Friday, October 26, 2007

Climate Change is not Global Warming

Following links [Ah it was Septicisle, of course] I end up at the Spectator and a column by Melanie Phillips this sort of stuff annoys the shite out of me so I posted a comment (which lost my line breaks for some reason)

Okay first of all can we separate 'climate change' and 'global warming'? Next can we differentiate between 'cause' and 'contribution' If we do that perhaps we can see that climate change is a natural process that's been going on for the last 4 billion odd years and we can look at the real options presented :
  1. Global warming is a natural process of climate change and would have occurred in the same manner whether we were present or not;
  2. Global warming isn't a natural process of climate change and was caused by mankind;
  3. Global warming is a natural part of climate change, but mankind is a contributory factor;
  4. Global warming isn't a natural part of climate change, but mankind isn't a contributory factor.
Please note that contributory factor can mean either accelerating or decelerating the process. Those should cover the 'It's not us', 'It is us', and 'It's not us, but we aren't helping' camps. Now present the evidence for each.
I'd also like to point out once again we have never been heading for another Ice Age because we're still in one. Find a globe, look at the poles, see that white stuff? Right we're in an Ice Age, to be specific we're in an inter-glacial period. We might continue to a point out of an Ice Age or we may fall back into a glacial period; feel free to discuss which outcome might be best for us (I'm voting for glacial as our species has already survived one.)

So despite my comment look at the rest of the comments who still treat climate change and global warming as interchangeable elements, and lambaste people for not/believing in it or that we're the cause of it. Stop mixing everything up, both sides aren't helping their respective cases with this mish-mash.

[Update here's (PDF) an interesting paper]