My week has been very climate change centred. Started with a talk by Danny, a UoS medical student who was part of the youth team that went to the Cancun climate talks and actually succeeded in getting their point across and policy changed. Not only did they get it changed, they got it changed more quickly than anything has EVER been changed in the UN and when everyone was telling them it was impossible. They rock, really. And make me feel very inadequate!
One thing that was a little worrying was the lack of scientific backing that you have to have to get things through the UN. He was talking about evidence, but when we asked where this evidence was amassed from what he actually meant was collections of what people thought. Am I the only one that finds that scary? That these decisions are made up of what people (generally politicians) feel like at the time? (OK, I know it's a bit more complex than that, but if I say anything ever I have to have a paper to back it up, and I'm a lowly undergraduate, not the UN!)
Then watched 'An Inconvenient Truth' for our geography module. Nothing really new, although somehow even though I knew that Bush had beaten Gore to get into office, it never really occurred to me that that meant that Gore had been beaten by BUSH. Never have I wanted a parallel universe more to see just how different life would have been.
Then we had the discussion today. And I know there are people that don't believe in climate change, but in my head they are all uneducated and living under a rock somewhere. They are not university students. They are definitely not 3rd year geographers. But that was actually the feeling in the room today... that somehow this wasn't truth, that it was a political agenda, that this was somehow doubted.
What? How? What? Really? That pretty much summed up the Zoologists response to that. As far as I'm concerned we'd moved beyond that. Look at the evidence. It's there, in front of you. You can have Al Gores representation or the multitudes of research papers, either is fine. But look, please. Don't just believe what you are told, by all means look for alternatives, but don't not believe what you are told without checking out that its not the most viable option.
It scares me. That we are still working through 'is climate change human induced?' how? How are we ever going to get anywhere if we have to go through this every time?
And somehow every time this happens I'm surprised...