Essay I wrote in late 2006 on an older website:
Global Warming has being announced more than 100 years ago.
1904: Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius was, according to NASA, "the first person to investigate the effect that doubling atmospheric carbon dioxide would have on global climate."
Before that, it was said that if we continue using fossil fuel, we will experience temperatures "never experienced by humans before". I think it was said in the late 1800, but can't find reference to it.
So despite a very long prediction, and documented increase is CO2 - as predicted, a sound scientific analysis, and a worldwide consensus, it is still debated and explained through most unreal ways today. While it is now happening in the most obvious ways, it is still denied, sometimes forcefully.
The astonishing oblivion of people, at all levels of education, is the real mystery, one that future generations will likely look back at with awe and disbelief.
So, why is there so much resistance to what should have long ago been accepted and taken care of? Al Gore puts it in a way that I believe explains it very accurately. The title of his movie is the best that could have being found to explain global warming, and how people react to it: An Inconvenient Truth.
If we want to address global warming, we will have to drastically change our way of life. A lot of things will have to go. The more you look at it, the scarier it becomes. So most people will at some point plunge their head in the sand, so as to continue living the so indispensable indulgences that modern life (or more accurately, cheap oil) has brought to us, because it is simply too inconvenient to think otherwise.
The most unreal explanations will be acceptable, so that the inevitable can be ignored.
Where one starts to understand that global warming is a lost cause is by looking at another issue that should also have raised red flags long ago: Peak Oil. Here too, an incredible oblivion seems to have contaminated the mind of most people, whatever their education. Those educated enough to understand the issue will quickly raise the cornucopian solution of an imminent scientific breakthrough solving our energy problems. Fusion being the most cited "solution".
Even geologists that have spent their lives working for oil companies (the most famous being Hubbert) are ignored when they tell us we have a big problem. Here too the most unreal explainations are accepted against the warnings of professionals so as to continue the instant gratification dream.
So what is the point of this?
My point is that fighting for global warming is a lost cause. Global warming will be stopped by oil depletion. Of course it will be too late, the climate will already be affected, and will continue to change for some time after oil has depleted. Peak oil will also be taken care of by oil depletion. I mean by that that we will continue to use (and fight and die for) oil until there isn't enough. And then we won't be ready for what will happen. Then the changes that could have being voluntarily made, will be painfully forced on us.
We will not get ready for oil depletion, until it has hit us in the face, in a cold winter, or a summer heat wave killing millions (I say millions because the 15000 deaths in France in the 2003 heat wave were still not enough, so I guess millions deaths are what people are waiting for).
I have finally accepted that nothing will be done until we are forced to by events. I am preparing myself and my family as best as I can (I made my action plan, you should make yours). There are many things I can do nothing about, so I focus on what I can. Every little action is a step in the right direction.
It doesn't matter how much one can contribute. I just want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.