Monday, December 10, 2007

One eroding island, two opposing views

Sometimes you come across something by chance, as in the case with this article I spotted from the American Daily. As I read it my eyebrows raised ever higher; it's a vindictive and scurrilous attack on an original article from the LA Times, and on any who might dare to believe that climate change is anything to do with mankind.

At the bottom of this virulent diatribe is a reference to the original article from the LA Times.

Read both, and I'll bet your reaction is exactly like mine.

The thing is, neither the original nor the attack article reinforce the absolutely key point - the island is rapidly eroding because the autumn ice that used to protect Kivalina a couple of decades ago is no longer present, because of global warming. The Autumn storms now directly wash away the sand the coast of Kivalina is made from at will. It probably HAS been eroding for perhaps a 100 years+, but over the last 15 to 20 years it's been eroding at an ever increasing pace until it now threatens the Eskimo inhabitants with relocation.

But I guess my scientific viewpoint must be becoming obscured, because underneath, at least according to the American Daily, I'm just a simple 'globaloney scaremongerer'.

ADDENDUM - Junkk Male - Have Your Say: Environmental 'crime' - Kinda fits here

Climate change - it's all our fault. Discuss.

t'is... t'isn't T'IS! T'ISN'T! T'IS!!!!!! T'ISN'T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, you all ready are.

Me? I'm going with probably man-worsened climate change, just to err on the safe side for my kids' sakes.

But I'm sure another conference couldn't hurt, too. Indy can organise. And BP could sponsor it. And all the shouty types from either extreme could go there and do in person what they do here.

Leaving some free to set about DOING stuff.

That said, it's tricky without first asking a few questions, especially those to which the answers remaining tantalisingly vague.

Like why the BBC and many media are running headlines about how we 'could' be running on wind-powered renewable energy if enough money is thrown around. Why 'could'? Can't we see what the actual numbers are? They must exist. Wind speeds. Durations. Conversions. Lifespan of gearboxes in exposed salt-air conditions. The ROI? The enviROI?

Having bought into the caution, I don't mind getting on board with mitigations or even reductions, but I have to be convinced first.

Yet the big argument seems still to be whether they are even necessary. So to those of the more pessimistic persuasion, I'd suggest leaving those who would stall progress by arguing %ages in glorious isolation (and for sure don't leave open goals by trying the 'there's a funded cabal of big oilers spoiling the thread' argument at the expense of coming up with a decent one to make a decent point), and focus more on making what may well need to be done a lot more convincing and/or palatable to the vast majority ducking under such absolutist 'debate' and trying to get on with their lives.

Fat chance.

Carry on smokin'.

Indy - This project is a licence to wreak environmental havoc - I append this for a few reasons. Firstly, I note that this is a leader penned by just one party to the argument. I always find this discomfiting, partly because of what it means to the quality of informed, balanced debate (can't quiet see a BP rep. having much chance with an upside, mind), but also how it erodes one's faith in the medium. Preaching to the converted my be more comfortable, but I am unsure as to its value.

That all said, it also highlights why I have such mixed feelings on Greepeace. This kind of thing they seem good at. However, the wind power flag-waver I saw on TV today was less than inspiring in his 'green at any cost' advocacy.


Peter said...

Dave, look who is talking in me, but I would caution about getting too het up on every extreme view out there.

'Calm down, dear, it's only a lone, loonie blogger'.

At least they referenced the original, which allows you to unpick their cherry-picking.

Now think of how many, from all sides of the 'debate', who do not.

Which is why, despite the fact that most are now suspect, I at least accord 'major' media some value still.

But frankly I am more prone to apply logic and common sense to anything I am told, and often what I see in lone blogs can seem pretty sensible, much as a lot I see trotted out by major mouthpieces as being plain awful.

For example, I just return to my station with the BBC still trotting out a vision of wind-powered Britain that seems frankly incredible.

And the money for my kids' futures are being p*ssed away on a load of box-ticking numpties and their subsidised chums in the EU lobby rooms.

I think it best this blog settles to an acceptance of MWCC and all the various consequences of that which are manisfesting themsleves globally.

With luck we can leave the extreme activist total deniers and inpractical unquestioning hairshirts to slug it out while the rest of us get on and mitigate or reduce whatever, wherever and whenever we can.

Dave said...

Peter, you are quite right, as usual; but with one minor exception. American Daily, is, perhaps unfortunately, one of the most widely read blogs in the USA. It is not the ranting of a lone, loonie blogger, it is a ranting on an extremely popular and widely read blog with thousands (maybe 10's of) of followers.

But, as you say, let them get on with it. We must do what little we can ourselves and leave the extreme hot air debates to the poles apart deniers and hairshirts.

Peter said...

I stand corrected.

The graphical and writing style lead me to suppose this was not that significant at blog. That'll teach me to go on appearances.

Can't think what possesses any to hang on the thing though.

Hope it's OK but I used this post to make a link to a similar point on the Indy.