We’ve been hearing the warnings about global warming and climate crisis for quite some time now. Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth received an Academy Award and many schools all over the world are showing it to students as part of their curriculum. Leonardo DiCaprio also made a movie about this subject called The 11th Hour. The push is on to promote green living to help save the environment and stop some of the effects of global warming and for many this is good news. Others though, feel that climate crisis is nothing more than a hoax perpetrated to change the global economy and put new political powers into play.
Are climate crisis threats real or is this just political hype? The main issue of climate crisis is global warming, which refers to the temperature of the earth near surface air. It allows the earth to be habitable, as it absorbs some of the heat from the sun.
The problem is that greenhouse gases that have been released into the earth’s atmosphere are contributing to the rise in the surface air temperature. And this has an impact on global temperatures. Many reputable scientists show that the average temperature has risen in the last century.
It is alarming to me that so many climate crisis naysayers feel that this rise in temperature cannot possibly be caused by human activity. Yes there are other natural factors involved…water vapor, volcanic eruptions, etc. But the earth was designed (yes I believe it was designed) to handle this and keep things in balance. But I also believe that we began to throw that balance off with the coming of the industrial revolution and now we are just overwhelming the planet with our oil guzzling and energy vampirism. With the temperature already rising in reaction, scientists believe that temperatures will continue to rise at an even faster pace in the future.
Arctic ice is slowly disappearing over time. The warmer temperatures caused by the global warming effects are melting it. Polar bears, walruses, and penguins are feeling the effects of the melting ice as they find themselves stranded in the middle of the open sea. Ultimately, these animals are suffering and dying and I read a report recently that perhaps by 2050 polar bears will be no more. This REALLY bothers me…but what bothers me even more is the “so what” attitude I see so much of. I still hear people say that a little warming is a good thing.
Rising temperature is not the only issue. When we throw the earth’s balance out of wack you get extreme weather. Hurricanes get a boost in destructive power and intensity as if they were on speed as water temperature rises along with that of the atmosphere. Hurricanes will probably occur more often, be stronger and reach farther inland. Droughts and heat waves can also be linked to global warming, as can the rising of sea levels and flooding. Evaporation increases as temperatures warm and thus the amount of rainfall and snowfall is increasing too. The heavier rainfalls are driving people from their flooded homes. This is why so many scientists are trying to move away from the term global warming and refer to climate crisis instead.
The ecosystems are seeing hardships, too. Some species of animals are slowly moving northward for livable conditions, while other species are slowly dwindling in numbers and struggling to survive extinction. Insects are thriving in warmer temperatures and in places they never acclimated to before. They are becoming a nuisance, they are devastating forests when winter frosts are no longer cold enough to kill them off seasonally, and every year we hear about more diseases being spread by mosquitoes. Disease and illness in general thrive in warmer temperatures as well. Is that the world we want to pass on to our children and grandchildren?
The answer for me is no but sadly I find I am a minority in my own local community. I wish it were not so political and issue because as a blue girl living in a red state I get lambasted all the time for my dedication to environmental issues. Many in my community hesitate to take up any environmental cause because they feel it would betray the ideals of their party. Since when did the environment become an issue that only liberals can care about???? It truly baffles me. Of course so does the weird stuff coming out of the mouth of Republican poster child Ann Coulter:
God says, “Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It’s yours.”
Someone on a community forum recently asked if I would regret my passionate environmental stance if I found out definitively that climate crisis and global warming was a hoax. My answer is heck no! If (and that is a really big if) global warming was found to be a hoax in 10 years I would still support the ideals and goals behind the movement. Improved technology, more efficient products and transportation, less smog and pollution, more recycling, less affluenza, less stress on landfills and natural resources…are we supposed to somehow come to the conclusion that these are BAD things just because there is the potential that cleaning up our act, environmentally speaking, might be politically motivated for some?
The thought that green living enthusiasts might somehow regret their contribution to a better, cleaner, and more hospitable world is mind boggling. Almost as mind boggling as the concept that celebrities (ie Gore and DiCaprio) cannot possibly have anything of value to contribute and their celebrity status nullifies their work…but that is for another post I think.
It also baffles that me that when I ask people (and I ask this often) what there is too gain from perpetuating a climate crisis hoax I get no reasonable or logical answers. I have heard that it is a movement to make the US relinquish its sovereignty over the rest of the world (insert rolling eyes emoticon here). I have heard that carbon credits are just a scam…but I can’t believe anyone seriously thinks that thousands of people the world over are all perpetuating a hoax of this magnitude to make a buck on carbon credits. And of course recently I had someone admit that yes there really isn’t a lot to gain if it were hoax and the goals ARE good goals but he still can’t accept global warming or environmentalism because “If Al Gore had his way we would all be living in caves and eating raw vegetables while he flies around in private jets and lives in a mansion.” When I hear things like this it is obvious they have NO idea what the heck they are talking about. Or perhaps I missed the fact that Al Gore says we really should live in caves. :)
So what do you think? Is climate crisis fact or fiction? And does it even matter?
More information on why global warming skeptics can’t be trusted…
Monday, December 3rd, 2007