IHS Chemical Week


Do You Belong to the 'Religion' of Climate Change?

5:50 AM MST | December 9, 2009 | By ALEX SCOTT

The Copenhagen climate summit is well underway. The chattering classes around the world-are chattering increasingly about climate change. There’s a view among some of the chatterers that climate change “believers” have taken on a religious zeal. These skeptics say that when they challenge the notion that global warming is caused by man’s emissions they are likened to being a holocaust denier.


At a thanksgiving dinner a few weeks ago I was asked by a fellow guest if I was a “believer of the religion of climate change.” I replied that 95% of the world’s top climatologists believe that anthropogenic global warming is a reality and that I was following the scientific consensus of the day. This didn’t wash with my accuser.


His argument is that anthropogenic global warming has been cooked up by leftist greens intent on taxing the wealthy. He has a point of course: In the European Union (EU), for example, the introduction of the next tranche of the region’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to be introduced in 2013, which will be borne out of emissions reduction targets agreed at Copenhagen, will generate billions of dollars of revenue (from industry). This is quite a turnaround for an administration that until now has had to feed off the scraps thrown to it by EU governments.


My accuser’s argument, however, that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are not directly linked to climate change, is pure dogma. Yes there have always been climate fluctuations, but the rate of warming since the 1950s is unprecedented going back millennia. To ignore this is to ignore the fundamental climate science. Sunspots-often identified as the cause of global warming, but they have a cycle of 11 years and so can’t be responsible for what is now an extensive period of warming. Water vapour, considered by my accuser to be the most important greenhouse gas, is not considered by most scientists to be the cause of global warming, a symptom maybe.


The bottom line is that the climate is warming at an unprecedented rate and that there is no evidence at this time that anything other than human activity is responsible.


So what of the leftist conspiracy theory? Could it be that this is something that the west’s wealthy elite have cooked up in anticipation of a post-Copenhagen deal in which their highly energy consuming lifestyle will be taxed to the hilt? My accuser drives an Aston Martin, runs a mansion with its own gym and swimming pool, and flies often. Please whisper it quietly to the congregation, but perhaps it is the ‘religion’ of money and not climate science that is the dogma here?






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