Putting Global Warming on Ice Essay
Putting Global Warming on Ice
What makes the earth’s temperature rise and fall? Do greenhouse gases block solar heat from leaving the earth, or is it only a product of solar activity? Many people have theorized on what causes temperatures to change. A catch phrase named Global Warming came to popularity. Environmentalists from all walks of life joined the ‘global warming’ fight. According to Thomas O’Connell the global warming debate wasn’t accepted in the 60’s and 70’s when he studied it. It only became popular recently in the 90’s. Everyone believed that humans were causing a catastrophe by punching a whole into an ‘ozone layer’ in the sky, letting harmful rays of sun in.
People fought to shutdown plants in order to stop the emissions of carbon dioxide and other ‘greenhouse gases’. Everyone believed the global warming claims coming from senators and environmentalists. Today in the 21st century, science has stepped up to disprove the common myths of global warming. Many of the theories and claims of global warming are easily disproved with science. Science is the only tool that can be used to tell whether theories are fact or fiction. The first issue of global warming is the recent Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty designed to cut greenhouse emissions from successful countries.
The international Kyoto protocol has been in debate for many years. The Kyoto protocol is an international treaty to reduce developed country’s greenhouse emissions, specifically carbon dioxide, to 7% below their 1990 levels. As President Bush came to office he refused the U.S.’s involvement in the treaty. President Bush wasn’t even the man that killed the idea for the U.S. (National Center 2). A bill, stating that the U.S. wouldn’t ratify any climate treaty that would harm the United States economically and would have no consequences for developing or “3rd World” countries, was passed with a unanimous 95-0 vote by the senate before President Bush was elected (National Center 2). The treaty isn’t about global warming. It was designed in order to transfer success from developed nations like the U.S. to developing or struggling countries (Tuccille 2).
Research declares that China, India, and Brazil who are not affected by the Kyoto Protocol will increase their CO2 emissions by 16% more than the United States even without the Protocol in effect (National Center 3). Proponents of the protocol confessed that the treaty “would not have the beneficial environmental impacts advertised” and that “the costs of implementation would be much higher than the public had been told” (National Center 1). U.S. economy would suffer if we agreed to partake in the Kyoto scheme. Gasoline prices would increase by as much as 66 cents per gallon, electrical costs would also increase up to 80%, energy intensive products such as chemicals, steel, paper, and cars would rise in price by as much as 15%. (National Center 2). “The economy of the USA would be devastated,” states Thomas O’Connell. The minority income would be lowered by about 10%, 864,000 African Americans as well as 511,000 Hispanics would be unemployed (National Center 2).
Oil and fuel used for farming would be taxed or restricted causing in a higher cost of producing and lower profits of products including corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, hogs, and milk (Heartland Institute 2 and 3). Businesses taxed by the government for their emissions would result in raising costs for their consumers (Heartland Institute 3). New regulations would be implemented for automobiles making carpooling mandatory and would penalize owners of trucks and sports cars. The average household income would even drop by about $2,700 (Heartland Institute 2).
Even the unbiased and credible Time magazine quoted, “the campaign against global warming seemed to be over before it even started” referring to the Kyoto Protocol (Tuccille 1). Are we prepared to “disappear from the map” in order to prevent 1 degree Celsius of warming for the next Century? One of the hot issues on global warming is that humankind has had something to do with the temperature.
Man-made emissions such as carbon dioxide have been claimed to cause global temperatures to increase over the years. Ever since the industrial revolution in the 1940’s man has continued to emit gases such as CO2 into the air. Many people claim that CO2 is what blocks heat from escaping the atmosphere. They also claim that mankind has poked a hole in something called the “ozone layer”, a protective layer above the atmosphere that keeps harmful UV radiation out, which lets more solar rays in. How convenient. The fact is that 98% of these “greenhouse gases” are natural to the earth. Man has not emitted them and they are not pollutants. They are mostly water vapors and clouds (Zipperer 2). Does that sound dangerous to you? The earth has even cut down on the rate of carbon dioxide emissions from the years 1973-1990 (Lindzen 1 and 2).
Even if we did have a lot of CO2 in the air evidently the effects wouldn’t be catastrophic. In the past the atmosphere has had much more amounts of CO2 in it before without significant increases in temperature (Lindzen 4). Richard Lindzen, a professor of meteorology at MIT, claims that a doubling of CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere would only result in a 1 degree Celsius increase in global temperature (National Center 3). Another greenhouse gas is methane. Methane is more harmful than CO2 but will not increase significantly for another 100 years if it continues at its current rate (Michaels 1). Many credible experts in the field of science have agreed that man is not responsible.
Over 17,000 scientists from all over the world have signed a petition declaring that “there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the earth’s climate” (Heartland Institute 5). Even if there were significant cases of warming global temperatures the effects wouldn’t be as tragic as everyone thinks.
There are many benefits to the warming of the earth, as there are consequences. Warming on a global scale would have dramatic effects on life and climates. Some effects may be harmful but many of them are beneficial. Some ideas about global warming consequences are myths that are unlikely. Many people say that global warming is linked with the uprising in tropical storms. Storms such as hurricanes coming from the southeast into Florida coasts have been getting stronger for many years, but in 1991 there was a drought of storms that ranged to 1995. The amount and intensity fell way below the average, which suggests that these storms were not affected by the warming of the earth (Bible Believers 3 and 4). Others claim that sea levels have risen all over the world because the polar ice caps are slowly melting due to the warming. Tests have proven that temperatures at the poles are actually getting colder and that sea levels have been rising for centuries before we had any affect on the climate (Bible Believers 3).
