Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Global warming is real


Global warming is real, in spite of what many people believe, especially in the US. It is real and is already happening all over the world, even in your community.

Global warming refers to the rise in average temperatures of the Earth's oceans and atmosphere during the last 100 years, with two-thirds of that increase occurring during the last few decades, as the following table illustrates.


Thus the refusal of many people to accept the reality of global warning is puzzling. Why this denial? Even when these people do admit that global warming is happening, they deny human involvement. They offer a multitude of rationalizations, such as, "It's not bad" or "It's the sun" or "There is no consensus."

On the last claim, the US public appears to be unaware of the extent of scientific consensus regarding the issue.  In fact, climate experts almost unanimously agree that humans are causing global warming.

That humans are causing global warming is the position of the Academies of Science from 19 countries plus many scientific organizations that study climate science. More specifically, around 95% of active climate researchers actively publishing climate papers endorse the consensus position.

The following chart notes the distribution of the number of researchers who are convinced by the evidence of human involvement in climate change and those who are unconvinced by the evidence by comparing the number of total publications on climate by each (Anderegg 2010).


To justify their continued denial, an overwhelming majority of Americans believe that scientists have falsified the evidence for global warming, as the next graph shows. Is this the result of willful ignorance or are these people being swayed by the popular media?

People in other countries also have difficulties accepting global warning. A September 2011 Angus Reid Public Opinion poll found that Britons (43%) are even ess likely than Americans (49%) or Canadians (52%) to say that "global warming is a fact and is mostly caused by emissions from vehicles and industrial facilities." The same poll found that 20% of Americans, 20% of Britons and 14% of Canadians think "global warming is a theory that has not yet been proven." It also discovered that global warming skepticism has been rising for many years.

The question remains: Why this denial?

An example of how deniers twist the truth about global warming

A Canadian Broadcasting Corporation documentary called "The Denial Machine" cites a 2006 British report which estimated that the projected costs of global warming could be as costly as both world wars and the Great Depression added together.

In spite of this enormous cost, which may well be understated, or maybe because of it, many people deny that global warming is happening. If nothing is done about global warming, there are indeed enormous cost involved.

But there are other costs which help to explain this denial as well. We should also ask the question: "Cui bono?" This legal principle questions who benefits, in this case from the denial of global warming.

"The Denial Machine" investigated the roots of the campaign to negate the science and the threat of global warming and it discovered that fossil fuel corporations kept the global warming debate alive long after most scientists believed that global warming was real and had potentially catastrophic consequences.

The program showed how companies such as Exxon Mobil are working with top public relations firms, which use many of the same tactics and personnel as those that were employed by the major tobacco companies to dispute the cigarette-cancer link in the 1990s.

Exxon Mobil sought out those who were willing to question the science behind climate change and provided funding for them, their organizations, and their studies.

"The Denial Machine" also explored how the arguments supported by the oil companies were adopted by policymakers in both Canada and the US and helped form government policy.

This is another example of the 1% at work. If global warning is a hoax, they will not be obligated to pay the cost.

The fact is that fighting global warning is going to hurt the bottom line of many more "dirty" corporations, not just oil companies. That cost will also be enormous, but weigh it against to cost of doing nothing.

The 1% always want to privatize profits, but they are only too eager to socialize costly debts. Hence, a campaign of fear and misdirection: according to them, global warning is a hoax.


 "In the denial of global warming, we are witnessing the most vicious, and so far most successful, attack on science in history.” Those strong words are from James Lawrence Powell in his recent book The Inquisition of Climate Science. This book chronicles the campaign of denial which has resulted in the widespread failure of public understanding of climate science and the long delay in addressing what is now an urgent and pressing threat to the human future.
   

This book reveals that the US media have played a key role in aiding the denial industry. Right-wing outlets like Fox News and the Wall Street Journal make no bones about their plain espousal of denial, but media pillars like the Washington Post and the New York Times are also guilty of complicity by their failure of understanding or their laziness or their misguided attempt to be balanced.

Powell insists that there are no research findings that falsify global warming. The denial industry is built on discredited claims and ultimately can only resort to the ridiculous notion that a global community of thousands of scientists have joined a vast international conspiracy without precedent in human history – “a corrupt criminal enterprise to dwarf the Mafia”, to quote him.
  
The claim of falsification is absurd, Powell adds, yet it is openly entertained by prominent US politicians and voiced by eager propagandists.

Global warming is not a scientific theory, it’s a scientific fact. The time for debate has ended. People can still argue over tipping points and minutia -- like when the arctic will become ice-free during the summer months, or how much world sea levels will rise by 2050 -- but the core truth is as solid as the rock of Gibraltar. Global warming is a scientific fact. It is real. It is not a hoax.

