Sunday, August 03, 2008

Claimers and Deniers

I see a trend developing in the war on words about climate change. First we see an article that starts "Scientists reveal study that claims....." followed by a second story that accuses other scientists of refuting the first claim as being "deniers".

Those who deny are merely putting forward a different, perhaps opposite, point of view. As such they have entered into the spirit of scientific debate. However the connotation of a denier is one who is likened to those who deny the holocaust ever existed, such is the politics of global warming. Decent thinking people really should see through all the smoke and mirrors and recognize that something sinister is going on!

The second part of the claimers' pitch is typified by this article in today's Daily Telegraph. Nowhere is mention made of man-make global warming, but such words now appear synonymous with climate change so the inference probably sticks with many people.

As a geologist I don't immediately see the hidden link because I understand climate change as a perfectly normal pattern. For the past 10,000 years the UK has been warming from a deep freeze state to the present pleasant climate (perhaps too wet but pleasant most of the time). 10,000 years ago the only trees that even thought about germinating were tundra species, dwarf pines, etc. Gradually trees from further south "moved" north and the tundra species disappeared further north still. All without the hand of man being involved. It should be no surprise that the species we consider indigenous are struggling as the globe warms up due to this long term trend (which is not man made). Mediterranean species may find their way north in a few decades and challenge the oak and ash that "soak and splash".

And I claim that such an event would be perfectly normal. At least until we go into another ice age cooling cycle.