(…rising like one of those giant balloons…full of hot air)

Heads of state and other top national leaders from over 150 nations, along with a number of mayors from many large cities, are meeting in Paris right now, , having made advance “pledges” that each would do something to contribute to the fight against global warming, etc, etc, etc. The hope is that, this time around, unlike the Kyoto, or Copenhagen meetings, this one will achieve some sort of collective consensus and agreement to actually start doing something about it.

From the looks of things, however, and despite a number of fine sounding motivating speeches, none of us common folk should hold our breathes…that any kind of meaningful results will actually come out of this meeting…beyond the consensus that everyone needs to do…something…as best they can…with the “rich” countries pledging to put up billions of funding to help the “poor” ones join this effort (as their response to a genteel bit of extortion for this purpose ).

The main problem we’ve always had with these kinds of global warming conclaves, rising like one of those giant balloons…full of hot air…is that they never seem to focus on the realities involved with the issue; but instead, zero in on only one or two elements as the main culprits causing the problem, when in fact it is a combination of factors, with the key driving one being beyond any kind of human control. Thus, whatever “solutions” which might be offered will do nothing more than make their proponents feel good about themselves. Worse yet, it distorts everyone’s understanding of the phenomenon, and misapplies whatever resources there are to help mitigate the impacts of global warming on our lives.

For one thing, we humans cannot “fight” against global warming because it is a cyclical process with our planet, shifting from hot to cool at regular intervals, and that’s been the pattern for millions of years. At best, we humans are now…contributing…to the process in our planet’s current warming cycle, and it’s that “contribution” to the current warming cycle which seems to be accelerating the raising of its global temperatures. In short, we’re not the cause…only a contributing factor that wasn’t there in any previous warming cycles…and only a more significant contributing one over these past 5000 years.

For another thing, we have yet to see any effort to produce any kind of comprehensive analysis to show the multiple contributing sources involved, and what their respective percentages of the total contribution might be. Without that we won’t be able to properly address the issue, and whatever measures we choose to apply will prove not only to be focused on the wrong thing, but ineffective besides.

Lastly, does anyone really believe that if we humans ceased all of our “contributions” to the global warming process tomorrow…that it would stop? It would not. So to talk about “fighting” global warming distorts our understanding of a very complex process, and that distorted understanding can only lead us to make wrong decisions about what measures we really need to take to reduce the impacts of such global warming on the human race.

Sorry folks, but global warming is a cyclic reality of our planet and, in the past million years alone, there have been four such cycles called…glacial…and…interglacial. We’re in the fourth interglacial. On average those warm interglacial periods have lasted some one hundred thousand years (one of them, lasted almost three hundred thousand years), most of these without any contribution from humans and their activities, and with temperatures well above any we face today. Since this current interglacial cycle kicked in some 40-50 thousand years ago, the odds are we face at least another fifty thousand years of warming before a new glacial (or ice age) period returns.

Furthermore, carbon dioxide is not the only “greenhouse” contributing product we humans are spewing out. Other gasses such as methane are also major “culprits” which we contribute. So perhaps the real focus of our efforts should be on how to reduce our contributions of these, by applying whatever up-to-date technologies we have for that purpose. While none of that will actually stop the current global warming process, it could help in slowing down its rate of temperature increase…which is really the concern.

Lastly, because our contributions to the global warming process are apparently accelerating it…is it possible that because of that…we are shortening the duration of this warming interval from its historical time lengths…and accelerating the arrival time for that next glacial/ice age cycle?

If so, perhaps we should consider stocking up on furs and mukluks…instead of bikinis, Hawaiian shirts, and sandals.