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BLOG : Global Warming…so what?

By head weather analyst Philip Duncan

Global warming is happening…but, so what? Let’s be honest here… this isn’t something that happens overnight.

It could take several decades before the “worst” of the global warming effects are obvious and let’s be clear here – humans have this incredible ability to adapt. How else can you explain why Inuit’s survive in the arctic circle…or why towns exist in the Sahara. Or why anyone would want to live in Taumarunui.

We can adapt – remarkably well. We are built to survive. We have incredible brains that allow us to develop technology or smart survival skills.

There is one flaw in my argument here, but I’ll get to that later.

Think about it – the ‘politicians’ who paint a doom and gloom outlook for the world are the same ones that predicted Y2K would detonate the planet. We survived that. We had warning and we planned and we survived. We survived The Plague despite terrible (or non-existent) health care at the time.

We survived SARS, Bird Flu and despite news headlines a few months ago swine flu is also being managed well. We have a massive degree of ‘heads up’ when it comes to Global Warming – so why, then, can we not survive it? Why can’t it just be another thing we adapt to and carry on as if life hasn’t even really changed.

Well, I think we can – and I actually think it could be a good thing for us – and not just because England will finally have a decent climate.

I was watching a fascinating documentary on Nat Geo the other night, hosted by that Scottish man who is hard to understand. He was talking about the melting of ice and how if the Greenland ice sheet melts away then the world’s sea level will rise by several metres. Much of Florida – gone. Manhattan – gone. New Orleans – gone…even more. London – glug glug.

But let’s keep this all in perspective. We aren’t talking about a dam bursting and 7 metres of water rushing into Wall Street. We’re talking about a gradual (and yes, in scientific terms ‘rapid’) increase in the world’s sea level. But couldn’t this be a good thing for us?

Let’s think back to World War II for a moment. Yes, it was utterly devastating the cost it had on human lives. But one positive that came out of it was the huge growth in the American economy (something that still benefits many of us around the globe today).



John on 21/09/2009 5:11am

Thanks for the very well written article. There has and always will be climate change and man must adapt accordingly to survive. The animal kingdom certainly adapts one way or another. May common sense finally prevail!!

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