard on the radio today that since the 1880s 10 of our hottest years have been since 2000 as have 8 of our wettest. Not sure but I think I heard it said that all of our coldest years were prior to 1963

Re: Summertime?

Posted: 14:05 31 Jul 2019
by Frank_Butcher
Kentishgreen wrote: Heard on the radio today that since the 1880s 10 of our hottest years have been since 2000 as have 8 of our wettest. Not sure but I think I heard it said that all of our coldest years were prior to 1963


That is correct. However, the reporting is interesting as it doesn't mention that 2010 was the coldest year since 1986 and the 12th coldest since 1910. Or that 2012 and 2013 were colder than any year since 1993 (other than 2010).

Don't get me wrong, I'm not doubting the trends - they are obvious. Typically average annual temperatures were in the high 7s or low 8s up until the turn into the 1990s. Now mid 9s is more typical. But reporting must be done in a balanced way otherwise it's open to criticism.