Wij klimaatsceptici zitten in een duister complot gefinancierd door de olie-industrie, bedoeld om u te misleiden. Er zijn -samen met deze duivelse sceptici- nog wat achterlijke en egoistische landen die het lichtende voorbeeld van klimaatcommissaris Connie Hedegaard van de Europese Commissie en onderwijzeres Maria van der Hoeven (CDA) van de IEA moeten volgen om de economie te ‘decarboniseren’ voor 2050.
A DOGMA STARTS TO MELT
Translation from Portuguese or article in the Brazilian magazine VEJA, June 13, 2012 –
Defenders of the thesis that global warming is man’s fault and will result in the destruction of the planet even in this century change their opinion an join ranks with the sceptic groups on Apocalyptic predictions by the UN’s climate panel.
It was as if he entire Arctic cover, equivalent to almost double Brazil’s area, collapsed, melted, under the thesis that man is the great villain of the global warming. In an interview in the website of the American TV NBC at the end of April, British environmentalist James Lovelock, 92, still lucid, claimed to be alarmist in his considerations about climate change. “It was foolish from my part,” reiterated Lovelock to VEJA (read the interview on page 113). “The human being is not more responsible than trees in relation to temperature increases.” Not even Climategate or the scandal about IPCC’s reports manipulations were such a hard blow to defenders of the idea that mankind lives an impending planetary emergency the result of excessive CO2 emissions, as Lovelock’s words.
Author of Gaia’s Hypothesis according to which Earth is super organism that auto regulates and, sooner or later, will react against the devastating man’s aggressions against nature, Lovelock is a dean of modern environmental activism. Elected as hero of the environment by Time magazine in 2007, he was transformed, along with former vice president Al Gore, in one of the most ardent prophets of doom during the past decade. Until he changed his mind, Lovelock reverberated terrifying predictions about our planet’s future. In one of those he claimed that 80% of the world population would be decimated by catastrophes until 2100. The remaining 20% would live in the Arctic, with not much water and food.
Lovelock’s revisionism is still noisier because it enrages the common sense of the “end of the world” tied to warming. During the Green Nation Fest event on May 31 to June 7, in Rio do Janeiro, anteroom for Rio+20, visitors were carried to feel the sensations of living in a planet affected by deicing, by fires and floods. Just as an inverse fun park, the simulation was a big success. But, meanwhile, reality is another thing, sadly less spectacular.
Lovelock was not the only scientist of renowned doing recently a change of mind. In September of last year Norwegian physicist Ivar Giaever, Nobel Award in 1973 left the American Physic Society (APS) because he dissented with the institution’s posture in relation to the issue. Giaever said in that occasion: “The APS accept debate on if here are alterations in a protozoon mass, or multiple universes, but evidence about global warming is unquestionable? This matter is turning into a religion. I am a disbeliever.”
With his statement Giaever went into the group of academics –now made larger by Lovelock’s entrance- that question human actions on temperature increase and don’t believe in Armageddon. They are the sceptics of warming. Those dissenters, is emphasized, do not deny the fact that Earth is warmer –almost all today’s scientists agree that Earths’ average temperature went up 0.8ºC in the past century. The divergence falls upon the cause of the oscillation.
For sceptics, alterations are not due to excessive burning of coal and oil, but a natural cycle of warming and cooling in Earth. The planet would have passed through at least four other similar periods in the last 650,000, much before the Industrial Revolution in the XIX Century. “More powerful forces than human actions influence climate, as solar radiation and the temperature oscillation in the oceans,” says geographer Gustavo Baptista, from Geoscience Insitute in Brasilia University. “It is a presumption to find that men have more influence on climate than the activities that moved tectonic plates.”
Denial of a radical version of global warming is not quite a new stance. In 1990, when the IPCC released its first report, some scientists already had opinions contrary to the UN’s considerations. Mistakes in reports, predictions not come true, and the revelations of fraud in researches boosted the increase of dissenters. The fact that shacked the most the “end of the world” hypothesis by the IPCC, according to some sceptics, was the temperature stabilization during the last ten years, that contradicts all reports from the IPCC. During the Climategate email leaks in 2009, an IPCC scientist was afflicted. Kevin Trenberth wrote: “We cannot explain the lack of warming in ths moment. This is a farce we cannot keep.” Sceptics suggest that fails in calculations of temperatures reveal the fragility of computer models used by the UN. According to them IPCC models exaggerate CO2 effects, ignore other variables, and result in a false prediction of warming.
It is hard to tell who’s right –sceptics or radicals- in the global warming impasse. Both sides have evidence supporting their thesis. The IPCC reports are made by 3000 scientists of many countries and constitute the major set of available data about climate phenomena. Sceptics base their claims on geologic and paleontological records showing similar climate alterations thousand and million years ago.
A debate, in itself, is not a problem. From debates comes out the best solutions for some issues. The danger is in dogmatism and exaggerated polarization. “Doctrinarian mentalities produce unrealistic solutions and prevent things to mean intelligent term,” said to VEJA Danish scientist Bjorn Lomborg, one of the most notorious sceptics. For the American climatologist Richard Lindzen the risk is politization. Lindzen says: “When something become part of a political program, the politically acceptable position becomes the objective and not the consequence of scientific research.”
It is possible that all sceptic’s thesis –and from those scientists that revert their positions on global warming recently- may shown to be wrong as times goes by. In science there are not absolute certitudes. However, there is not possible to deny the contribution made by sceptics for elucidating of the climate question. As the British biologist Thomas Huxley said, one of the fathers of the modern scientific thinking, “Scepticism is one of the biggest duties. Blind faith is a un unforgivable sin.”