I've just got back from a screening of Al Gore's film - An Inconvenient Truth which was being screened down at the local civic centre.
Having watched The Great Global Warming Swindle on Channel 4 last week, I thought it was worth taking a look to see the film that had added fuel to the climate change fire - so to speak.
Not overly long and full of comments, statements and a few zig-zag graphs. Pretty interesting stuff taken at face value but it does make you wonder how much 'spin' has been put on both sides of the story just to get everyone hyped up. As the saying goes - there are "lies, damn lies and statistics".
There is little doubt that climate change is happening. Winters are milder and wetter, summers are hotter, records are being broken year on year. Extremes of weather seem to be increasing but the earth's climate has undergone periods of cooling and warming over tens of thousands of years in cycles over it's past history. We've only recently come out of an ice age - a mere 14,000 years ago. Seeing as we're due for another ice age - perhaps it's not a bad thing that the climate is warming up! :)
How much of the recent change is due to human influence is also fairly obvious - IF the statistics are to be believed - although I couldn't find anything that supported the figure of nearly 600 ppm that was being quoted - it's around 380 ppm. In geological time it's only ever been that low in the Carboniferous - when all the coal reserves were being laid down. Over 500 million years ago it was around 7000 ppm. I'll go and dig out my geology books to see what the scientist say rather than the PR hype in the media.
One striking figure that came out in the film, was the growth in the human population that has already doubled in our lifetime. That is going to have a major impact on population migration if/when sea-level does rise, as many of the poorest, undeveloped areas are only just about sea-level. You can say goodbye to the Maldives and the Netherlands as well as some of the major cities like London and New York.
You'll be pleased to know that I cycled there and back so no CO2 emissions were generated by this blog - well, apart of course from the electricity driving my laptop. I'm not sure I can say the same for Al Gore who seemed to spend much of his time being driven around in a car or flying in a plane.