Friday, 21 January 2011

Obsessed with numbers & facts, but blinded by arrogance...

Just a quick post today, as I'm fast disappearing under a pile of paper, books and tea mugs on my desk.

I just came across this article, and whilst in itself it's a fairly innocuous, typical example of a lazy journalist re-hashing a press release from the Met Office - the response of readers in the comments section has provoked me to type.

For those of you who can't be bothered reading the article (from the Telegraph online) it can be summed up from the headline; "2010 was coldest year since 1986 says Met Office."


For the general sentiment 90% of the comments purvey I shall leave you in the capable hands of comment scrawler turtlesnapper,

"Another Warmist claim debunked by real Science - drought in Australia and the current Queensland floods are caused by normal climate variations connected with ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) .The research and published papers show that warmist claims these have been caused by 'climate change' not only have no foundation but are completely wrong."

Basically the comments fall into 3 (or 4) categories;
1- the earth isn't warming,
2- man isn't effecting global climate
3- the scientists are lying to tie in with political ends
(4- all of the above)

Now - while I have my own opinion on this, the focus of this post is not the unfounded anti climate change sentiments.

Rather, I can't help feeling that society as a whole has really missed the main picture in all of this debacle.

Over the last 200 years (give or take a couple) we have become infatuated with the ability of scientific "fact" to be able to show us the path of progress. We have become blinded to the reality that scientific development is as much guided by philosophical, religious and political belief as is our system of law.

I don't want the scientists (and armchair telegraph comment leavers) to stop interrogating data and progressing theories on how global climate operates. I simply want us all to step back and maybe re-frame the argument in a wider context.

Man is part of our environment - for nearly 200 years we have been trying to tell ourselves that we are above it, separate from it, superior to it. Yet for all our manipulation and "management" of the natural environment are we more resilient to climates extremes?

Year on year does flooding not cost us more?

Philosophically we need to re-frame the climate change debate.

-Do we think we should be living in the manner we are currently?
-Do we believe fossil fuels will go on forever sustaining our current levels of industrial output?
-Do we believe that population can continue to grow indefinitely?

Its time for humanity to stop being so arrogant about our actions. Let us continue to progress, not only economically & scientifically, but more importantly let us progress morally and philosophically.


Comments as ever welcome.
Alfie

1 comment:

  1. "Man is part of our environment - for nearly 200 years we have been trying to tell ourselves that we are above it, separate from it, superior to it. Yet for all our manipulation and "management" of the natural environment are we more resilient to climates extremes?"

    I think you hit the nail on the head there. If everyone had our views, the world would be a better place.

    I guess the main problem is the vicious spiral of cpaitalism and obsession with clinicism that causes this disattachment from nature.

    The more we shop at tescoes, the more we don't realise where food is from. Great example. I said to my nan the other day:
    "I don't want that chicken sandwich (packed by M&S) because I am a vege these days"

    "Its not got meat in it. It's chicken"


    I went to a lecture by the guy who runs the peak district the other day. He believes if he can increase visits from the demographics that don't normally visit, we can spread awareness of environmental issues and on a larger scale improve ecological processes relating to the peat bogs (over time). I really think this "getting in touch with nature" technique could in fact actually save the world. People need to realise what it is to be human and civilised, if that is in fact what you deem us at the moment.

    Mikey Newman

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