Another item from the Scriptorius ‘Madazine Pending’ file.
Even though it was written quite a while ago,
it relates astonishingly well to our world's present situation!
This item reached our office by mistake, after the sender had put two letters into the wrong envelopes, one addressed to us (and very complimentary it was, too), the other to a well-known broadcasting corporation. We contacted the writer and were given permission to print her misdirected communication. This is done below. Incidentally, we appreciate that a number of our readers will note that some of the subject matter covered by the correspondent was tackled a short time ago by Sir Bertram Utterside. As the theme is increasingly obtrusive, we make no apology for any element of repetition.
To the editor of Madazine
I write in protest at the recent airing of a discussion between Dr Arnold Spiffing and Ms Janet Duff-Squatte, the subject being – according to one’s point of view – global warming, cooling or stabilisation. Permit me to say that I have never heard so much twaddle compressed into so short a time. It was bad enough that two such ill-informed parties should be allowed to babble as they did, and still more depressing that your chairman failed to intervene in an appropriate manner, thus encouraging the verbal brawling of two ignoramuses.
Please indulge me by transmitting a few facts to anyone who may be interested. I can speak with some authority, as long immersion in this subject has led me to the conclusion that this is a field in which few people know what they are talking about. Almost all contributions to the debate come from those with their own agendas. On the one hand, there are alleged scientists who will say whatever is required by their sponsors, so long as the latter keep coughing up funds for the boffin business. After all, the supposed experts will not produce reports which might put them out of work. On the other hand, there are the anti-everything types, prepared to leap onto the barricades in opposition to progress of any kind. Whether the subject is nuclear power, vivisection, environment or whatever, they are against it.
It has been said that there are three kinds of untruth: lies, damned lies and statistics. With regard to global warming, one thing we must consider is whether we are addressing the conditions in the atmosphere or those on the Earth’s surface. There is evidence that the former is warming even less than the latter, if indeed it is warming at all. The ground-level temperature has increased by less than one degree Celsius in over a hundred years. Now, between the major ice ages there are shorter cold periods, and we are emerging from one of them. Therefore, the temperature would have increased somewhat, irrespective of human influence, which might or might not have affected the position to any great extent.
As for ice-melt, this is occurring here and there, but in other places there is some accretion, so the overall position is unclear. Carbon dioxide is another pet hate of the activists, but for what reason? I believe some academic has already noted that the level has risen over a century or so, but that nobody knows whether the increase has been detrimental, beneficial or insignificant. A fair analysis, I would say.
There is no doubt that over the last two hundred years, we have raped the Earth’s resources to produce what is seen – falsely, in my view – as a high standard of living for a modest proportion of the human population. We have not established whether this pillaging has added negatively to what nature would have done anyway.
In summary, I would say let us by all means behave responsibly with respect to our surroundings – one should do what is right, irrespective of anticipated benefits – but let us also note that nature doesn’t care about our presence or absence, so we might as well have a good time, within reason, before we are shrugged off the Earth, along with our contemporary microbes – I know the subject of our likely departure from the Earth has been mentioned elsewhere in your pages.
If anyone wishes to take issue with these comments, I am prepared to modify them in the face of genuine information, but am not holding my breath.
Angela Narrowgnome (Miss)
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