Letter from David Naor in Israel: natural factors or human activity?

Dear Comrades,

First, I'd like to point out that it was a good decision to publish Brian Baker's series of articles and to start the Climate Change Debate. However, my impression is that so far the responses by Mick Brooks and Emil Reed are starting to lead the discussion in the wrong direction, and this is especially true for Emil Reed's response. The responses choose to attack some details of the articles, but fail to address the most important point, which is: compared to natural factors, human activity at its current level is in orders of magnitude less powerful as a climate change factor.

And there is even no need for data collected from satellites to prove or disprove it, since it is absolutely true! For example, it is a well known fact that the climate in the Early Pleistocene was so hot that the hippopotamus was widespread in Europe, even in the North, up to England. Can anyone claim that the back and forth Pleistocene climate changes from a very hot one to a very cold one and vice versa were caused by human activity? Can anyone claim that these variations were not in orders of magnitude greater than anything attributed to human activity? Can anyone claim that the natural factors which had caused those Pleistocene climate variations have ceased to exist and are not affecting/will not affect the climate today/tomorrow?

Hence I do not understand the scorn at Brian Baker's observation of the well funded trend in the scientific community to stress the human factor in climate change and deliberately diminish the natural one. True, Brian Baker might be wrong in the reasons/motives/interests of this trend and of those who fund it. But: 1) The trend exists, 2) The trend is funded, 3) Its direction is wrong.

One would expect the Marxists to acknowledge these facts and find their real place within the current system of socio-economic formations. Instead, some comrades are trying to deny these facts and to avoid the exploration of the real interests beyond this trend.

Finally, I think that picking up on small details/mistakes in Brian Baker's articles is not the issue here, and concentrating on them won't do any good to the discussion.

David Naor, May 13, 2008