Global warming??? / Réchauffement climatique???

(Mes chers amis français, j’ai bien dit que ce blog serait bilingue. Mais il fait tard et ce blog est plus long que j’attendais. Donc je suis désolé mais vous devez faire des efforts de comprendre l’anglais ou faire un copie-collé dans google translate et espérez que leur traduction est compréhensible. J’essayerai faire mieux demain!)

There are certain controversial subjects suchs as global warming, abortion, drugs, homosexual marriage, et al, that become religion for some people. They are true believers, pro or con, and they don’t realize how they make life difficult for those of us who see good and weak points on both sides of the story.

This morning I got up and turned on Télématin, a morning show here in France that I really like. They have news every half hour and various, interesting subjects between the news. The dramatic news of the day is a new report saying, according to experts (isn’t it intersting how you can find ‘experts’ that look at the same data and come up with opinions 180° apart) global warming is like an out-of-control train and temperatures will go up 4° by the end of the century!!!

Great way to start the day: “The end is nigh, repent all ye sinners who have not yet accepted the gospel of global warming and change your ways!!!”

Me, your average Joe Schmoe, I see good points on both sides of this debate. Let’s look at the global warming skeptics first.

Excuse me, I’m going to show my age here: I remember the 1970s when ecology was the new kid on the block and do you know what the naysayers were preaching then? “The end is nigh, repent all ye sinners who have not yet accepted the gospel of the new ice age and change your ways!!!” And, of course, they had experts and they had loads of data to back up their naysaying.

Fortunately I did not invest in winter clothing and a team of huskies because at some point in time after that all these experts and all their data suddenly began preaching about global warming.

What makes these experts look bad is that certain have been shown to be predicting the worst case scenario. Or they have been shown trying to block and prevent publication of those who disagree with them. Not the most scientific attitude, according to the commonly held idea of scientific study.

And we hear such contradictory things in the press. After hearing so much about the artic ice disappearing, which pleased all those evil, capitalistic shipping companies that would be able to send their ships over a shorter north pole route, it seems the ice is thicker than expected.

And then we have what sounds like a Saturday Night Live sketch, the global warming research team going to Antartica being stuck in the ice and rescue teams, in tremendously powerful icebreakers, not being able to reach them. Here’s a quote from an article about this expedition: “It was unclear if any of the climate change researchers were reading former Vice President Al Gore’s book An Inconvenient Truthwhich posits global warming has reached a tipping point. In 2009, Gore predicted an end to polar ice in five years. Ironically, 2014 hits that mark exactly.” Global warming???

PS: An editorial from an Australian newspaper about the global warming crew trapped in Antartic ice, Thanks, Browney!

Please excuse my confusion, you faithful believers of global warming.

But on the side of the true believers there are also good points. We are seeing huge, incredibly powerful hurricanes that have never been seen before, flooding on levels that has not been seen before, the oceans are becoming more acidic and no one is sure what effect that could have, over-fishing is depleting the fish population, etc, etc.

And then there are my personal observations that the seasons are getting weird; sorry that’s not very scientific but it’s what I’ve observed. From year to year we don’t know what to expect. I’ve been living in the Paris region for about the past 20 years. For many years we had very little snow. The past two years saw much more with first snows beginning in November. This year until the beginning of Decmeber we had no frost. We then had two weeks of cold weather and since only a few days of frost. Here we are in the beginning of January and the 7 day forcast is temperatures staying above 0°C/32°F at night. That’s not normal.

In the last few years spring has been starting very early March/April, before it was late April/May. Also in the last few years summer has been miserable with sweaters sometimes being summer wear.

So in my totally unscientific point of view, something is rotten in Denmark…and the rest of the world.

My conclusion: While I am very suspicious of the global warming preachers, I do think we need to change our habits. All of this industrial pollution pouring out into the sky cannot be good. Cities all over the world are having to advise children and old people not to go outside because of pollution levels. That’s no way to live.

Unfortunately to be green you need to be rich. If you want to buy bio fruits and vegetables, you are going to pay the price. If you want to drive a hybird or electric car, you are going to pay the price. If you want to have an ecological, well-insulated house , you are going to pay the price.

But there are some things we can all do. Get back into the habit of walking, it’s good for you! Some people park their car, do something and then drive 100 meters and park again to do something else. Park between the two places and walk a bit.

Buy a car with good gas mileage. Do we really need big gas-guzzling cars?

Cultivate the habit of buying less and using everything. An incredible amount of food is thrown away every day in developped countries. You know all the annoying advertising that invades our lives? It works. We throw money away on so much stuff we don’t really need.

If you community is equipped for it, sort your trash and recycle what can be recycled.

I look at it like this: I don’t want someone coming into my house smoking and throwing their garbage on my floors. Global warming or no global warming, the earth is the only home we’ve got, we should really take better care of it.


1 Comment

  1. My sentiments exactly – using common sense would be a good place to start. I wander around the office late in the evening seeing how many of my climate conscious staff go home leaving their computers and lights on!
    The ship stranded in the Antarctic is big news in Australia particularly as there are so many Australians on board – check this Editorial out

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