Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Global Warming Beliefs

There is a scientific consensus that global warming is a real phenomenon caused by humans, and that's good enough for me. Most people, like me, do believe in global warming, but there are still many who do not. I'm not really qualified to argue with these people, but it's pretty obvious that there is a direct correlation between global industrialization and climate change.
Global warming: it's kind of a big deal

I've often wondered why some people find it so hard to believe in global warming, and I think that one problem is our everyday observations. The past couple years we have had record cold temperatures and terrible snow storms that wreaked havoc all over the place. For me, when I hear reports of these terrible storms and fantastic weather, I see it as a sign that something is wrong with our climate. Why else would we be setting weather records? The problem is that not everybody sees it that way. I have heard news anchors say things like "there can't possibly be 'global warming' with temperatures like this!" but that's just not true. Global warming doesn't necessarily mean that everything is universally getting warmer all the time, at least not in the beginning. I think that referring to it more frequently as "global climate change" might clear up a lot of the confusion.
Aftermath of a 2010 snowstorm in Brooklyn, New York

Even if the global warming deniers turn out to be right (which is unlikely), what does it matter? The fear of global climate change spurs the development of renewable energy, and incentives us to recycle and drive more efficient cars. What's wrong with that? Coal and oil are very limited resources, meaning that we need a reason to switch our economy to something more sustainable, like solar and wind power, before it's too late. Recycling is also just a good idea. Plastics take a long time to decompose, so it's better to reuse them than to throw them away where they will pollute the earth or be eaten by wildlife. Whether you believe in global climate change or not, you should still act like it's real.
Recycling, it's just a good idea.

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