The Science behind Global Warming: Fact or Fiction
By Chad Robert Parker
The tale of Global Warming is explained to us like how a frog placed in boiling water will jump right out, but if placed in cool water that is slowly heated, the same frog will allow itself to boil to death.
Is the common man his own problem?
You probably guessed it: in this analogy, the average person, you and me, are clueless frogs; and there is nothing we can do to control the temperature of our environment. But if Global Warming is as real as the boiling water experiment can be for a frog, then aren’t the scientists and their funders, the government—also the people who are trying to clue us in on our predicament—right there with us? Doesn’t that mean that we are all helpless to do anything about it (just like the frog that has no control on the temperature applied to the pot’s environment)? While the Science is optimistic to turn the tide of global warming, based on factual observations that temperatures as a whole have been raising, the causal application does not necessarily fit. Science may just now be coming to a common agreement that global warming exists according to the temperature stats since about 1850, but no Science can undeniably conclude that the cause is human related.
Is the Science behind Global Warming accurate?
The message of Science appears to be taking the high road, offering us the hope that we are in charge of our surroundings, but in reality, if Science—based on hypotheses, and always moving toward truth, but rarely coming to absolute conclusions—requires our money and effort toward a cause that never could reverse Global Warming anyway, then Science is just taking advantage. Even if Scientists believe that Global Warming is inevitable and it is better for us to do something rather than nothing, regardless of whether the trend is unalterable by us or not, they are not helping our cause with these good intentions, but adding to the ill-effects that the Global Warming phenomenon can cause us. In fact, Science has surely benefited as a whole from our funds, much more than we have gained from their hard facts. Some of the Science behind Global Warming includes:
Sea levels have risen 4 to 8 inches in the last century; greenhouse gases are at their highest percentage in its recorded history (no more than 200 years); air bubbles trapped in ancient ice suggest that water levels are higher than they have been in 420,000 years (though melted ice should displace less water, not more, questioning the conclusion that there is less ice than ever before; not to mention, we know the Ice Age would have had more ice if that period of Global Cooling existed as commonly accepted to be the case); plants and animals are being displaced from their so-called natural habitats; and more severe storms and droughts are said to be occurring (which ignores the origins of the term: biblical proportions).
So it would appear that the Earth is undergoing significant Global Climate change, as Science has acknowledged the Earth has undergone just as severely in the past.
Does Science provide a solution for Global Warming?
But aren’t these just observations of the environment from our fellow frogs, rather than a causal relation that can be attributed to anything we do? More than likely we overestimate our effect on the Earth, if we think we caused a trend of Global Warming that will never ever level off (or cool off), if left unchanged by us. Scientists have not been able to agree on whether human activity is significant enough to impact climate change for the worse. Since this causal relationship can’t be verified, it is impossible to suspect that we could reverse our habits for the best, either.
Even if it becomes indisputable that the environment around us is getting too warm—by incremental degrees—our proverbial pot, basically has a lid on it; because we can’t all join the space program and leave earth. Or can we? Although we could pour a lot of money into the effort of finding a way for everyone to become astronauts and flee the planet, no one is jumping at the opportunity to waste more money on the space program over the threat of Global Warming. Maybe the space program should consider this marketing campaign and give Science a competitor for our Global Warming tax dollars. Sound like Science fiction? I think so. But if we really believed death on this planet were imminent, then a solution of leaving Earth for a more suitable planet may be just as viable as any solution Science has offered for reviving this planet.
In other words, while Science—along with everyone else, mind you—may be able to detect natural changes in our environment observed—that may be a threat to us—they can’t predict the future (and what effect we can have on it) with certainty. Since Global Warming is something we face for the first time in charted history, Science has no way to observed how to fix it. They can hypothesize, but by the time they would be able to make observations on their experiment, their predictions of how to change Global Warming better be accurate, because we will have already reached our boiling point.
Can the Government prove Global Warming is inflicted by man and therefore resolved by man?
