Day 3 – 5 common myths about climate change

I began the day working on what I thought would be a suite of short poems under the title “10 common myths about climate change”

I thought it would be quick & easy to offer a witty one or two line rebuttal. It wasn’t. It was hard hard hard. & I’m not sure how much poetry they contain. The tough thing is so many answers require nuance (so much so, I’ve considered it as a possible title of a future poem) which i) takes time to explain & ii) deniers don’t seem to really want to know about.

So what you’re getting is 5 mythpomes. The other 5 might appear sometime in the future (or not). If they do, perhaps I can choose the best 2-3 to be the actual poem. However, having essentially written 5 pomes today, I wonder if I can have the next 4 days off.

Finally, to borrow from one of the articles I read: “the myths in this list have been studied thoroughly by climate scientists and repeatedly debunked. Yet they persist, often as a result of an organized disinformation campaign waged by special interests whose goal is to raise doubts among the public and delay action on human-caused climate change.”

5 common myths about climate change

Myth #1: It’s the sun.

Sure , the sun’s changed
intensity in the past 
causing profound 
climate modifications
often ice ages which form
over thousands of years
not the few hundreds 
scientists are studying 
— that said : solar irradiance 
is actually down a shade
from a post-war peak : so , no

Myth #2: Scientists disagree on the cause of climate change.

No , they don’t . Not climate scientists 
at least . Sure maybe there’s some botanists, 
paleontologists, seismologists & epidemiologists
who aren’t convinced — but do you 
go to a dentist for a heart transplant ;
or a podiatrist to have that weird
looking growth on your back
removed .

Myth #3: The climate has always changed. It’s natural.

Correct . 
Always has . Always will .

But .
What the deniers 
willfully overlook
is the unprecedented 
pace of change .
Temperatures have risen
10 times faster than during
the last mass extinction
56 million years ago .

Myth #4: It’s cold out. What happened to global warming?

Facepalm . This one should be easy .
Weather is not climate . The end .

Surely it’s obvious that Down Under
summer days can be over 40 degrees Celsius
for a weeks at a time while snow falls
in Cornwall .

Nor do these two diverse 
weather patterns preclude
broad temperature shifts 
across the entire Earth
over the course of months , years , and decades. 

Myth #5: Carbon dioxide levels are tiny. They can’t make a difference.

True , carbon dioxide 
(aka CO2) comprises a minute
fraction of our atmosphere
less than tenth of a percent . 
but that doesn’t mean
it’s not great at its job
— ie , trapping heat ;
CO2 punches above
its molecular weight .
For most of the past million years
carbon dioxide has been below 
280 parts per million
yet since the revolution 
of industry started
levels are now 415 parts per 
— 35% increase in a century
& a half . tiny you say ? 

For comparison
— at 1.3 parts per million
sarin gas irritates
mucus membranes ;
pulmonary issues begin
when exposures exceed 
15 parts per million ;
& you’re dead in thirty min
if the concentration 
tops 430 P.P.Ms .

it’s not the fraction 
that matters
but the effect it has

also true , CO2 
is only one of many
ironically water vapour
is the greenhouse gas
with the biggest impact ;
nitrous oxide & others
play their role too
(however , that’s a poem
for another day)