According to some of the loudest voices, Global Warming is occurring and is going to result in the destruction of earth as we know it. They shout that everyone agrees and all the scientific evidence confirms that Mankind is the cause of Global Warming. Yet the largest group of individual making these claims are not usually qualified by education or experience to comment on climate change. Most are politicians, actors or celebrities who exclaim in the most heated terms and at ear-splitting levels that “IT IS SETTLED“. Their cry, to paraphrase Pogo from the Walt Kelly comic strip, “We have met the enemy and they are us“.
This “Chicken Little” crowd insists that Greenhouse Gases in the form of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) produced by the burning of fossil fuels is causing the largest part of the problem. What they fail to note is that CO2 only accounts for 3-4% of the Greenhouse Gas effect. The largest Greenhouse Gas which does cause Global Warming is Water Vapor. In fact what most studies have shown is there is a saturation level for CO2. Once this saturation level is reached, increasing the level of CO2 does not significantly contribute to further Global Warming.
But there is a relatively silent group of scientists and professionals who suggest we wait before making irreversible changes. Why haven’t we heard more from them? Why are the loudest voices those who believe that we are doomed unless we act immediately and aggressively to curtail Greenhouse Gases? Consider that the scientific method is taught as the the basis for all scientific endeavors. A scientist is taught to question everything and more importantly to make no claims which the facts do not support.
The “we are doomed” crowd usually also demand that we sign the Kyoto Protocol. The US and Australia are among the countries who have not signed this agreement. Several other countries, like India, have signed, but are exempt from its provisions. Most of the other countries who have signed the Kyoto Agreement have not (or cannot) meet the requirements of the Protocol. Further many Economists believe that severe adverse economic consequences would occur if the US became a signatory and was then required to meet its provisions.
“High price for load of hot air” is an article from the on-line version of the Australian Newspaper “Courier Mail” This article presents some facts and figures from the relatively silent other side of the debate.
“The salient facts are these. First, the accepted global average temperature statistics used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show that no ground-based warming has occurred since 1998.”
“Second, lower atmosphere satellite-based temperature measurements, if corrected for non-greenhouse influences such as El Nino events and large volcanic eruptions, show little if any global warming since 1979…”
Then the Courier Mail article contains this
“Third, there are strong indications from solar studies that Earth’s current temperature stasis will be followed by climatic cooling over the next few decades.”.[Emphasis Mine]
I am one who believes Mankind does contribute to Global Warming, but I do not think we have enough scientific evidence to make sound judgements at this point. We need to do more research to understand our Earth. Our history of temperature is a few centuries. When compared to a couple million years of Earth, this is a drop in the bucket.
So what can I point to which will show the Climate Changes we are now experiencing are more normal than abnormal? Greenland was named because it was Green. Some areas of the Earth now far from the Tropics were once just that. The archaeological evidence does show that the Earth has been up to 5 degrees warmer than it is currently. Signs to counter the panic of Global Warming are available. To find them requires a little searching and study. Read the article.
In conclusion what should we do? Study and Observe, but do not panic. There is nothing wrong with taking whatever steps we can now, so long as the impact is not greater than the benefit.