Unless you live in a cave, a hole, or some other media-free zone, you’re probably aware of the fact that global warming is the subject of intense political debate, and many are arguing the whole thing is a hoax.
Is Global Warming A Hoax?
Scientific Consensus: No
First, the facts: the average air temperature of planet Earth has risen by approximately 2 degrees Fahrenheit over the past century.
What should make you worried is that the earth should actually be in a cycle of cooling. According to historical weather patterns, global temperature should actually be going down, not heating up. Furthermore, the rise in global temperature is more abrupt than would be predicted by historical weather data.
So yes, the fact is the earth is getting hotter, and yes, it is worthy of your attention.
The Real Global Warming Hoax
The real hoax is the one is the one that ExxonMobil is pulling to fool the public.
What Is The Truth? Is It Man Made?
Scientific Consensus: Yes
There is broad-based agreement that human activities are responsible for this increased greenhouse effect. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the 2nd Bush administration, and all of the academies of science of all the major industrialized countries agree that human activities cause global warming.
It is crucial to know your impact if you want to help prevent global warming. But first, you need to know how you cause global warming. You do so by increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere through promoting the following kinds of activities:
- Burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
- Cutting down trees reduces the ability of forests to absorb carbon dioxide.
- Consuming red meat at almost every meal increases the amount of methane from cow farts and deforestation.
You promote the greenhouse effect when you encourage activities, like those above, that dump CO2 and methane into the atmosphere. Do you know how the greenhouse effect works? Basically, the gases in the atmosphere act as insulation, trapping the heat of the sun. Unfortunately, when this temperature changes quickly it can have dramatic effects on ecosystems that we depend on for food and security.
The Full Effect of Climate Change?
Among the predicted effects of global climate change are:
- Rising sea levels,
- Changes in weather patterns worldwide, including increases in severe storms and droughts,
- Decreasing agricultural stability and food security,
- Mass species extinction, and
- Increases of disease vectors, among other effects
However, whether and to what extent these predictions will come to pass is unknown.
There is a disturbing uncertainty about the rise in temperature over the next century. Predictions vary from 2 to 12 degrees Fahrenheit. There is also uncertainty about the effect global climate change will have, especially because it will most certainly affect different parts of the world in different ways and will depend on how much warmer the planet actually gets.
The Solution to Global Warming?
The future is still unclear. The amount by which the temperature will continue to rise depends at least in part on what actions are taken (or not taken) to limit the amount of greenhouse gas emissions globally.
Political debate has centered around the amount by which developing nations should be expected to curb their emissions. The Kyoto Protocol, which calls for industrialized countries to reduce their emissions below 1990 levels by the year 2012, has been criticized because it does not require developing nations to make similar reductions. For this reason, the United States has refused to sign it.
The current debate centers around:
- How much do you have to change? How much of a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would be enough to have a significant effect?, and
- Is the change worth it? Is focusing on short term economic gain too risky in light of the state of Earth’s precious ecosystems?
But you don’t have to wait around for the hype to clear up and for slow government to act.
Global Warming Is Not A Hoax: You Must Take Action
The best way you can prevent warming is by taking personal action. With your help, the Earth can remain a hospitable, healthy planet for you and your children. I’ll bet you didn’t know that you can even take action right now.
Author: Brown, Nathan. A Cooler Climate, 2008.