Ok, let me address each paragraph:
-“The UN is problematic in many ways, I agree. It’s still signed up to using GDP as a measure of progress, for example, when all it really measures is the success of greed. It does not treat some rich countries with the distain it should. It has known about climate change for many years and has been unable to deal with the issues because it owes too much to too many vested interests.”
Ok, which mesure you propose? Because when a country is rich, even being poor means a total different thing, I’m a middle class here in Guatemala, I have to work every day if I want to have a meal at the end of the day, that is considered poor in the US, I have been there, and our middle class is the poor in the US, but even our poorest people have a smart phone, believe it or not, and BTW, the US isn’t the one polluting the most, it is India, China, Africa, why not addressing this pollution issues there?
-“BUT… I have friends who live in the high arctic whose houses are sinking because the permafrost is melting. There are no stories in indigenous sources that suggest that this has ever happened before. Sea levels are rising faster than expected. Storms are getting bigger and more powerful. Unusual weather events are getting more common.”
Anecdotal vs. scientific arguments, there are studies about the global temperature made by analyzing the layers in the ice on the poles, and the globe have already being wormer without human intervention and devastating results, yes, the weather is always changing, the amount of impact on the global weather by humans related to CO2 is not the source of the melting of one pole, do your research.
-“The levels of pollution are not just “a bit of a problem”, they are huge and they are poisoning living beings of all species all over the planet.”
Indeed, but the countries that pollute the most, are the less accountable, and the proposed solutions by activists like Greta do not solve the root cause of the problem, to the contrary, they create a bigger problem by forcing an ideological agenda over everyone, just like AOC and his New Green Deal.
-“You speak as if the levels of greed and waste in Western society are things to aspire to. They make us unhappy and ill. Life expectancy here is declining for the first time in centuries.”
I don’t know if you are familiar with the concept of world history and human development, is NOT greed, is productivity vs. ecology, we humans have master the elements, from metals to glass and plastic, look at the device you are using, it has a carbon footprint, it has an environment impact because of the metals that were used, we cannot and should not stop progress in the name of some hippie/communist ideas, we have to seek sustainable solutions, like Lous C.K. said in one of his routines, we can have tech or live in the stone age.
-“You also assume that you know more than the general run of climate scientists, because you’ve read the papers that disagree with the majority.”
Is not about opinions or quantity, is about quality and facts, every claim has to be founded on solid scientific evidence, that is how science works, when Einstein told the scientific community that the space bends he had to provide evidence, and it took 12 years to prove his theory by measuring the distortion of the stars behind the sun on a solar eclipse, same here, correlation doesn’t mean causation, there is no hard scientific evidence of global warming caused by humans, it is about the ozone layer, but not on CO2. For what we have evidence, is an agenda of many corrupt politicians that are pushing an emotional narrative to impose legislation and make money about this issue, if this issue was a matter of public interest that would benefit the common joe without proving money, politicians and activists wouldn’t talk about it, as simple as it is.
-“So have I, and I’ve studied the science in detail for many years, and I think the majority have it right. I hope I’m wrong.”
“It may be that CO2 is just part of the problem, but efforts to cut CO2 will also reduce pollution of many kinds. It’s a good indicator for progress (or the lack of it).”
CO2 is part of nature, since the beginning of life, here a simple video on how plants use CO2:
-“We need to wake up and take action, and Greta is pushing us in the right direction.”
No, she/they/them or whatever pronoun she is confortable with, promotes mass histeria and affects a serious analysis of scientific facts, discrediting the real concern on how to make progress sustainable.