My thoughts on global warming: I don’t care.

Does this statement shock you? Coming from someone studying it – it probably should.

I just posted the same argument on two Globe and Mail articles. It’s unnerving to read the back and forth foolish conversation. You’re either a Harperite (right-winger for those int’l readers) or a crazy leftist or a denier or an alarmist. It seems as though we’ve never graduated from kindergarten.

So why don’t I care about the one of the biggest debates covering the news? I don’t care because I feel like people are attacking the science and forgetting the common sense.

 But here was the gist of my post:

I’m not going to pretend that I know all of the science behind the causes and effects of climate change. I can research it and study it but at the end of the day, I’m not a scientist. And most likely, nor are most of the people debating these scientific theories.

 

But let me ask you all this:

 

  • Are you against conservation?
  • Are you against efficiency?
  • Are you against making smarter choices so that we take care of our natural resources for the generations to come?

 

Let the scientists debate about the actual science, but just look at the issue with common sense.

 

  • Population is increasing (can you debate that?)
  • Demand for natural resources is increasing (can you debate that?)
  • Natural resources are essential to life (can you debate that?)
  • Natural resources are being depleted faster than they can be restored

Combine the basic facts that you know….then make your judgment.  We all have to live with uncertainty.

I don’t really care what side of the “global warming” fence you’re on (or any environmental discussion for that matter) but are we so passionate about debating that we forget about the actual issues?

Problems are happening all around us – whether we choose to believe it or not – and we’re not helping solve these issues when everyone (including the non-scientists) simply argue scientific conclusions back and forth.

I’m not saying don’t question, just don’t be ignorant.

In terms of my own personal stance on global warming?

I’ll believe what I want to believe but one thing is sure: I’m not going to sit back and wait for “scientific consensus” to start making changes. My common sense is telling me which path to take.

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12 thoughts on “My thoughts on global warming: I don’t care.

  1. thegreentax says:

    Good point. Common sense tells you to be friendly to your environment and the world around you. We don’t need scientists to debate that for us.

  2. Jay Godse says:

    Good questions Jane.

    I am against conservation, efficiency, and conserving natural resources if any of these cost me too much money in the short term or the medium term. For example, 2 years ago the home gas guy suggested that I replace my 18 year old furnace with a high-efficiency one. If I get a new one, it will burn gas at 95% efficiency versus the probable 75% that I get now. That is a 27% gain in efficiency…woohoo! However, it would have cost me $10k to replace, and the savings on my heating bill would have been 15% at best. I will think twice about that. Next year it will be 20 years old, and the new high-efficiency furnaces are cheaper and have DC motors which use about a tenth of the electricity. Now I’m looking at $9k to replace, and a 10% saving on my gas bill and about the same on my electrical bill. Given the statistical likelihood that the heat exchanger will die soon, that high-efficiency furnace is looking good in the short and medium terms.

    Spending today to conserve future resources is idealistic and not as great as it seems. For example, if I had bought that furnace 2 years ago, I would have saved about $300 on my heating and electricity bills, and used less carbon footprint, blah, blah. However that would have tied up $10k for 2 years that was better put to use elsewhere, like, for example, servicing personal debt (which I did). i.e. There is a real and high opportunity cost for spending today to conserve resources tomorrow. For most folks, for example, not servicing personal debt presents a huge opportunity cost.

    I went to Home Depot the other day trying to buy LED light bulbs. I think the way it works is that 100 watt incandescent bulb, a 23 watt CFC bulb, and a 10 watt LED bulb give off the same amount of light. Looks environmentally friendly so far. I actually found that for my Christmas outdoor lights, using LED makes the most sense because although they cost three times as much, they are actually usable from year to year without spending 1x the cost of the string of bulbs in replacing burnt bulbs. i.e. LED lights pay back after 3 years of use, which is a good medium-term cash flow proposition. The dude at Home Depot said that Phillips was planning to release regular LED light bulbs that fit in standard sockets, but that they were taking their sweet time. I was not impressed, but it makes perfect sense from their perspective. They have loads of capital tied up in their manufacturing plant, distribution systems, and inventory of incandescent and CFC bulbs. They probably haven’t even written down most of the plant for the CFC bulb manufacturing. Therefore investing in LED manufacturing and LED standard bulb inventory (distribution could be reused), only causes them pain, and does not help their cash flow. That explains why they’re taking their time.

