Skip to main content

Climate Change

Yesterday, I tried to view Dr. John Holdren releasing the latest report on climate change but could not download it after several attempts because of some intermittent power troubles ... even could not watch it from the White House page on YouTube as it was not playing in a continuous manner ... don't know if there was some issue with my net connection or with the speed of YouTube as I am usually able to watch streaming videos without much trouble ...

With respect to my broad opinions/inclinations about climate change, I can say that I've watched with fascination both of Al Gore's famous Senate depositions — the older one before the Senate EPW Committee and the newer one before the Senate FRC. Of course, I've watched An Inconvenient Truth.

Recently, I learned that Freeman Dyson is a 'skeptic' about the effects of human actions on climate change. I very much believe that the issues related to climate change need to be examined with proper scientific skepticism but when Dyson says that 'warm regions of the world are not getting warmer', I think I can dispute him on that score and people living in many warm countries of the world would also disagree with Dyson.

I think the debate about whether human actions have had detrimental effects on the environment is closed. The conclusion being that human action certainly has had negative consequences. To imagine otherwise would be extraordinarily childish and perhaps a case of extraordinary optimism or wishful thinking of the highest order.

We have substantially consumed fossil fuels such as hydrocarbons in the last one century — nature took millions of years to produce those hydrocarbons.

We have not run out of coal but the amounts of greenhouse gases that thermal power plants are emitting is leading to a fundamental change in the basic composition of the atmosphere . . . the amount of CO2 in the atomosphere is rising to unheard of levels which will definitely have consequences ...

Nobody disputes that the climate of the planet is dynamic ... the geological history of the planet is there for all to see. Nobody should have any issue with acknowledging the fact that there are long term cycles of climate change due to the precession of the equinox and other causes.

It is also a fact that the most recent ice on the planet peaked about 20,000 years ago. We are currently living in a moment in our planet's history when it's going through a relatively warmer period of its life.

All this having been said, it is transparently clear that human action is causing harm to the earth's environment and it would be in our own interest to try and understand as much as possible what harm we are causing. As we understand this cause and effect relationship, we may be better able to protect the people around the world from major natural disasters or climate disasters.


  1. "All this having been said, it is transparently clear that human action is causing harm to the earth's environment ..."

    This is a hypothesis and not an axiom. I would like to point out that I am a scientist, and not a "denier" - rather a skeptic. That is the scientific method: be skeptical of every "truth" until it is clear that the hypothesis fits all the facts. Even then, something as complex as climate can only ever be modeled roughly.

    I agree absoutley that "it would be in our own interest to try and understand as much as possible what [if any] harm we are causing."

    Note that irrespective of the importance or otherwise of anthropogenic climate change, there is no question that fossil fuels are limited in supply (almost everything is) and that finding alternatives must be a major priority for the industrialised world in particular.


Post a Comment

Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts ...

Popular posts from this blog

Sarah Kay's poem from TED

If I should have a daughter, instead of mom, she's going to call me Point B,

because that way she knows that no matter what happens, at least she can always find her way  to me.
And I am going to paint the Solar Systems on the backs of her hands, so she has to learn the entire universe before she can say 'Oh, I know that like the back of my hand'
And she's going to learn that this life will hit you, hard, in the face, wait for you to get back up, just so we can kick you in the stomach but getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air.

Edward Snowden

This seems to me to be the defining journalism-whistle-blower story of this generation. It's rare in today's world when privileged people voluntarily choose to take steps whereby they give up comfortable lives to do something that is in the 'public good.' Mr. Snowden was clearly a computer whiz which explains why he got jobs at the CIA (including postings in Geneva under diplomatic cover). Booz Allen obviously did not hire him or pay him the $1,20,000 salary without Mr. Snowden showcasing some considerable technical expertise. I believe Mr. Snowden's expertise probably lies in having deep expertise in various flavors of Linux. That is what I am inclined to infer from his various job roles as a 'Systems Engineer' or 'System Administrator.' Being the self-driven sort of person that he was, I am sure he must be having good knowledge about networking and encryption stuff including but not limited to Cisco routers and related technologies. To put these t…

Top 10 Crazy Facts About India

Here's a random list of things. 1.Indians sometimes prefer to abort a fetus if they find out that it's female. (Or they just kill the new born baby after it's born.) 2.There are more than 20 million babies born in India. EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. 3.Child labor is so commonplace in India that few notice it or consider it out of the ordinary. Kids work as waiters or dishwashers in roadside restaurants. Sometimes, kids ferry tea to the local police station from a nearby roadside tea stall. 4.Massive numbers of kids and younger and adult women are employed as maids in middle class to rich households. Middle class houses might pay 200 rupees to a female who comes and washes the dishes. Rich houses might employ women permanently by paying them more. 5.Cars in the Indian cities are washed in the morning by car-washers who tend to be young men who get paid around 100 to 200 rupees per month for this service. 6.India is home to some crazily competitive exams. The IIT JEE and the IIM CAT have …