a climate change story

A Climate Change story? Where to start – perhaps at a local level which probably has more to do with the weather than climate change itself.

Twenty five years ago and an exquisite Port Wine Magnolia tree would flower here, a mile high in the Blue Mountains, within the first ten days of August and, regular as clockwork, the August winds would pick up pace by the second week of August and strip the tree bare of bloom by the end of that month.

Twenty five years later and the tree now blooms in mid September while the August winds are now more known as September winds. The beautiful Tibouchina with its purple flowers, by virtue of being semi tropical, should not grow in this part of the world but while it gets burnt by the frost it survives although it flowers much later during autumn than it would in more favourable conditions.

Things have changed. We’re constantly aware of drought, fire and flood - it’s part of the Australian landscape – and all of these events constitute real and present danger so, in that sense, nothing has changed but it’s in the extremes of those events that there is change. The problem lies in whether to attribute the causes of those changes to only man made activity or to look beyond, to the rise and fall in the activity of our sun, to space weather or to see a combination of many factor at work.

What isn’t in dispute is that Climate Change is real but I’d widen that ‘Climate’ to include the political, religious, technological and financial climates – worldwide - all of which threaten our existence by virtue of agendas at work. To ‘win the hearts and minds of the people’ isn’t an empty phrase but is one into which enormous resources are poured in order to sway public opinion towards one which those with the power to decide then design.

Climate Change was originally touted as Global Warming notwithstanding newspaper headlines up until the mid seventies talking about a looming ice age. It begs the question – if global warming due to man-made carbon emissions aren’t the threat that they’re made out to be then what possible reason is there for this threat to be of such worldwide and consistent news. Therein lies a story regarding The Club of Rome and reports such as The Limits to Growth. Computer modelling was used in that report as it is with Climate Change studies yet computer simulations are only as good as the information fed in provides.

I’m not an expert in anything. For much of my life I’ve taken a great deal at face value and with a naïve trust that those considered experts would also have integrity and a burning desire to find the truth of an issue and not be so swayed by personal considerations as to deliberately work towards an opposite agenda. It’s ‘cognitive dissonance’ at work within me – the holding of many contradictory views while the evidence points out that absurdity.

In the matter of Climate Change and its causes I’ve recently immersed myself in many talks, lectures and dissenting opinions and found that youtube is full of scientists, Nobel laureates and experts in various fields who do present evidence which contradicts the view that carbon emissions are the culprit and the cause of Climate Change. As with many contentious issues there is very little real debate but rather people presenting their position.

Much can be illustrated with graphs and statistics. There are ‘Lies, damn lies and statistics’ – a phrase familiar to most and used to illustrate how statistics are often used to bolster weak arguments. The same holds true with graphs.

When it comes to renewable energy sources I’m in favour of technologies which free up the population from the control of electricity companies, which reduce pollution and which give some independence to the individual but even there the ‘devil’s in the detail’ and ‘smart meters’ which are generally part of these technologies are fraught with health hazards ignored by many in the headlong rush towards an ‘internet of things’ – something which has no real benefit to anyone that I can see except for the companies which are selling such ideas.

This is, of course, opinion but it’s based upon some research and it’s worth remembering that mobile phones without which our societies would be somewhat diminished in terms of convenience have never got a ‘tick of approval’ regarding the health implications of holding these devices to the ear. When they were introduced it was understood that these phones should not be given to children to use due to the thinness of their skulls yet that concept has been disregarded except by those who use hands free phones. In the rush for short term profit the idea of ‘buyer beware’ now replaces ‘duty of care.’ No-one accepts responsibility and this holds true in almost any direction one cares to look.

The whole story regarding anything isn’t easy to establish – that we breath in oxygen and breath out carbon dioxide while plants do the opposite simplifies a more complex process. My sense is that Climate Change is in much the same position.

What’s prompted this piece is an email from getup.org.au requesting our personal Climate Change stories with a view to influencing the decisions of our political leadership many of whom appear to hold a view that there’s ‘nothing to see here’ while smiling in a paternalistic manner and endorsing yet more coal mines.

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