Monday, 16 July 2007

The Climate

I am less angry about the climate hysteria gripping the western world than DK for whose authors it is a genuine Bee in the Bonnet. In Today's post, the Nameless One gives Lewis Gordon Pugh, an admirable man, a bit of a fisking. Mr. Pugh is an adventurer with a cold swim fetish, who would do anything that is difficult and pointless, simply because "it is there". He was apparently was wandering round in flip-flops and shorts, sweating. At the north pole. So he decided to go for a dip. During his 18 minutes in water that would kill even a strong man in 4, he contemplated giving up, but the presence of a Norwegian (and descendant of Amundsen, no less)- the only nation with more polar laurels than our own, prevented him and he completed his 1000m despite the pain, which he described as "Excruciating". I have completed a short Ice swim, and he's right. It really knocks the breath out of you.

Now such a feat has to be justified, and like almost everyone, Mr Pugh latches onto the environment. I too am an environmentalist, I believe that deforestation, chemical pollution, particulates in the atmosphere and habitat loss are far, far more serious problems than global warming. MCACC hysteria prevents genuine problems being addressed as everyone's busy throwing brick-bats at SUV drivers rather than slash and burn farmers, drift net fishermen or dirty, unsophisticated industry. You cannot, however blame the congregation. But you must blame those who create the sense of Heresy that greets anyone with divergent views. The DK line is that man is at most only responsible for climate change on the margins and the whole MCACC hysteria is cooked up as a crypto-socialist conspiracy. Thus they berate any who mouth the orthodox line. They should be aiming their ire at the George Monbiots, the Polly Toynbees and the other socialists stretching the science to create an anti-capitalist hysteria.. Those with orthodox views should be tolerated and politely given a different angle - in short persuaded*. By screaming at the congregation, they are not likely to be persuaded and we sceptics of Massive Catastophic Antropogenic Climate Change are more easily branded loonies.

My Null Hypothesis is that the Sun is the generator of our climate and any explanation of changes in global temperature which has no reference to the huge, H-Bomb in the sky needs to work bloody hard to persuade me. I therefore lean to solar activity as the principle driver of climate, with human activity also having a significant effect. My view is similar to that of Bjorn Lomborg's that the consequences of trying to prevent emissions are much worse for people and the environment than the consequences of those emissions in terms of global warming. Global warming has positives as well as negatives. Adaptation to the climate rather than trying to piss into the wind is the order of the day. That said, efficiency in material use and energy is an a-priori good thing.

I think calling a man who has just extended the reach of what it is possible for a human to endure, a "Wanker" is a bit harsh, even though the Arctic ocean is a silly place for a swim and he's wrong that open water never used to appear there. It always has. I doubt there will be many who make the same use of it however, as Mr Pugh.

*Any charges of hypocrisy at this point are entirely justified.


chris said...

When I read this story I applauded and Mr Pugh should need any more reason that he is seeing what his obviously quite remarkable body is capable of like the generations of nuts before him. That there are still people around in our over risk averse world willing to do something so quite frankly insane should be applauded.

one_man_republic said...

'Bracing' is a splendid word and I applaud the the man.

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