Myth and reality: Indonesia's role in stopping global warming
April-July 2016
By: Ben Lawson

The 21st session of the Conference of Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, held in Paris last December, was lauded by the masses for inking agreements that define strict guidelines and implementation protocols for reducing CO2 emissions globally. Will the agreed reductions go the way of the Kyoto Protocol, or actually lead to change?  And a better question: is change actually so necessary, especially in Indonesia?

During Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar acceptance speech in February, the Hollywood actor, who has no scientific background and was more likely repeating what he heard in Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” said that 2015 “was the hottest year in recorded history; our [movie] production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow. Climate change is real and is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species.” DiCaprio might be interested to know that in January, I took a 75-minute train ride from Tokyo to Niigata and skied in a heavy snowstorm.

To start this essay, I would like to refer to a few quotes from Dr. Patrick Moore, who has a doctoral degree in ecology and is the co-founder of Greenpeace. He is a man who now considers himself as a “sensible environmentalist,” basing his findings on science and not hearsay.

At a recent conference, Moore said “there is no definitive scientific proof through real-world observation that carbon dioxide is responsible for slight warming of the global climate that has occurred during the last 300 years.” He added: “If there were such a proof through testing and replication, it would have been written down for all of us to see. The contention that human emissions are now the dominant influence on climate is simply a hypothesis, rather than a universally accepted scientific theory. It is therefore correct – indeed verging on the compulsory in the scientific tradition – to be skeptical of those who express certainty that ‘the science is settled’ and ‘the debate is over.’”

Dr. Moore continued, saying “there is certainty beyond a reasonable doubt that CO2 is the building block for all life on earth and that without its presence in the global atmosphere at sufficient concentrations, this would be a dead planet. Yet today our children and the public are taught that CO2 is a toxic pollutant that will destroy life and bring civilization to its knees. … I hope to turn this dangerous, human-caused propaganda on its head. … In the absence of our emitting some of the CO2 back into the atmosphere from whence it came in the first place, most or perhaps all life on earth would begin to die.”

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