I’m writing this after being told by someone with the confidence of a man who has watched too many YouTube videos that ‘global warming is a myth’. And being perfectly honest with you, it really irritated me, for a number of reasons not least of which that having that opinion frees you from any responsibility to live in a way that reduces your damage to the planet.
So, here is my opinion and annoyance fuelled written rant about global warming/climate change/climate destabilisation and why it is most likely real. Disclaimer – I am not a climate scientist, I haven’t studied the environment in an academic setting, because I don’t think Geography at high school counts. I don’t do this for a living but I believe in the 90% of scientists who will tell you that climate change is a real thing, and I also believe in the evidence.
The first piece of ‘evidence’ that was shoved in my face was that global temperatures have decreased slightly since 1998. This was said despite the fact that multiple sources (NASA for one) have shown that temperatures have in fact increased, and the hottest years on record are 2016, 2015 and 2014. There was a brief hiatus around 1998 where global temperatures didn’t seem to rise but when you look at that brief period of time in the context of global temperatures from 1880 to the present, it is clear that the overall trend is for temperatures to increase.
Secondly, it is not just air surface temperatures which are important, but the ocean surface temperatures. Sea surface temperatures obviously vary depending on what part of the planet the water is at. But changes in the sea surface temperature can alter marine ecosystems and species (please look at the Great Barrier Reef). The ocean absorbs around 80% of the increased heat in the atmosphere hence seriously affecting the species that live in the oceans.
If you want more evidence that the effects of climate change and global warming, please look at the rising sea levels (which has risen by ~15cm over the last 100 years), loss of glaciers and the increase in natural disasters.
It is also highly likely, that whatever natural cycle the Earth happens to be in, we are exacerbating the effects due to the highly increased levels of gases that we have released into the air since the Industrial Revolution. Yes, I know that in the Earth’s long and illustrious history its climate has cooled and warmed, mainly due to variations in sunlight and volcanic eruptions sending tons of ash into the atmosphere that blocked out the (guess what?) sunlight.
Honestly, the only places I could find that said that global warming was either myth or nothing to do with humans was the Daily Mail and the Express so I suppose it depends on how much you want to stand behind them.
So, there’s the stuff I gathered after what, 10, 15 minutes on the internet. I mean, it’s not particularly hard. However, now we come to the points in the argument that I couldn’t dispute. I was told that scientists are lying to us in order to keep us controlled and basically destroy capitalism. Now, I’m really sorry but scientists are not lying in order to undermine the economy, they’re telling the truth in order to save the planet. How shortsighted can a species really be to evolve and survive on a planet, have lived for hundreds of thousands of years and then develop technology and start to poison the planet they live on, alongside the species that they live among. I know that I write this from the comfort of my bed, in the UK, in a country that is spewing out gases and pollutants, living in a family that has more than one car, that spends money on petrol and diesel and don’t take nearly enough time to think about how I’m affecting the planet. I mean, I get this, I really do, but I don’t want to ignore and claim that the facts of the issue – that global temperatures are increasing – is a lie fed to us by people who want us to ‘lose money’. Nope. I don’t understand that.
Climate change and global warming is real. The facts are there. I’m not saying it is down to one particular factor because I know enough about biology to understand that nothing is that simple. It is a whole host of factors, that we as a species are contributing to, with effects that aren’t great for us as a species, and aren’t great for a lot of the other species that we live with. And honestly, if your priority is how much money you or your country is making and now with how much we are damaging the planet, you really need to have a check.
References in no particular order
And yes, I realise a lot of these are from NASA soz