Human beings get political and emotional when this topic is discussed. Unfortunately there are just not enough facts to support whether global warming is man made or due to other circumstances.
The “greenhouse effect” describes increased carbon dioxide that is produced from fossil fuels that causes heat to be retained. Yes, the temperature on the planet is slowly increasing but most of the increase allegedly began before the height of fossil fuel usage in the 20th century.
Scientific “Consensus” by many reputable agencies conclude that we are the cause of global warming. Cook published a paper in 2013 claiming 97% of nearly 12,000 papers on climate change assert that man is the cause of global warming.
A consensus is an opinion or position. The scientific method is not about belief, opinion or position. The scientific method allows facts to be discovered through verifiable investigation. Here are the steps:
—You make an observation or ask a question. Do seatbelts save lives?
—Collect what is already known by researching the topic at the library.
—-Form a hypothesis from that research and try to predict what you will find.
—-Test the hypothesis with an experiment. We will follow 1000 people over 5 years. Half will wear seatbelts and the other half will not.
—Collect the data and analyze it. There were 100 accidents in each group. 30 people died without seatbelts and 10 people died with seatbelts.
—-Conclusion: Seatbelts can help reduce the death rate from car accidents.
Now, a fact is an observation or phenomena that is proven to be true based upon verifiable evidence.
Right now, we can conclude that global warming is occurring. The temperature has risen by about 1 degree over a 100 years. This is a fact.
How much of that warming is due to man vs. other issues? This remains controversial.
8000 articles on climate were not considered by Cook. These papers could not decide if human beings were the culprit. What was the quality of the studies? Who were the scientists? Why do 31000 scientists disagree with the consensus? Are other factors at work?
Our orbit, the temperature of the sun, the earth’s axis, cosmic phenomena, natural variance and burning resources may all play a role but honestly, we really are still in the dark.
Antarctica is actually getting cooler. How do we account for this phenomena?
Frankly even if man is not responsible for the warming, let’s make our planet cleaner just in case. We need to have a plan. Does that mean we should completely do away with fossil fuels right now? This author takes a different view.
Like anything else, research will pave the way and we should support such research just in case man is responsible for the warming. Cheap solar power, efficient windmills, cleaner production of fossil fuels, better combustion engines and electric engines are just a few avenues of research.
We must think towards our future and have a greener America without suddenly killing our economy. For example, we don’t want to outlaw airplanes just because they have combustion engines. That would cause trade to slow and economies to become depressed. This leads to starvation, rioting and crime. This is not warranted based upon the available evidence.
However, we might want to see if we can make an electric airplane just as we are doing with cars. With most advances in technology, many jobs are lost but many new ones are also gained.
Fossil fuels will be replaced by technological innovation when it becomes cheap and compelling.
For example, a lot of jobs will be lost with self-driving cars but if they cost $500,000 each and more accidents occur, then we shouldn’t be so quick to get rid of taxi drivers and adopt new technology. I’m all for getting rid of fossil fuels when newer, cleaner technology is affordable and efficient.
Should we, however, gain new knowledge that global warming is directly caused by man and our world will end in 3 years, then drastic measures will be needed. But we don’t have such incontrovertible data.
So we need to invest in the necessary research that will pave the way for a cleaner world just in case man does or will play a significant role in global warming. This way, we will not devastate economies by instituting sudden changes. New technological advances are already starting to compete with fossil fuels and will eventually provide us with a better future.
For instance, Tesla has made an almost maintenance free electric car that can go about 300 miles on one charge. The price has come down to 35,000 dollars and will directly compete with hybrids and gas engines.
Let’s point our sails in the direction of efficient, cost effective technologies so that our world will become greener through competition. That is the American way.
Presently, the USA accounts for only 15% of carbon emissions so this is a world problem and will require a global initiative that is based upon the evidence rather than conjecture.