This is an important lesson we should all learn.
You should never trust a man or woman who is simultaneously trying to show you that one idea is essentially the absolute truth concerning a significant matter of life on this planet and also prove that the contrary notion – which is usually fairly popular – is total malarkey.
Enter Timothy Ball.
Apparently a climatologist and author of some renown, his environmentalist detractors of the Greenpeace variety have also accused him of being a global warming denier (a label he despises due to the obvious Holocaust reference) and a paid apologist of the oil and gas industry.
The fact is that Ball doesn't believe in manmade global warming. And he could be right. Some evidence does suggest that the earth is not warming up but cooling down. And he cringes at the rebranding of the problem as climate change to make up for data that fails to support the warming theory, aiming his scorn at the government bureaucrats who created an illogical fuss over carbon dioxide, all the time not accountable to the people, but only to their paycheques.
That appears to be his position.
He argued his case quite vociferously during his speech at the Growing the North conference in Grande Prairie last week.
And he may have had a few valid points.
But he completely lost me with his attack on the Club of Rome, a global think-tank, and their assertion that human population will outgrow all the resources necessary to sustain its existence, claiming that they employed linear computer models that failed to account for all the variables.
The problem with the Club of Rome, apparently, is that they tied their opinion too closely to carbon dioxide and global warming – or climate change, if you prefer. But Ball also links his argument against their position too closely to those issues as well.
Ball claims that overpopulation isn't an issue because carbon dioxide emissions aren't an issue, particularly not in terms of manmade global warming.
His train of thought is seemingly quite simple – the planet isn't warming, carbon dioxide isn't a problem, human population is just fine.
This all stems from mode of thinking that appears to afflict both Ball and the Greenpeace type of environmentalists: that the only framework for the environmental discussion is that of carbon dioxide and global warming.
Maybe it is a David and Goliath scenario featuring the energy sector and the hardcore enviro-warriors, one where both parties feel that they are David, one where both parties may in fact be horribly destructive Goliaths.
Whatever the reason might be, the result is the same: a guilt-ridden human populace that can only assuage their guilt by taking one side of the climate change issue.
One fights the problem.
The other says the problem doesn't exist.
Meanwhile, they are forgetting the evidence of overpopulation that is apparent in poverty, disease and starvation throughout the world – because any region that can't offer enough food, water and shelter to support its human population, even if that population is only one person, must be considered overpopulated.
They should also look at the mounds of trash.
They should look at how many people are doing jobs that no truly functioning society should consider necessary for minimum wage.
They should look at the loss of forest and farmland for residential subdivisions.
They should really just look at everything that is happening and understand that there are no cut and dry answers when it comes to such a complex machine as this planet.
A man as apparently well educated as Timothy Ball should know better.
We all should.
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