Former Vice President Al Gore spoke of diseases migrating due to climate warming. He spoke of diseases like the Black Plague and Cholera, which he believed were spread because of weather patterns. Rats, who spread the Black Plague, lived in both warm and cold climates so they had no reason to migrate. His second example Cholera has been a problem in both warm and cold climates and can be easily treated by purifying the water we drink (Heartland Institute 9). Many people have never heard possible benefits of global warming before. Having a warmer climate is very beneficial. Historically, very warm periods in time resulted in flourishing life such as plants, animals, and fish (Bible Believers 4).
Even large amounts of CO2 can be beneficial. More CO2 in the atmosphere fuels plants, which makes more food for all walks of life. Vikings were once able to farm what is now a cold and icy Greenland (Zipperer 3). A warming of the earth would result in longer growing seasons and would deplete world hunger and crop failure (Robinson 3). Global warming wouldn’t be all that bad, but we do not have a way to tell if there is or will be any warming because of the difficulty to predict the weather.
In order to make predictions about weather, people have designed computer models that estimate changes in weather patterns. The models are designed from past weather data and possible factors effecting the weather. What modelers do not know is that global weather is very hard to predict, maybe even impossible without the right understanding and tools for the job (Robinson 2). Factors such as clouds, precipitation, oceans, and the sun are misunderstood and often underestimated (Zipperer 2). Modelers also leave out possible advances in the future such as nuclear energy and the positive effect it would have on the environment (Lindzen 2). Our current technology isn’t even close to being advanced enough.
Errors in the data are equivalent to 50% (Lindzen 3). These computer models could not even predict weather from the past. While global temperatures have raised by .3 to .6 C over the past 100 years models have over predicted the increase to be from .7 to 1.4 C by the year 1990 (Heartland Institute 7). Climate modelers have even inputted their own bias into the data, shifting variables to what they want them to be. “Climate modelers have been cheating for so long it’s almost become respectable,” says Richard A. Kerr, a writer for Science magazine. Further research on the topic is necessary in order to accurately determine whether we have a problem or not.
Many people of profession have studied global warming and what may affect the outcome of their results. When measuring from the surface global temperatures have increased by about .6 degrees Celsius with a .2-degree error, but parts of the United States including the southeast have cooled slightly since the late 19th century (NOAA 2). For those 100 years of slight warming, 70% of it occurred before the industrial revolution in 1940 in which man began to emit gases into the air (Zipperer 2). The surface on and around the equator has remained plus or minus 1 degree Celsius of its current temperature for billions of years (Lindzen 4). Research has also been done to determine the affect on rising and falling temperatures. Scientists have found very close relations with solar activity from the sun and the current temperature patterns, which suggests that fluctuations in temperatures are out of our hands (NOAA 5). Satellites are the best way to determine global temperatures.
They are unbiased and have only a 0.001-degree Celsius of error (Heartland Institute 6). These satellites have confirmed that there is no evidence of global warming. If anything there is a slight cooling in the atmosphere (National Center 3). Very reliable agencies have done their own research on global warming. Many scientists have tested the greenhouse theory carefully and have found that greenhouse warming isn’t even occurring and that rising temperatures are do to different stages of solar activity (Robinson 1). In 1995 the IPCC, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, did not prove that humans were affecting global temperatures (Heartland Institute 8). Their report, Climate Change, includes a statement, “The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on the global climate” (Heartland Institute 8). Dr. Roy Spencer, a meteorologist and team leader of the NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center, quotes, “The temperatures we measure from space are actually on a very slight downward trend since 1979… the trend is about 0.05C per decade cooling” (Heartland Institute 7).
In a recent poll only 17% of the meteorological society and the American Geophysical Society believe that global warming is a product of man (Bible Believers 2). Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency are threatening to withdraw their support from a global warming study done by the government. They have said that the report has an “extreme/alarmist tone” and that it does not “appear to fairly reflect the scientific literature and the historical record” (Torres 1). The representatives claimed that the report also had “scientifically inaccurate statements about the potential implications of climate change for air pollution and human” (Torres 1 and 2). Usually, in scientific law, if a hypothesis fails through experimentation it should be discarded, but the theory of global warming and greenhouse gases as a result of man is still considered substantial hypothesis even though it has been proven to be unlikely (Robinson 2).
The debate of global warming may continue on for many years to come. Mankind may never see any rising in global temperatures, but nevertheless it will be speculated. Thomas O’Connell At this moment in time there has not been any reliable and convincing evidence that the globe is dangerously warming. Global temperature is a product of natural variables that affect the earth. Man has little if any influence on this temperature. Many of the greenhouse claims have been poorly researched and have yet to be proven credible. Hopefully in the future science will prevail and provide the real answer. Until then, people interested in global warming should do research of their own in order to formulate their own opinion. Life on earth has adapted or evolved to the environment. The earth will never adapt or change due to a single species; the earth is far too powerful. As this paper comes to a close a quote sums up the main idea. Thomas O’Connell once said, “As the rhetoric of the proponents gives way to real problem or is this phenomena more closely related to political agendas. I’ll wait for the science.”