Global Warming: Fact or Fact

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Imagine a long sheet of pack ice, recently broken off from the main sheet, floating through the North Atlantic Ocean. On it, you see a mother polar bear looking around on all sides, trying to find her young. Looking around she sees the top of a giant square clock tower sticking out of the murky depths. It’s Big Ben. Now which would you rather have, a polar bear floating near the top of Big Ben or a human straining their necks to see the top of it? Global warming is real and we need to do something about it.

According to critics, global warming, formally known as global climate change, doesn’t exist. One excuse for their decisions are that we are coming out of a cold period. But how long was this “cold period?” How long did it last? I could find no information to back up this argument, so I chucked it. I have also found people stating that it will ruin the economy if we try to stop global warming, so we might as well sit back and hope it goes away. But some studies suggest that the economy will suffer very little, or in some cases, they think it could become a stronger economy, because of the new competition of hydrogen, solar and other forms of energy that will be introduced to the market. Some critics would also say that global warming is just a global weather pattern. That we are just in a jump in temperatures and that it will even out. A group of six scientists led by a man named Mcyntire have used a graph made in Hawaii that measures greenhouse gases as a way to explain away the global warming problem. They are saying that C02 levels in the atmosphere are going to come back down soon. But looking at the graph which is on the last page of this essay, you will notice that the more time we spend using gas and oil, the more carbon there is in the atmosphere. So their argument is very loose. According to the IPCC, (www.epa.gov/climatechange/ effects/index.html) “The 4th climate report concluded that in assessing trends, that Co2 emissions have increased 20% from 1990-2004,” This is a huge jump, especially since the industrial age where we started using gas and oil, only started in the 1800’s. This is a dangerous increase and it needs to be stopped.

A few months ago, I was surfing through videos on YouTube when I came across a video titled “The Most Terrifying Video You’ll Ever See”. It is a ten minute video about global warming. I started watching it, hoping it was something cool. A physics teacher under the account of WonderingMind42 had decided that it would be a good idea to spread his ideas, while using lots of facts. He made a 4 piece table that showed our choices. In the titles across the top were “Yes” and “No.” They represent whether we do something or not. On the left were the words “False” and “True.” They represent if global warming is real or not. So in the top left corner, is what will happen if global warming isn’t real, and we do something about it. The results are that the economy would drop some, but very little. This is because the markets would change, but would rebound because of the new cars with different sources of energy. Below that is the scenario of we did something, and global warming is real. People are happy because we did something, but unhappy because it has the same downfalls as the box above it. In the top right box is the scenario of we didn’t do anything, and we didn’t need to because it wasn’t real. That box has happy people. And in the lower right box is the evil box of, we didn’t do anything, but global warming was real. This is the worst box of all. The environment, the economy, public health, and pretty much the entire world will collapse into chaos. This is the box we don’t want to have. So wouldn’t it make sense to choose to do something about our problems instead of adopting a wait-and-see attitude towards it?

The first and foremost reason I believe that global warming is real is that hugely important scientific institutes like the NAS (National Association of Science) and the AAAS (American Association for the advancement of Science) say that it is real. And these institutes can’t take a bad stain on their records, so their decisions are widely researched and are decided upon by the whole collective. The AAAS says, “The scientific evidence is clear; global warming caused by human activities is occurring and it’s a growing threat to society. Accumulating data from a wide array of sources reveals melting glaciers, destabilization of ice sheets, and extreme weather.” They also stated that, “Delaying action to address climate change will increase environmental and societal consequences as well as the costs. The longer we wait to tackle climate change, the harder and more expensive the task will be,” (http://viva.aaas.org/).

But there is more than these reasons that I believe in global warming. One of these other reasons is that we are having weird weather patterns. We have had a huge amounts of snow, there is a hundred inches in Portland, and the season isn’t even the end of the season! And there’s almost 200 inches in Caribou! I’m pretty sure you know where this is going. The more snowfall is caused by more melting, longer into the fall and winter months causing more precipitation. There was also drought in Georgia in the fall of 2007. How is this possible, it’s right next to the ocean? Then there were the California fires that raged across suburban areas. More evaporation caused by more heat, and drought to the region. That caused the heat and evaporation and the California fires? Greenhouse gases holding in more heat from the sun and driving up the heat.

As you can see, rough weather patterns and assurance by very important science institutes that it’s real, are both good reasons to put faith in the fact that global climate change is a real threat to our existence. Should we be leaving our problems to the people of tomorrow, or should we try to fix it today? Because we have three choices: stop global warming, move into space onto another planet, or evolve into fish.





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