Blog Action Day: Climate Change–Let’s Get Our Facts Straight

15 Oct

Update: Thanks for all the comments!  I found a book that will help me to figure this out called A CLIMATE FOR CHANGE.  And you can even win a copy from Backseat Writer.  For more information, click here.

To prepare for this Blog Action Day post on Climate Change, I’ve spent the past few weeks reading up on the topic—and I’ve got to admit, I’m more confused than before.  There are a million different facts, opinions, and every side has a team of expert scientists.

I have no idea what to think about climate change.

On one hand, I’m terribly upset by the idea that we as humans are overheating the planet, but on the other, what if the temperature rise is a natural phenomenon, not one that is man-made?  Is the Earth going through some natural cycle or are we headed to a Wall-E-like scenario where we will all vacate the planet?  I just don’t know!

So I decided to look at pictures of polar bears.  I mean, why not?  I love polar bears and they have become the central figures in the global warming debate, right?  Ever since that picture of a mother and her cub stranded on an ice floe in the arctic surfaced, scientists and even Al Gore has pointed to the picture and said, “See!  This is conclusive proof that the polar ice caps are melting!  We need to save the polar bears.”  The image (see below) captured by Australian marine biology student Amanda Byrd was taken in August 2004 while she was studying zooplankton in the Beaufort Sea, just north of Barstow, Alaska.

Although Byrd is the rightful owner of the picture, Dan Crosbie, who works as an observer for the Canadian Ice Service (how do you get a job like that?) gave the photo to his employer, who later allowed the photograph to be used in an online magazine.  By the way, the photo has been slightly altered, and it was taken at a time of year when the polar ice caps should be melting, regardless of global change.  And the mother and her cub were just fine—not stranded—just fine!

Unaltered image

Unaltered image

I was thinking about all this one abnormally warm day last February while my friend and I walked around at a year-round outdoor market.

“If this is global warming, then I’m all for it!” laughed a man in a short-sleeved shirt who was selling merchandise on a weathered wooden table.

“Ha!  Global warming, my a**!” agreed his grubby friend.

I looked up at the sun shining in the blue sky and shrugged my shoulders.  Then it snowed a week later.  Even the local weather plays with my thoughts on the matter!

At the end of the day, I have no great insight to provide about climate change.  Merely that I think Planet Earth was a great mini-series, and if it’s true that the polar bears are in peril, then we’d better do something.  Unfortunately, by the time, we determine what’s going on and what to do about it, the polar bears will either become extinct or overpopulation of the bear population will cause another ecological disaster.

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No Responses to “Blog Action Day: Climate Change–Let’s Get Our Facts Straight”

  1. Canada Guy October 15, 2009 at 1:55 AM #

    It’s really not a matter of debate between scientists. See here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

    “Since 2007, no scientific body of national or international standing has maintained a dissenting opinion”

    Scientists have reached a consensus, it’s now time for action.

    Here’s my post for Blog Action Day:

    http://selfdestructivebastards.blogspot.com/2009/10/wake-up-humanity.html

    Everyone else go make one too!

    • Amy October 15, 2009 at 10:35 AM #

      OK, that reference says there’s no debate among scientists, but there is a debate on whether it’s a natural or mankind-caused occurence.

  2. Marcia Earth October 15, 2009 at 5:41 AM #

    When deciding who to believe, it’s important to understand what their motivations are – are they associated with a corporation that will lose money in the short term if they have to comply with climate change legislation?

    Climate is not weather. The fact that it snows one day or rains the next isn’t an indicator of long-term trends.

  3. Canada Guy October 15, 2009 at 11:06 AM #

    Amy, no, the consensus includes humans being the primary cause. From the same webpage:

    “An increasing body of observations gives a collective picture of a warming world and other changes in the climate system… There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities”

    That is the statement for which there is no dissenting opinion. Also note that’s the statement the IPCC made in 2001, the language is even stronger now.

  4. Amy October 15, 2009 at 11:14 AM #

    Why are you using a Wikipedia page as your main source of reference?

  5. Stephanie October 15, 2009 at 11:19 AM #

    I also want to add that global warming, IMO, is a misnomer. Climate change is a better term, because there are areas that aren’t seeing the warming effects but are getting cooler.

    At least for now.

    Part of the key to looking at what some call dissension in the scientific ranks is looking at not just motivation, but area of expertise. Climatologists aren’t arguing over this. Heck, most biologists aren’t arguing about this.

    Here’s the thing to remember though: we don’t own this Earth. *God* owns the earth, and we’re just the stewards. Stewards take care of what their Master has left them, waiting for the time when the Master comes back. If we can’t think of any other reason to get CO2 emissions down, then we need to get them down because they’re contributing to climate change, which is destroying the earth, and in turn destroying the lives of humans who can’t adapt.

  6. Canada Guy October 15, 2009 at 11:38 AM #

    Amy, just because it’s a good summary. Please feel free to review a couple dozen of the most respected scientific journals. You won’t find a single article denying humans are primarily responsible for global warming. Or do your own research.

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