Sometimes the best way to help people accept differences of opinion is to use an analogy that everyone can understand and possibly agree with.
Since Climate Change is one of these divisive issues, let’s pretend it is two Hop-On Hop-Off Buses on different routes and look at the stops each has made to get to today.
(An afterthought: it has been pointed out to me (in the comments below) that this post has a derisive slant and that it is highly unlikely that the varying schools of thought will agree on much of anything. I agree completely that I present politicians, mass media, alarmists and extremists in an unfavourable light. I apologize in advance if I offend you, but I’m not going to rewrite the post, so let the chips fall where they may.)
Bus One, Stop 1, in modern times, was at a location called Global Cooling. Global average temperatures cooled by about 0.2°C after 1940 and remained low until 1975. It is believed this was caused by a rise in aerosols in the atmosphere released by industry and a number of volcanic eruptions.
Bus One, Stop 2 was at a location called Global Warming. That was the first place many people, scientists for sure, boarded. There is general agreement that the Earth’s surface temperature has risen by .8 degrees Celsius or 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880. Scientists believe global warming has been caused by both human activities (such as the burning of fossil fuels and the clearing of forests) and natural causes.
Bus One, Stop 3 is at the location called Climate Change (the scientific version), which can be changes in Long-term averages of daily weather and/or Short and long term change caused by El Niño (the warm phase of ENSO); La Niña (the cold phase of ENSO); volcanic eruptions; solar radiation; earth’s orbital changes; continental drift; seasonal changes; and arctic oscillation.
Bus Two, Stop 1 is a bus that was called into service by people who didn’t think Bus One went far enough or fast enough. This bus stop is called Climate Change (the political version) and now Climate Emergency. It is a popular boarding place for politicians and the mass media. Their goal is to create fear in the general population, stop the use of fossil-fuels and facilitate the redistribution of wealth.
Fear mongering is the deliberate use of fear based tactics including exaggeration and continuous repetition to alter the perception of the public in order to achieve a desired outcome.
– Wikipedia –
Bus Two, Stop 2 is at a location called Severe Weather Events. This is where people board if they have been led to believe that weather is the same thing as climate and that storms, fires, hurricanes, floods, cold weather, hot weather, rain, and drought are all caused by Climate Change.
Sadly, this is also the Stop of Deception for two reasons: Weather isn’t Climate and Climate Change hasn’t, so far, caused extreme weather events.
Good weather, bad weather – these are the conditions of the atmosphere over a short period of time – minutes to months. They are not Climate, which is how the atmosphere has behaved over relatively long periods of time – 30 years or more.
If you have unlimited time and patience, read the recently released IPCC -SR15 Chapter 3 Impacts, (the observed sections) which state that most of the actual ‘observed changes’ of floods, hurricanes, monsoons, etc were “non-statistically significant”. In other words, extreme weather events cannot yet be linked to Climate Change.
Pragmatic Environmentalists will happily verify this. They produce data, charts and graphs that show that today’s extreme weather event is usually not so extreme if you look at historical records.
Bus Two, Stop 3 is popular with Climate Alarmists or Extremists – people who believe Climate Change is an existential threat (a threat to human existence that could cause human extinction or permanently and drastically curtail humanity’s potential). These people sometimes demonize opinions or facts that are contrary to their beliefs and some have suggested that ‘Climate Deniers’ should lose their jobs, go to prison, or be killed.
Bus One, Stop 4 is home base for Climate Realists. They are skeptical of some of the claims made by government, mass media, alarmists and extremists. They believe Climate Science is rapidly changing and that humans will figure out ways to both respond to and adapt to Climate Change in a strategic, thoughtful and fact based manner that doesn’t denigrate or demonize anyone.
To be clear, no particular absolute global temperature provides a risk to society, it is the change in temperature compared to what we’ve been used to that matters.
– Real Climate.org –
Last but not least – think about the vast difference between the climate of the Middle East and the climate of Canada. People are extremely adaptable… and think about a wider range of solutions than those presented by a single special interest group.
Interesting further Reading: Politics Disguised as Science: When to Doubt a Scientific ‘Consensus’
What Say You – are you on Bus One, Bus Two or do you hop-on and hop-off both of them?