    Your challenge as an environmentalist who understands business and accounting is to provide a plausible story that shows how a particular environmental fix can be justified not only in terms of long-term benefit but in terms of short and medium term cash flow and opportunity costs of capital investments needed to implement the fix. It would be a refreshing change from the usual preaching that comes from environmentalists.

    • John Coutts says:

      I agree Jay. We can only expect a limited amount of altruism from people. Most people are living on the edge. And in the end the short term economics is not such a bad thing since the cost of replacing the product is to some extent reflective of the carbon footprint of the replacement product. By delaying the purchase of your new furnace you are reducing the carbon emissions of the production process. Subsidies for the installation of green items such as solar panels worry me because they could lead to non-carbon-positive installations when the carbon cost of the equipment and installation is taken into consideration. Carbon taxes would help to make the cost of things more in-line with their environmental costs.

  3. Jane Porter says:

    Hmmm.. well put. I’ve been thinking about how to answer you in the best way, but I think I’ll just blog about it in an upcoming post.

    Yep, you’ve hit the nail on the head. This is my challenge. And perhaps all i can say right now is “Trust me, I’m working on it;)”

  4. […] Jay – still thinking/writing on some better arguments on efficiency and conservation for the short and long term. Haven’t forgotten;) But yep, it’s a tricky […]

  5. scottfusco says:

    Hey Jane,

    I’m glad you posted over at instigatorblog, cause this is a pretty neat blog you got here. I love the way you bottom line the global warming issue! So true!

    The way I look at it is that most of the “arguing” is really just political. Not to mention who is paying off which scientist to publish what “data”?

    When you take scientific data and try to apply it in any sort of conclusive direction, there is a whole load of “lee-way”. I’m convinced that pretty much any agenda can be pushed regardless of the results of testing. If you don’t believe me, go on amazon and do a search for “words that work” by Frank Luntz. Luntz is payed very well by conservatives to analyze and determine politically advantageous language.

    Politicians make a living on this sort of stuff. And as we keep arguing about whether or not its happening, it continues to happen.

    I think this is precisely why Al Gore stays out of politics- cause he can get more done outside of it.

  6. […] empower you. The fourth and final IPCC report came out today (lots of news on it) . I said before that I don’t really care about the specifics of the global warming debate because in my […]

  7. […] the science and reading the news on the issue and I’m confused.  I once wrote about how I didn’t care about global warming – just to say that I don’t need to wait for scientific consensus to know which path we should […]

  8. […] is one of the major reasons that I wrote the “My thoughts on global warming: I don’t care.” post last year.  “Let the scientists debate about the actual science, but just look at the […]

  9. […] already talked about my lack of interest in the global warming debate simply because I don’t really care too much about EMISSIONS and CO2.  I believe that […]

  10. James Andersen says:

    Are you against conservation?
    I don’t care.
    Are you against efficiency?
    I don’t care.
    Are you against making smarter choices so that we take care of our natural resources for the generations to come?
    I don’t care if I am or not.
    Population is increasing (can you debate that?)
    I don’t care.
    Demand for natural resources is increasing (can you debate that?)
    I don’t care.
    Natural resources are essential to life (can you debate that?)
    I don’t care.
    Natural resources are being depleted faster than they can be restored
    I don’t care.
    (read the Natural Step and for hard data, go to Earthtrends.org if you’re questioning this point)
    Why read about it if I don’t care.

    Everybody dies eventually. I don’t care about the future of humanity if I’m not going to be there.
    I’m just going to live my life for today.

    • janeporter says:

      Wow, James. You’re super apathetic. I agree that we’re all going to die sooner or later but i don’t think that means we should just throw in the towel now. It’s a pretty sad take to be honest. Thanks for sharing your thoughts though;)

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