Global Warming…and other myths

This whole global warming thing is turning into a huge ridiculous circus. Now, we have a “study” which comes to the conclusion that “walking to the shops damages the planet more than going by car” (hat tip towards India Uncut):

The sums were done by Chris Goodall, campaigning author of How to Live a Low-Carbon Life, based on the greenhouse gases created by intensive beef production. “Driving a typical UK car for 3 miles [4.8km] adds about 0.9 kg [2lb] of CO2 to the atmosphere,” he said, a calculation based on the Government’s official fuel emission figures. “If you walked instead, it would use about 180 calories. You’d need about 100g of beef to replace those calories, resulting in 3.6kg of emissions, or four times as much as driving.

Now, I am all for “studies” and “scientific” calculation, but tell me if it can get more ridiculous than this.

Please remember that these studies do not just happen in somebody’s back yard and in someone’s free time. Millions of dollars are spent on each research project and most of these dollars are , directly or indirectly, taxpayers money. If this wasn’t the case, I would love such a joke every now and then.

My problem is also that global warming has become such a huge money-spinning industry for these so-called, self-appointed “scientists” that very little is actually known about it outside of the scientific world. Very few people, for instance (that includes me), know that there is no consensus (or incontrovertible evidence, for that matter) that greenhouse gases cause global warming on their own. Israeli astrophysicist Nir Shaviv has been , for many years, researching the relationship between rising global temperatures and levels of CO2.

“Like many others, I was personally sure that CO2 is the bad culprit in the story of global warming. But after carefully digging into the evidence, I realized that things are far more complicated than the story sold to us by many climate scientists or the stories regurgitated by the media.

“In fact, there is much more than meets the eye.”

He further goes on to say:

All we have on which to pin the blame on greenhouse gases, says Dr. Shaviv, is “incriminating circumstantial evidence,” which explains why climate scientists speak in terms of finding “evidence of fingerprints.” Circumstantial evidence might be a fine basis on which to justify reducing greenhouse gases, he adds, “without other ‘suspects.’ ” However, Dr. Shaviv not only believes there are credible “other suspects,” he believes that at least one provides a superior explanation for the 20th century’s warming.

“Solar activity can explain a large part of the 20th-century global warming,” he states, particularly because of the evidence that has been accumulating over the past decade of the strong relationship that cosmic- ray flux has on our atmosphere. So much evidence has by now been amassed, in fact, that “it is unlikely that [the solar climate link] does not exist.”

I am no expert in these matters. I do not know if the Sun does indeed play a bigger role in global warming than do the greenhouse gases. What I would like to know is: when there is so much speculation, and so little direct evidence, about the effect of greenhouse gases on global warming, why is this being rammed down our throats ? Why are governments around the world (and the UN, through its environment arm, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) supporting this misinformation campaign ? Is there something here for these people to gain ?

I always believed that politicians (and businesses) will look at an issue and see if there is something in it for them. They will then simplify that issue, take out all the science and economics from it, doctor all the evidence to suit their viewpoint, and then throw it at the public. There are numerous examples where this has happened: poverty in Africa, civil war in Iraq, AIDS research. In our own country, we have the reservation policy, the rural employment guarantee scheme…to the ignorant, law-abiding citizen, these are all noble efforts by our loving government. Look under the hood, however, and you realize what it really stands for.

To stay with India, the reservations policy only helps one section of society: those already in Parliament (that is why the bill was passed unanimously in the Parliament). For people who understand economics and social dynamics, it is a huge waste of money and time. Further, it is setting a dangerous trend of providing crutches when the need is for medicine. There are parallels with the way the west is trying to “fight” poverty in the African continent.

The world is getting more and more complex everyday. It is not possible for one person to come to terms with all the information and knowledge that we are accumulating every day. In an ideal society, there would be gatekeepers to this knowledge: the scientists, the economists etc who would simplify these vast tracts of information to make it easy for us to digest. When these gatekeepers turn hostile and greedy, like they seem to have today, they twist and contort the knowledge to suit their greed. It is under such circumstances that the society has to be on its guard and stay informed.People have to ask questions : is this really true ? where is the evidence ? what are the alternatives ? is there a better way of doing it ?

Politicians will always try to awaken the righteousness in all of us to help their cause: “how can you not care for the poor in Africa ?”, “how can you drive a car and pollute the environment ?” , “how can you be so insensitive to the backward classes ?”. The question we have to ask ourselves, then, is: what is more important to us — to really help make this world a better place or just to have a clear conscience ….

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One Response to “Global Warming…and other myths”

  1. Murali Says:

    Hi Vanka
    Wow this is one more master-piece from you! I wonder where you get such vast amount of information!!! And of course the way you present/organize your article is IMPECCABLE as always 🙂
    I feel it is a big joke to say that walking to a supermarket results in more global warming than going by car! Yes as you said these people twist the information and then present to us in such a way they would get benefited for their political/business aspirations.

    Murali…


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