Friday, November 23, 2007

Auto Trumpet Tooting #104

Hey, I feel I am allowed. It's nice to get a boost on a Friday.

It's Friday, I have a whole night ahead of me preparing for my trip to Brussels to try and flog the RE:tie next week (so please allow for a distinct paucity of postings - with luck oodles upon my return, if only on EuroStar's performance. I am already impressed that I had an email to prepare me for French strike eventualities had I being using TGV services in France).

Wish me luck!

Atmospheric CO2 at record levels

From Nasdaq News.

"The global average concentrations in the atmosphere of carbon dioxide, or CO2, and nitrous oxide, or N2O, were higher than ever in measurements coordinated by the World Meteorological Organization".

Levels in 2006 reached "381.2 parts per million, according to the agency. Nitrous oxide totaled 320.1 parts per billion, which is a quarter per cent higher than in 2005."

"There is 36.1% more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than there was in the late 18th century, primarily because of combustion of fossil fuels" and "it appears the upward trend will continue at least for the next few years."

They calculate that CO2 has now contributed some 91% of the warming effect on the biosphere over the last five years. That's the first time I've spotted an empirical measure of the contribution to warming that CO2 makes, and given the number of new fossil fuel power stations coming on stream each year, frankly, it rather scares the hell out of me.

Take a walk and charge up your mobile

I had always anticipated that someone would come up with these one day; after all, it works on a smaller scale with self winding watches; but it just seems to have taken far more years than I expected.

This from marks the arrival of the kinetic motion charged battery, though you probably won't see them available until 2010.

Climate of peers

The climate 'debate' rumbles on... and on.

Thanks to another site I was directed to two areas - one of discussion; one of 'information', I guess, that to me shows just where we are.... just with our national broadcaster.

The climate questionnaire - I really am not sure what to make of this. It is just 'there'. No explanation, or context. What if you keyed in 'climate' in the search and ended up here? Odd. But an interesting set of questions, some of which many within the BBC could ask of themselves. And without default answers in place.

Climate sceptics - I'd say between the original post and the replies you about have it all in a nutshell. Not an exchane I will be getting into a hurry, though.

It has one of my favourite quotes, which I did comment upon before when it was invoked in another piece (I think the Guardian):

'We must also be smarter in the way we interpret the often vociferous views expressed on climate in our vibrant inter-active space. While welcoming a diversity of voices, we must make sure that we do not conflate self-selecting audience responses with a broad audience opinion.'

On the whole the replies to this piece do not seem overly happy with the BBC's reporting and, interestingly, fewer than I expected got involved in 'tis/t'isn't' facts-fisking exchanges. It was more about the way things get reported, which is how the debate should be.

That said, I found a few things troubling. Sorry, but I do see a total presumption that a certain line is the only true one and places any critique as minority or from suspect motives. And that from the way it has been set up it is almost inevitable that those who many not agree with it in totality are therefore not 'us' but 'them'. That is unfair and dangerous.

I also note, with sad inevitability, that when one group do not like the free opinions of others being expressed, much less dominating, the default is to drum up the notion that there is an organised dark campaign at work. To an extent it may be possible that those with passion and/or money can afford and wish to influence such forums, but it was ever thus. And it's open to both sides, editorial/moderation polices permitting.

For a while I have found the terminology worrying often to the point of pejorative... and beyond. Too often I have seen an 'eco-fascist' for a person who thinks flying isn't such a great thing, or 'Big oil funded denier' for another who may not quite see how certain truths are not yet proven. In between are milder, but certainly pigeon-holing versions such as 'treehugger' or 'sceptic', but they are still there to label and mock.

I was wondering what I would call myself, as one who concedes man-worsened climate change as a distinct possibility and hence reason to act in any and all ways possible and practical, but without the dogmatic, absolutist and often censorious zeal of some who require total fealty to their mission - which, sadly, seems to be to prostrate oneself at the altar of man-made global warming and any half-considered knee-jerk that might come up to 'correct' it, first-class, via a conference in Bali and a nice EU subsidy. And the hell with enviROI.

I'm erring on being a 'Climate AQUA'. Always Questioning, Unremittingly Acting.

So sorry. Not the finest hour of our national broadcaster, at least in persuading this licence fee payer they are doing their job and/or are worth the money.