Sunday, April 19, 2009

New Ways of Thinking: Global Warming regardless of fact or fiction

Our world is in great conflict over global warming. The prediction: an increase in the average temperature of the earth's atmosphere, especially a sustained increase will cause climatic change that will have disastrous affects on our health and our economy, will create extreme weather, and deleteriously impact fragile ecosystems. The conflict centers around whether or not global warming is fact or fiction.

Many chastise Al Gore for his dire warnings and his proselytizations; they condemn him for using fear tactics to gain support for his stance on this issue. Some of the criticism is politically based, and some of it is made in earnest concern. Author Steve Milloy’s book, “Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Ruin Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them,” argues that the Green Movement's anti-business agenda limits personal freedom. Fox News, “Fox Attacks the Environment,” and many others in and out of the scientific community are saying, at the very worst in their criticism, that it is a hoax.

According to U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu, experts say there is a 50% chance of a 3 degrees C (11 degrees F) climate warming change by the end of this century.

Dr. Chu points out that from the ice age to now the earth has warmed by 5 degrees C. So it can be expected that in the same time forward we should expect the earth to acceleratingly rise in temperature. During the ice age of some 20,000 years ago extensive sheets of ice covered much of the globe. Since then the earth has warmed to where there are no longer sheets of ice and much of the polar icecap is melting. One must ask if there has been this considerable climatic change over the last 20,000 years, what kind of climatic change can be expect over the next 20,000 years, and how will that incrementally impact life on earth.

Whether the science is wrong in that global warming is caused by humans, or whether global warming is a natural occurrence in nature, regardlessly it is in fact occurring. The argument should not be as to whether global warming is fact or fiction, for it is fact, but addressing what actions we need to take to adjust for the trend. As we gain knowledge we will increasingly have the technological expertise to manage it. We will gain that knowledge only if we acknowledge the fact that warming is occurring regardless of who or what is responsible and not ignore it, but embrace it.