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Drawing on climate data

Guy R. MacPherson summarized recent climate change opinion pieces in The Recorder with one sentence in his late November lecture to GCC students. “That’s the trade we’re willing to make, smart phones for genocide.” So, if we don’t give up on this whole “better standard of living thing” then we are knowingly committing the equivalent of mass murder by destroying the climate and killing the Earth’s biota in the process.

Hmmm.

Here is some data found during my own adventures into climate science. I have redrawn it to fit in this piece. The idea is to put the recent warming into a slightly broader context (1), examine the relationship of atmospheric CO2 and the ecosystem (2,3,4,5), and to have a little fun with how data is “stretched” and presented to the public (6).

CO2 is a greenhouse gas and we are an ecosystem heavyweight. However, the claim that the climate is governed by positive feedback loops that magnify perturbations seems illogical and unearthly. If this were true, the climate system would have collapsed long, long ago in geologic time. By the way, if the 19th and 20th century had cooled instead of warmed, we would likely be experiencing some Global Mean Temperatures similar to those that occurred during the frigid Younger Dryas 12,000 years ago and the Pleistocene before that.

So ... get out there and enjoy the day!

William Sillin lives in Sunderland.

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