Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Reference: Editorial to the world urges action on global warming, Bangkok Post, December 8, 2009

A global editorial on global warming calls for decisive action in Copenhagen to cut carbon dioxide emissions (Editorial to the world urges action on global warming, Bangkok Post, December 8, 2009) saying that "The question is no longer whether humans are to blame". Yet, that is precisely the question in Copenhagen. The agenda there is based entirely on the ability of human beings to control the world's mean surface temperature by attenuating their use of fossil fuels. The proposal to cut CO2 emissions would make no sense otherwise.

The editorial also claims that "climate change has been caused over centuries and has consequences that will endure for all time"and that inaction in Copenhagen will cause "half of all species to become extinct". These are highly charged and grossly inaccurate statements. Our use of fossil fuels could not have been causing climate change for centuries because we have not been using fossil fuels in any quantity for that long. As for specie diversity, earth's prior climate history for millions of years shows that episodes of climate change - particularly global warming - have been associated not with a reduction of specie diversity but with veritable explosions in the number of species during which many old species die off and many more new ones are created. These data have caused the theory of evolution to be revised to include the idea that mutations occur not at random but under environmental stress.

It would be a sad chapter in human history if we commit economic suicide Jim Jones style in the vain and Quixotic belief that we are in control of the planet's climate. Our climate has never endured and has never been stable and has always been dynamic and ever changing. The human race, even with all its knowledge and technology, is insignificant on a planetary scale. On what basis do we expect to be able to stabilize nature? We appear to be in the grip of some kind of mass insanity.

Cha-am Jamal

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