How did Global Warming become politicized before the burden of proof was ever resolved, anyway? If Science were sure about Global Warming, then shouldn’t the political debates be focused on what we should do about it, rather than whether it exists? Proponents of government policies are exacerbated by the latter part of that question, but should first be concerned with the first part as well. Why should government be united on solving a problem conjured up by only half of the scientific community? When Global Warming is an exact Science then maybe an imperfect political science can tackle the issues this doom and gloom scenario would present.
My opinion about Global Warming
Don’t get me wrong: if Global Warming is unalterable, due to the path of our human behavior, we also have the power to reverse the trend and we should. But here are the facts: 1) Science has not unanimously concluded that Global Warming continuing its course indefinitely, is a reality at all; 2) Temperature extrapolations from the past are not as precise as today, and definitely less credible to be basing dire consequences in the future; 3) Normal climate varies wider than once expected; 4) Even if it were true that the Earth is slowly burning up, Science is not convinced that people should hold any significant blame; 5) Computer model simulations can only project so far, and their credibility is not an exact Science, so-to-speak; 6) And even if we could change a global climate with our habits for good or worse, there is definitely not enough proof to suggest that we would know how or have any significant effect in doing it.
Weather and climate are similar: proving to me periods of both Global Warming and Global Cooling
I am aware of areas of the world that have experienced a trend of hotter climate. But I am also aware of areas of the world that have experienced the opposite now, as well as at different times. I have heard the claims of Science on both sides. The most substantial Science predictors behind further Global Warming are based on a couple hundred years of recorded temperature (Though some scientists claim that a trend of Global Warming from these records isn’t even accurate in itself.). Had the same assumption been made about periods of a couple hundred years during the Ice Age, we would be convinced of death by Global Cooling. If climate were to continue at a pace of extreme cooling or warming (depending when our Science applied this limited time frame being used today), then the temperature would have been off the charts several times throughout our history and we would have already been extinct from heat. So it kind of goes back to the question: would you rather suffer through extreme heat or extreme cold conditions? Ecuador or Canada?). But weather—a shorter time frame, within reason of a lifetime’s scope—is actually a good microcosm of what climate really does. If it got progressively hotter each day in July, we wouldn’t assume that the weather would be hotter than ever in December. We should realize that just like weather, climate patterns go up and then go down. If the Ocean is heating up due to whatever, maybe we should enjoy it while it lasts. The Pacific Ocean has always been too cold for me. Take a lesson from the coral and thrive in warmer conditions.
Nonetheless we should do something about Global Warming
But seriously: even though some of us need an excuse like Global Warming, we should be good stewards of the Earth that we’ve been given. If the conservative result is more recycling and less polluting, then maybe there is a point to liberal scare tactics. Going green is a great solution for taking better care of our environment, regardless. In reality, I’ve found the hardest part about recycling, is the lack of government programs supporting the idea (not the opposite). I would gladly recycle plastic, and cardboard, and newspaper, and metal, and glass, all separately from my trash, on an individual basis, if that program were collectively made available. We can only do so much. Instead of preaching about global changes in our habits, governments should first talk about providing the capabilities to do so. Instead of talking carbon credits—Al Gore’s excuse for polluting as much as he wants and then paying for it—we should be eliminating excesses altogether, for the sake of better air quality, not just to make a buck on Global Warming while essentially leaving the same amounts of pollution in the air. We should also realize though, that carbon dioxide is not all bad; it helps plants thrive, which provides us oxygen. Besides, farmers have grown more crops than ever before with the help of modern technology we want to make the villain. If there has been a threat to the ground being farmed in the lifetime of a farmer, it has been increased housing development across the landscape (hardly a problem these days with the housing market), but never has too large of a variation in temperature in one direction or the other displaced a farmer’s croplands. They’ve learned irrigation in the time of droughts and dust bowls. And as far as I know, even when it appears that water is running low, water, at least on this planet, is still a renewable resource; it has been available to man throughout all of time. Man succeeds in their ability to adapt to life on Earth, not in their opposition to the changes of a living Earth (it provides us life, not the other way around).