Monday, 19 March 2007

Are Politicians avoiding the real reasons for climate change?

This was the title of a Press Release, issued by the WLT a few days ago.
And it has received a lot of widespread comment and support.

One of our readers sent the following comment, and asked me to respond:

In view of the article you wrote titled "Are politicians avoiding the real reason for climate change?" you made two very interesting assertions to which i now respond and hope you will do the same: first, the earth is becoming increasingly overpopulated and the second assertion being that the planet is hurtling toward catastrophy as the result of rampant consumption of dinosaur by-products by developed nations. Why , then do the Co2climate change alarmists panic over the scenario? Simply keep going as it is purported to be going and the population so-called explosion will be drastically reversed, will it not; thus the Titanic will be righted.
Dale L. Bohling

Unfortunately I tend to agree with Dale Bohling. Ecological theory (and Gaia theory) both suggest that a new equilibrium will eventually establish itself. And of course there is no justification (particularly if you do not have any religious beliefs) for suggesting that humans have any more right to survive than any other form of life. So perhaps the sooner the human race destroys itself the better for the rest of the planet's inhabitants. However, I cannot really go along with this essentially nihilist point of view. I, as an individual, get enormous enjoyment out of living on the planet, and hope that by helping protect as much as possible, will allow others to get equal enjoyment in the future.

But to continue the analogy of the Titanic, there is the very serious risk, that when the Titanic goes down, not only will all the humans be destroyed, but the resultant oil spillage and other pollution will take with it countless other species.

And the band played on.......

Interestingly, in 1975, when I was first involved in international conservation, the first draft of the World Conservation Strategy was started, with Robert Prescott Allen organising/editing. I recall that I suggested that one important scenario that was not being developed, was the effects of doing nothing, or indeed accellerating the destruction of resources. I don't think this is a viable option, but it is nonetheless a scenario that is worthy of analysis.


  1. I would not mind too much if "business as usual" led to the eventual demise of the human race. It seems to me, however, that a far more likely scenario would be a sort of "Soylent Green" world: impoverished in many ways, but full of humans.

  2. I suppose some of my own views are coloured by having rewatched Soylent Green recently (see one of my blogs) Interestingly, on the 18 March The Observer Newspaper, five days after we sent out the press release concerned, had a half page Comment by Juliette Jowitt, making many of the points I made in the press release.

    Perhaps it's time for a remake of Soylent green.

  3. John's post on Soylent Green can be found here: