by Graeme Fox
Graeme Fox is an RAC contractor based in Dundee. He is a director at AREA (Air Conditioning & Refrigeration European Contractors’ Association) and a member of the Institute of Refrigeration.
It’s been a strange start to 2010. Heavy snowfalls grinding much of the south of England to a halt, while on the east coast of Scotland we’ve seen very little snow since the turn of the year. It has been a very cold winter.
From memory and from anecdotal evidence, it is quite normal to have a good, warm summer following a cold, hard winter.
It will be interesting to see, after so much bad news for the dedicated doomsday-warning brigade recently, if they immediately jump on this and proclaim it as evidence of chaotic climate change caused by man’s recklessness.
Personally, I’m far from convinced of the extent of man’s impact on global climate patterns.
I’ve been interested in the subject of planets and the universe for a long time and, having read so much on the subject over the last 30 or so years, the main thing that strikes you is the vastness of the universe around us – and consequently the relative size of Earth itself.
But even when you look at the Earth in isolation this same contrast in relative size is apparent. Viewed from space the Earth is an extremely beautiful planet but you don’t see the myriad life forms that dwell on it because we are all so small.
I know that even the smallest creature can have a catastrophic effect on large life forms – after all, even viruses are life forms of a kind that can and have wiped out entire species in the past and continue to threaten us from time to time now.
But man does have an overblown opinion of his importance and influence, both existing and potential, on greater things. Many animals living in the wild have very similar family and network groups to western human society – and all without the infrastructure we seem to believe is necessary. In the distant past there is evidence aplenty of man’s ability to live in harmonious communities long before there was any form of bureaucracy.
There is also a wealth of evidence proving that much of the planet has had a number of significant warmer and cooler periods than we are currently witnessing. Warm enough for certain crops to grow in the British Isles that wouldn’t survive even now – at a time when we are told that we face imminent catastrophe – and long before the chemical emissions that man is guilty of discharging to atmosphere became an issue.
Environmentalists talk of global sea levels rising and cite Bangladesh as an example of the threat. But globally sea levels aren’t rising – as surely they must if the cause were glacial melting! Isolated cases of minimal sea level rise are contrasted with the majority « no change », and the flooding in Bangladesh is apparently coming from rivers bursting their banks, not the sea! Other factors and influences are affecting these patterns, not just man’s emissions.
The fact is that man has very little ability to control the weather, let alone climate patterns, despite his over inflated opinion of his worth.
So, before those with a vested interest in promoting their green jobs and positions start bleating this summer about how each sunny day we may be lucky enough to enjoy this year is evidence of catastrophic climate change, remember to give them a reality check on the insignificance of man in the great scheme of things.