Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Future for life - Yes or no?

The problem and advantage for the environmental lobby is most media reporters do not understand what they are talking about, the concept of ecology and the complex science and natural interactions which backs this simple word up.

Most media reports on the environment are 'partial' in they are written form a protagonistic view point. Climate change is the current example, the media have split the argument into a simplfied 'pro-greenhouse gas theory of climate change' or 'deniers'.

The science is less exact, the only provable 'fact' appears to be we are in a phase of global warming (even then the rate of rise does not fit the human green house gas theory's expected rate of rise, it is well below). The causes are theoretical and unyet proven as recent research on heat escaping from the earth appears to show the effect of greenhouse gases are 75% less than the current models require to prove Human co2 as the 'cause'. If I am being a scientist rather than engaging in the simplified argument green house gas / denier - then I look at all the data, not just the bits that fit my contention.

On that basis I have found no evidence that supports either side conclusively because given that in the late 18th early 19th century we were in a mini ice age it is not outside the bounds of probability that this is just a natural climate rebound event rather than due to human co2 production. I can not currently dismiss that Human co2 production was not part of the tipping point back into a global warming cycle as a theory but it is only (like human greenhouse gas production as the cause) a theory, there is no objective evidence one way or the other. What appears true, as more research is being carried, the simplistic black or white of the 'human's are to blame' lobby looks ever more grey.

The actual human cause we need to face up to is the ever increasing global population, this is the biggest threat to humankind as all the resources humans need are coming under ever increasing pressure whether food, energy or simply clean water. How will human's deal with the ever increasing pressure from those areas of the world where there are shortages to where there is current surplus?

The standard human response to perceived shortages through the millenia has been war and, in the last millenia, of an increasingly global nature. Whether it is hares (which are likeable) or rabbits (which to many horiculturalists are vermin) to polarise any argument on environmental issues is to fail to understand the real issue - the human condition, its attachment to 'wants - as needs' and 'rights' whether their own or on behalf of others.

One of the biggest environmental issue heading the UK's way is 'fracking' given its proven impact on aquifers and local geological weaknesses on shore (sink holes / earthquakes/ methane in water supplies). The UK Government says the UK 'needs' to use this resource and is 'right' to do so to meet its energy needs. The human's likeliest to make short term money out of it are happy to play up the energy shortage but what happens in 40 years time?

The reality is the UK Government failed to react in time to the UK's growing energy needs (as wants) and so failed to make the necessary decisions in time to either reduce wants or meet needs. This failure has a direct impact on the whole ecology of the UK and this, I believe, is George's Monbiot's point. If you love nature and you love yourself then checking human excess is a necessary requirement for survival.

If we do not get a hold of human 'wants' they will eventually not only destroy the flora and fauna around us but humans themselves. Preserving ourselves, means preserving our environment and requires more hard thinking and less perjorative comment than appears as environmental reporting and comment in the UK and world media.

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