Do you want to know an easy way to stop Global Warming? It's simple, just tell everyone you know to stop using the term! Instead, insist they say Climate Change. I bet you thought I was going to tell you to turn off your lights, drive and fly less, monitor your carbon footprint, etc. Well, all of that may be important, but first let me vent about the extremely poor marketing done by "Global Warming" believers.
We normally steer clear of Global Warming and Climate Change discussion on Mapawatt because it is hard enough to convince people to conserve energy and water and live more sustainably as it is, without having to get into a "manmade vs. natural" discussion. I expressed our strategy in my post written a little over a year ago titled "I've solved Climate Change" in which I tried to convince Americans (at least the few hundred that read the blog) to focus on a Fossil Fuel Reduction strategy, instead of arguing over "Global Warming". I'm partial, but I particularly like how I stated the stance in our post "What you need to know about the Climate Change Debate" in which I said:
"The point here is that we try and stay outside the Climate Change debate because sometimes people get too caught up in the debate and can’t see the forest through the trees (this is especially true if they have plans on cutting the trees down).
The advice we give adheres to the three principles below:
- Save energy and water because it saves you money
- Save energy and water because it improves the environment (with or without Climate Change, this is true)
- Live more sustainably because it improves your life, the lives of those around you, and the lives of those yet born (side note: The original post had “yet unborn” and here is my sister’s response: “so are you talking about future zombies”. Thanks for the heads up sis!)
These are facts. There is no debate about these principles.
You may be a Sustainability Scrooge and say “Bah Humbug” to living sustainably. If this is you aren’t the type of person for this blog, you are probably an unhappy person, and there is a chance the emptiness you sometimes feel inside of you is due to the lack of connection you feel with those around you and the earth. But I digress….
Here is what we will say on Climate Change: There are few natural systems that we know of that will continue to operate in harmony when an external force is acting on them. The climate is a natural system. The CO2 and other greenhouse gasses we are pumping into this system are an external force. This has or will eventually cause the climate to deviate from its natural state. We are not defining “eventually” nor quantifying “deviate”...."
I challenge anyone to argue (and win) the stance laid out above.
So where am I going with all of this? Today I read the following in a Mother Nature Network email newsletter:
Could global warming be making winters colder?
A new report from NOAA says the wild winters are apparently occurring because of global warming, not despite it.
Now, I'm pretty well read on said topic, but even to me, this blurb in the newsletter sounds like a bunch of hullabaloo. Yes, I understand the logic behind it and that scientists say that the fact that the earth is warming is causing the climate to change. And I know the good people at Mother Nature Network knew what they were doing when they wrote the title to catch people's attention. They even responded to my comments about the topic and pointed me to this article in the NY Times titled "Bundle Up, It's Global Warming" (which I appreciate!).
The NT Times article basically says that as the oceans heat up, more moisture is released in the atmosphere, which causes more snow fall in places like "high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, especially in Siberia, just north of a series of exceptionally high mountain ranges, including the Himalayas, the Tien Shan and the Altai.". This increased snow fall causes cooling in these places (snow reflects more sunlight) which eventually affects the jet stream and cools some places like "the Eastern United States, Northern Europe and East Asia". So I at least understand the logic (I think).
But let's be honest, the majority of the people in the U.S. just don't understand why the winter is so damned cold when scientists (and Al Gore - whose name is usually mentioned by the non-scientists I know in a goofy, patronizing voice) tell them the earth is warming. And no, we don't have to sit them down and take them through a complicated science lesson which explains how a butterfly flapping its wings in the jungle causes a tornado in Kansas. We just need better marketing.
The quickest way to solve this marketing problem, is to remove "Global Warming" from the lexicon and instead use "Climate Change". I have an engineering degree, and the only reason I say this is to tell you that I know scientists (i.e. professors) love to make things way more complicated than they are. My message to those who want to promote the idea that man's actions are causing the global mean temperature to rise: adjust your message in order to gain its acceptance!
Make sure to keep reading because next week I'm going to criticize scientists for having lousy climate models!