Since our elected leaders failed to come up with anything meaningful in Copenhagen to avert the 2 degree shift in average global temperatures required to avert the worst climate change scenario, there's been much convenient muttering about the recent weather from the usual suspects. Apparently, our freakish weather (snow) is evidence that global warming is all bollocks. Way too convenient!
The interaction of climate, geology and pollution is really fucking complicated. So much so that even with a gargantuan amount of processing power, sophisticated computer modeling of future climate scenarios cannot provide anything absolute.
As I said - it's really fucking complicated!
For example, our freakishly cold weather could be the result of fresh arctic melt water messing with the Atlantic ocean conveyor, or Gulf Stream. We forget about our high latitude. Russia is on a similar latitude and frequently gets -30 degree temperatures or less. The Gulf Stream helps keep UK average temperatures relatively high considering our location. Worth keeping in mind when faced with simplistic arguments by climate change skeptics ;)
Here's an interesting bit of reading for you and quite topical given this weeks disaster in Haiti.
Everyday we understand a little more about just how connected everything is - GAIA, living breathing, changing - never fails to amaze me.
The sooner we can start working with her, the sooner we can do something meaningful to ensure our own survival. And let's face it - that's what it's about. I feel a certain level of nausea when I hear people talking about 'saving the planet'. GAIA does not need us to save her, in fact - it's fairly fucking obvious that she would be a damn sight better off without us.
No, we need to concentrate on saving ourselves in such a way as to remedy the gross inequality in the world that will make adaptation to a changing climate a total impossibility for the vast majority of humanity.
At the same time it is also fairly fucking obvious that there is nothing we can do to save everyone from the problems we have inadvertently created over the last 3-400 years. But we can certainly improve things.
Central to our ability to do this is agriculture and how we produce the goods and services we need. There are no technological quick fixes or sensible options for so-called 'bio or geo-engineering'. More fucking boys with their fucking toys trying to 'save the world' is not going to help.
At the same time a back-to-basics approach is never going to win the hearts and minds of a civilisation transfixed by the myth of perpetual economic growth and what new shit we can buy.
We need a Global Agri-Industrial Agreement (GAIA) to fix our current problems. We need a total moratorium on global deforestation, combined with a massive shift in agriculture away from intensive meat production and to be able to combine this with dual use crops that can help fulfill local needs for both food and energy.
I tried to come up with an idea for how this could be achieved 10 years ago when I was a post-graduate student.
Ok, so it's not very sexy and is not based on any cutting edge technology that needs to be invented or proven. The arithmetic is also quite crude. But we already have the technical capacity to implement this or something similar - and who knows, it might just work.
Ironically enough, the main barrier to implementing a Global Agri-industrial Agreement based on this work is largely ignorance and the ridiculous waste of money that is the 'war on drugs' - that and the other, more 'conventional' wars we are currently fighting, sorry, losing.
All war is a massive waste of resources and the impact on the environment of our ever sophisticated war machinery is absolutely staggering.
As the recently departed Henry Allingham (Worlds' oldest man and war veteran) said to the BBC, "War's stupid. Nobody wins. You might as well talk first, you have to talk last anyway."
Rest in peace Henry.