Most Canadians, for example, believe that their country is getting warmer, but they seem to think the real problems are a century away, or that technology will solve the issue before it gets out of hand.

On the contrary! What we do in the next five years will determine the fate of humanity. If we fail to convince governments in North America to tackle climate change with the same steely resolve that we displayed during WW II, then we are putting the health of our bank accounts before the physical and emotional well being of our children and grandchildren.

There are many things that we can do, many of which cost very little and will even save you money. Do not let big corporations fool us into thinking that fighting global warming is prohibitively expensive. It may be costly for them, since they will somehow have to curb their carbon dioxide emissions as well as other chemicals that contribute to global warming.

Check this final chart and do what each of us can to help deal with global warming.
   
  
As a Christian, I believe that this world belongs to God. God made it, and he has appointed us stewards of it. He gave us the responsibility of taking care of the world, including the environment. Global warming is a reality, and thus we must do what we can to help deal with this problem. God has placed this world in our hands. Let us take good care of our world--it is the only one we have.
   
 
P.S. This post have been exceptionally well received. Thus far it has averaged about 6,000 views per month. You are invited to read some of my more recent posts where I again wrote about global warning:

http://hellemanworld.blogspot.com/2012/03/global-warming-will-my-grandchildren.html
http://hellemanworld.blogspot.com/2012/04/global-warming-and-international-news.
http://hellemanworld.blogspot.com/2012/04/global-warming-and-sustainable.html
htmlhttp://hellemanworld.blogspot.com/2012/04/global-warming-and-economic.html
http://hellemanworld.blogspot.com/2012/04/global-warming-and-social.html
http://hellemanworld.blogspot.com/2012/04/global-warming-and-environmental.html

Please write and tell me if you find these posts helpful. I wrote them because of the urgency of the problem: Global warming is real!
    

14 comments:

  1. I DO BELIEVE THAT GLOBAL WARMING IS CAUSED BY HUMAN BEINGS, NOT NATURE....

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  2. Good! Unfortunately, many people, especially Americans, do not share that belief. I wrote this post for them in particular. God has made us stewards of our world, but we are not doing a very good job of taking care of it.

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  3. I agree with anonymous completely... humans started global warming, the only people who can STOP it is US.

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  4. I agree too god created this world and us the least we could do is take care of it

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  5. What can we do with global warming? The ice melted about 20,000 yrs ago was not caused by human, and its continues almots 80,000 yrs! I agree about the concern for become more friendly to our earth, but we just human, we do nothing with nature.

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    1. The issue is not whether there is global warming or cooling. Everyone is agreed that there are natural cycles. People are not agreed, however, whether human beings contribute to global warming. The scientific evidence is overwhelmingly that we do. While nature itself is beyond our control, we are adding to global warming by the way we live and what we do individually and collectively. The only way to stop it is reduce the emissions that we release that contribute to it. God has made us stewards of creation. Out job is to take care of this world, not abuse it the way some people and corporations do whose only concern is to maximize profits.

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  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  7. OK, global warming is real and is man-made.
    But why should we stop it? Warming is good for the global ecosystem. It may not be good for some economies and political entities though.

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  8. capitalism takes no responsibility for social and environmental costs.
    Atmospheric CO2 has increased by 30% in 50 years, from 0.03% to 0.04% of air.
    Electric cars are not the answer when the electricity they run on comes from coal.
    The USA denies global warming, but set this in motion with its constitution by keeping religion separate from Government. Secularity unleashed populism, which let people make a living selling hedonism and consumerism;
    Ghandi: 1 Wealth without Work; 2 Pleasure without Conscience; 3 Science without Humanity; 4 Knowledge without Character; 5
    Politics without Principle; 6 Commerce without Morality; 7 Worship without Sacrifice.
    Capitalism has destroyed family, humility, community by redistributing wealth from the poor to the few.
    (is Gates a philanthropist after snuffing out competitors to run monopolies?) . . . .

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  9. people believe or not there is a real fact that global warming and also ı agree that it is man-made. ıf we go on lıke that, the climate are gonna change. ı believe that nothing is impossible for us. please try to do something to stop global warning because the world that are being shared together is in our hands.

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  10. it is only God that can do all these 4 us because we cannot do it on our own

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  11. This is a really cool website, i'm so glad that there are some christian people in this world because sometimes it is easy to feel alone. I reall like this site. It is true, Global warming is happening and we should be good stewerds and take care of the world we have been given but God is the only one who can help us cause we can't do oit alone

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