The Thunberg Effect
This week on Facebook: The suggestion that Greta Thunberg may not know of The Milankovitch Cycles and their effect on climate change, may be a good introduction to Milankovitch Cycles (given Thunberg’s popularity on the social-media). However, there are many others (including myself and probably Greta Thunberg) who had never heard of Milankovitch Cycles. An introduction to them led me to post on yet another issue related to climate change with the title ‘The Thunberg Effect’. The subject of climate change is not something that I have paid a great deal of attention to, having always thought that politicians used the notion of climate change to promote political opportunism including their plans for economic growth. An example of this is the carbon tax accounting, introduced by political public administration in a global scramble for economic growth.
As an article below (2) points out, many people think of global warming and climate change as synonyms, but scientists prefer to use climate change when describing the complex shifts now affecting our planet’s weather and climate systems¹. Human activity affecting climate change is disputed with pessimists and the optimists arguing over the amount of change involved by human activities. The questions raised by the behaviour of humans in contributing to climate change are still as difficult to resolve in the global scramble for economic growth.
What we are looking at here is the small group of scientists who have for years been more influential in driving the worldwide alarm over global warming than any others, not least through the role they play at the heart of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Climate change: this is the worst scientific scandal of our generation
Finding articles² that didn’t include a bias of some sort was practically impossible, a problem that is probably associated with any article intended to propagandise its content. The Thunberg Effect seems to have created a social-media that supports her views on climate change, what they are not mentioning are those additional things that would have to be given up.
The problem is the present age is cursed with some experts especially in economics and government who keep getting it wrong yet they still expect the rest of us to accept their verdicts however damaging or daft they may be. The reign of experts and the “post democratic”age
Currently social-media is promoting the views of Greta Thunberg³, most of which contain some element of truth, but which are all treated as being straight from the horse’s mouth, in a similar way as that of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The truths in Greta Thunberg’s speeches on climate change, however, only increase the political, scientific and technological arguments with Thunberg pessimistically concluding that there is no real willingness to resolve them.
Sitting in front of world leaders in recent days, Thunberg looked genuinely distressed when she warned: “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction.” So many people feel the same panic and Eco-anxiety. So what do we do? We scramble to take back control. We recycle plastic, clean beaches, ditch straws and pressurise governments to cut emissions. But looking at it in another way — could the fight against climate change be mankind’s most self-centred move yet? Climate change could be beneficial for Earth in the long term
Thunberg promotes the pessimistic view of humankind’s future but as the article above states, If you think focusing on reversing the environmental damage is the answer then just look at our track record (sic). Having an environmental passion and a care for the future of humanity equal to that of Greta Thunberg, a younger girl called Severn Cullis-Suzuki gave a speech at The Earth Summit in 1992. The UN conference in Rio being the first global conference on the effects climate change and economic growth, with similar political, scientific and technological arguments being aired. In 1992 the arguments were unresolvable as they are today, and any input by Greta Thunberg may become as forgotten as those of Severn Cullis-Suzuki.
The Earth Summit was hampered by disputes between the wealthy industrialised nations of the North (i.e., western Europe and North America) and the poorer developing countries of the South (i.e., Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and parts of Asia). In general, the countries of the South were reluctant to hamper their economic growth with the environmental restrictions urged upon them by the North unless they received increased Northern financial aid, which they claimed would help make environmentally sound growth possible. 1992 Earth Summit
It may be that the development of social-media as it is today now has a greater influence, but any influence by the social-media can cut both ways. In a more recent article with the title ‘The trouble with Greta Thunberg’, the same questions raised at the 1992 Conference in Rio de Janeiro are still raised today. Economic growth is seen as being of more importance than the environment and it is suggested that Thunberg has become a tool for social-media propagandists who peddle their views on climate change for their own purposes.
If you are going to be given an international stage to call for a general strike, as Thunberg has done, you deserve to be challenged – whether you are 16 and wear pigtails or not. If the BBC, or anyone else, is going to offer a platform to Thunberg, these are the questions she needs to be asked. The trouble with Greta Thunberg
Related articles and videos like those below may interest some and are used by both sides in the arguments on climate change and economic growth (To watch the full video on YouTube of 19½ minutes it is necessary to skip the ads). Anyone reading all the articles in (4) may come to realise just how complicated climate change is to assess, they also give credence to The Milankovitch Cycles. The included article at (5) may possibly be an oversimplification, with Greta Thunberg and the rest of the world, yet to realise the consequences of The Thunberg Effect.
1. How Much Does Human Activity Affect Climate Change? Considering the pace of climate change today, scientists can rule out most of those suspects: some happen too slowly to explain current climate change, while others move in small cycles, not long trends, and others only influence the climate in part of the planet. Scientists know about these factors and can account for them when assessing human-caused climate change.
2. Causes of global warming, explained: Many people think of global warming and climate change as synonyms, but scientists prefer to use “climate change” when describing the complex shifts now affecting our planet’s weather and climate systems. Climate change encompasses not only rising average temperatures but also extreme weather events, shifting wildlife populations and and habitats, rising seas, and a range of other impacts.
3. Nine questions about climate change you were too embarrassed to ask: Basic answers to basic questions about global warming and the future climate.
4. What causes the Earth’s climate to change? Almost all of the energy that affects the climate on the Earth originates from the Sun. The energy emitted by the sun passes through space until it hits the Earth’s atmosphere. Only about 40 per cent of the solar energy intercepted at the top of the atmosphere passes through to the Earth’s surface. The rest is reflected or absorbed by the atmosphere. The energy output of the sun is not constant, it varies over time and it has an impact on our climate.
Referenced Articles Books & Definitions:
- A bold text subscript above and preceding a title below (¹·²·³), refers to a book, pdf, podcast, video, slide show and a download url that is usually free.
- Brackets containing a number e.g. (1) reference a particular included article (1-5).
- A link (url), which usually includes the title, are to an included source.
- The intended context of words, idioms, phrases, have their links in italics.
- A long read url* (when used below) is followed by a superscript asterisk.
- Occasionally Open University (OU) free courses are cited.
- JSTOR lets you set up a free account allowing you to have 6 (interchangeable) books stored that you can read online.
¹How do Human Activities Contribute to Climate Change and How do They Compare with Natural Influences? (url): Since the start of the industrial era (about 1750), the overall effect of human activities on climate has been a warming influence. The human impact on climate during this era greatly exceeds that due to known changes in natural processes, such as solar changes and volcanic eruptions.
²Briefing Notes On Climate Science And Climate Change (url): Climate change occurs because the amount of energy in the entire climate system is changed which affects each and every component in the system. Changes in the Earth’s orbit, the energy received from the Sun and the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere can all cause climate change.
³The Thunberg phenomenon, Extinction Rebellion, and the denial of trade-offs (url): Extinction Rebellion seems to be strongly linked to far-left political movements. The left often argue that climate change cannot be solved by markets. And the trade-offs discussed in this article cannot easily be solved by markets either because the costs of carbon emissions are not born by the emitters (unless through the mechanism of taxing carbon emissions or by carbon trading). However, central planning of the economy has no rational mechanism for taking economic decisions at all. Not only that, but that centrally planned economies have been catastrophic for environmental outcomes, just as they have been for all other aspects of economic welfare.
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