Volcanic carbon and climate change denial

July 8, 2011

I was alerted to a link that has been doing the rounds lately, and i though i’d comment on it. While the ash cloud from a Chilean volcano was cancelling a lot of flights in and out of Australian airports, people were being alerted to Ian Plimer’s climate change denial, with references to the fact that one decent volcanic explosion pumps more carbon into the atmosphere than years’ worth of human activity. I’m not going into the science because i don’t know enough about it; the thing that bothers me is that people who like this kind of idea might think it is therefore OK to go on acting as if it is business as usual for the human race; as if what we are doing to the planet is fine because nature can do worse.

Putting aside the carbon factor for a moment, doesn’t this seem completely ludicrous? As if deforestation, excessive pollution, ocean acidification, species depletion, brutal farming methods &etc can all be exonerated under the same umbrella as the fact that a volcanic plume is worse than our factories and vehicles combined for a while (even a few years is small potatoes compared to the damage industrial civilization is wreaking upon the earth). Carbon tax or no; the human race is damaging this planet in a wholesale act of devastation and no set of statistics is going to change that – only our actions will. Sure, politicians and business leaders are prone to try and work the environmental crisis angle to their advantage – that is the kind of society we live in. Authors with ideological axes to grind will pick up the issue from their own perspective. We will be threatened with new taxes to mitigate change, and with decreased standards of living as the planetary habitat has its carrying power lessened by the pressures of the increasing human populations (and their expectations regarding energy usage) in our global network of cities. But just because we should probably remain cynical about the way these matters will be manipulated by those who stand to profit from the situation doesn’t mean the ecological crisis isn’t real and doesn’t require a radical transformation in human attitude and behaviour towards this awesome and beautiful planet.

Many leaders are thinking ahead and accepting the challenges we are faced with and the possibilities available to us. These are the voices we need to listen to, not those who claim that everything is OK with the way we live just because nature has more power than us to destroy as well as to create (American comedian George Carlin, who brilliantly undermined the hypocrisy of much religious thinking, went wrong on this same point). We need to change from a carbon producing economy. We also need to stop treating the planet as our endless pile of resources and as our rubbish dump at the same time. This place is our home and deserves to be treated better. It starts with a loving philosophy of life, an embrace of the rare jewel upon which we breathe, and a care for all of the life that shares it. Including volcanoes (which look awesome from the rim when they are not exploding!).



  1. Just pay your Indulgences and believe.Problem is carbon Dioxide can be measured. Our emissions of IT are insignificant industry or no.

    • OK, so i am acting on faith by accepting that human generated carbon dioxide adds to the climate change problem? Whereas the science proves that emissions make no significant change? That sounds like just as much an article of faith to me. My point was that human civilization uses the rest of nature thoughtlessly and damagingly regardless of the carbon dioxide problem, anyway…

  2. Look at the proxy data modelling that the IPCC uses as Gospel. the ‘creators’ sqaushed large variations in temps to exgagerate a warming trend and relationship to Co2.
    Co2 increases follow warming periods by 800 years,not drives them. An careful look will reveal this fraud. Our emmisions are the equvilant of pissing in the ocean and shreiking that we’re all going to drown. It’s the same old ‘fire and brimstone’ rebranded neurotic myth.And no,Im not thoughtless litter bug. however Co2 is being used as a Cattle Dog just like the bible or Communism etc.. big Biz will continue unabaited the rest can go Flagellant.

    • Haha, yeah, love the imagery, nice creative use of myth there. No doubt the corporate elite will profit regardless. The question that still remains for me is: shouldn’t human civilization be transforming the way it considers our relationship with nature to be more attuned to the invaluable, even sacred, qualities of life on this planet?
      (NB: by civilization i mean large-scale, settlement-style, urban modernity)

      • Profit as consequence? Goldman Sachs were scouting and setting this scam (here) back in 93. Good money on a hypothesis that hadn’t be established as consensus yet? Right. The size of the population(in current formation) now dictates a ‘Could have’ senario. three options,bang ,whimper or both.
        Ego..? just more material for reinterps of the same old plays/myths.

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