Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Global Dimming and Warming

This 48-minute documentary film produced in 2007 by the BBC for their Horizon series introduces the term "Global Dimming" to the general public and puts global dimming in context with global warming. While the documentary is too dramatic and too sensational for the taste of many people, it still might be a worth while film for the sake of understanding the causes and the trend of global dimming, i.e. the reduction of sunshine reaching our planet's surface due to visible air pollution.

There is a lot of data on both global dimming and global warming, and as with nearly all data, it can be interpreted in many different ways. I do not believe in the main predictions of the main stream scientists. They might be right, but they might also be wrong. Is there global warming? Maybe, probably, but maybe not. Is the global warming caused by mankind? Maybe, maybe not. Is global warming bad? Maybe, maybe not. In my opinion all this data is inconclusive because in today's world it is nearly impossible to know whom to trust.

I am even more opposed to the way greenhouse gas reduction is planned to be implemented. International auctions on CO2 emissions and similar forms scream of injustice, inefectiveness and seem to be another scheme to enrich a few CO2 emissions brokerage companies, paid for by all while not delivering on real, sustainable and just emissions reduction. In short such schemes will turn out to be expensive, ineffective and will be a hidden form of financial transfer from the masses to a few rich, similar to taxation. Emissions reduction will be misused to become a laudable and admirable front face for creating a new system inline with the current abusive banking system that will have a high maintenance cost, induce speculation, will eventually lead to an emissions market bubble, be full of negative side effects, and worse of all: it will not make people responsable for pollution and will not change the attitude of corporations on the topic of pollution. Regarding side effects: Without being able to remember the source, I read a stories that in Thailand large plots of jungle are being cleared to create monoculture palm plantations for palm oil production and that for such actions CO2 emissions bonuses are being handed out. If this story is true than it is clear that we have to expect a lot of unwanted negative side effects to the greenhouse gas emission policies.

Ignoring the data that can be interpreted either way and is only as trustworthy as the scientist who created it, it seems to me it is more appropriate to go back to common sense and basic, local thinking. In your own home, would you want to have a source of air pollution? Image for a second as a mind game, that your hot water boiler has some defect and black smoke would come out of it whenever you take a hot shower. Wouldn't you fix it? In the worst case wouldn't you replace it with a new model that does not pollute your own home with smelly smoke that stinks, makes your baby son cough and paints the walls black with time? It seems obvious. You would not put up with such a water boiler for long. You would replace or fix it. I would extrapolate from your home, to your home town, to your home planet. What is good for your home, along common sense, will also be good when applied on a global scale. Setting strict policies that force the reduction of visible pollution as well as green house gases at the source is a simpler, more transparent, more reliable solution to actually reduce emissions and to do it in a controlable and fair manner for the benefit of all and at the cost of the appropriate corresponding consumer groups.

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