Yesterday in the lunch room one of my colleagues (who is a really nice lady) said she’d seen a show on the telly about climate change skeptics and they had some good points. I told her that yes, the earth’s climate has changed before due to reasons such as the earth’s orbit, distance from the sun, and volcanic activity, but that this time the science is conclusive that it is humans who are causing the dangerous levels of warming that are occurring.
I was perhaps a little forthright in the way I said this because she looked disgruntled and said;
‘Just because you sound sure about it doesn’t mean it’s right.’
Dear Reader, here’s the thing: I have spent a lot of time researching the science of climate change. I have trawled through the IPCC website, I have read books by eminent scientists, I have attended conferences, I keep myself updated on developments via reputable sources. And my own research pales in comparison to the decades of professional, comprehensive, peer-reviewed research into the causes and effects of global warming by thousands of climate scientists worldwide.
And yet…the ‘Average Joe’ on the street in Australia somehow feels entitled to argue with the findings of thousands of climate science experts worldwide. Whether the Average Joe is a bus driver, office worker or businessman, he somehow thinks he is more qualified than the scientists who have PhDs in this field and who are working off climate data going back thousands of years.
What’s really interesting is that, out of all the fields of scientific endeavour in existence, this Average Joe has decided to take issue with the science of climate change. He doesn’t bang on about his ‘doubt’ and ‘uncertainty over other established scientific discoveries like the fact that airplanes can fly or penicillin kills bacteria. Just climate change. Because the Average Joe knows that if climate change is accepted as real, and that we humans are causing it, there will have to be significant changes in the way we treat the Earth.
This Sunday, in capital cities all around Australia, there will be rallies to support the introduction of a carbon tax so that Australia can meet its carbon reduction targets. The Average Joe probably won’t be attending, he has a date with a bucket of sand that he’ll be sticking his head into. You, Dear Reader, are made of different stuff. Together we CAN make a difference. Hope to see you there on Sunday!