Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

A new belief: man-made climate change

22 September 2016


Recently, former French President Sarkozy told a panel of business leaders that “Climate has been changing for four billion years. [] You need to be as arrogant as men are to believe we changed the climate.” (eg, Marianne, Politico). Politico also stated: “French presidential hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy suggested climate change isn’t caused by man [].” Note: italic markings are mine.

The debate about climate change is slowly changing from acknowledgement versus denial towards human accountability and responsibility. On the one hand this is progress as some facts are no longer denied. On the other hand, this discussion is still obscured by opinions and beliefs rather than facts. I still remember the shock I felt when I first read about the non-human contributors to climate change. For details, see my 9 May 2015 blog: Climate change – trust but verify.

The 8 scientifically known causes for climate change are: (1) strength of the sun, (2) changes in the Earth’s orbit, (3) changes in the orientation of the Earth’s axis of rotation, (4) quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, (5) carbon dioxide content of the oceans, (6) plate tectonics, (7) ocean currents and (8) vegetation coverage on the land (British Geological Survey).

In a certain way, Mr. Sarkozy is indeed right by arguing that “You need to be as arrogant as men are, to believe we changed the climate.” In my view, Mr Sarkozy should have added that there is little doubt that humans have contributed to climate change. The extent of this contribution seems more of a blame game than a serious debate aimed at resolving anything. 

The belief that humans are fully or largely accountable and responsible for climate change will prevent any political solution because simple historical facts contradict this belief.

Sea levels have been rising for at least 20,000 years following an interglacial period (a.k.a. “global warming”) which “occurred from c. 110,000 to 12,000 years ago” (a.k.a. the Last Glacial Period). 

The famous city of Ephesus (1000 BC – 1500 AD), in which the gospel of John is said to be written, was totally deserted after the sea level decreased by several meters and its commercial function (eg, harbour) became fully irrelevant. 

A further increase of post-glacial global sea levels is potentially a major threat to the world’s largest cities that were often built near the oceans and seas, as humans have done for thousands of years. See my 18 January 2016 blog.

President Obama’s recent warning at the UN about the impact of climate change on future mass migration is indeed a very interesting one (eg, Scientific American).

Bob Marley – Exodus (1977) – artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2


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