I used to exhibit the view that humans were harming the planet, and that we were all going to die, and it would be our own fault. ~nods slightly~ Yes we are all going to die. That is a natural part of life, but that is an abstract which is more of a tangent from this topic.
~ponders for a moment~ I am trying to think about the turning point, and what that turning point was for me. I know a lot of it came from the analysis that No Agenda provided for me over the years. But I think it was John Coleman who really summed things up initially.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P5RW0Tmp-U (John Coleman Explaining how this began)
It is easy, especially living in a city, to look out the window and say, sure human beings are impacting the earth and its climate. Cities do tend to have micro-climates and, yes I will agree that man made localized climate change is very much so a reality. For better or worse? Well, that is up for debate. But I imagine that in some instances it is better, and in some worse, depending upon the species involved. Sure if you plow over a marsh habitat, and put a corn field there, you are going to be killing the habitat for the frogs and fish and beavers. But at the same time, you are creating a habitat for snakes, and voles and a variety of insects. Now if that wetland happened to have an endangered creature which could be further endangered, then yes, perhaps we should think about that. But 'at the end of the day' (and this is one of those phrases) if a creature is naturally endangered, is it really our role to protect it? The key word is naturally. Keeping in mind that there is never any guarantee that life is fair which we are presented when we are born.
The key I found is to look at the whole issue objectively. To look at the globe and see how much of it is still natural and green. I think that human beings imply too much self importance and ego over how much power we really have, versus how much power nature has. If you really think of it, natures power and influence far exceeds our own. When a mile wide asteroid could cause a mass-extinction event, that is a big deal! Let alone the power of a volcano, or for that matter the power of the earth itself. Our molten core.
In a recent hearing, the head of the EPA was asked if she could quote the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. The standing was that, since she is making rules and laws based upon this, that she should be aware of what the actual levels are. She did not know, nor did she even attempt to guess upon this. The levels are about 400 parts per million roughly. That reads out to 0.0004 or roughly 0.04% of the gasses are CO2. The slightly humorous thing about CO2 is that the newest meme is that it is some sort of poisonous gas. How so? We exhale it every second. Plants NEED it to survive. And they then convert it back to oxygen and nutrients. This is how life formed in the first place.
Rarely mentioned is the fact that methane is much worse for the atmosphere, and most of the methane that is emitted, is done so naturally from the earth. Another source would be from commercial cattle farming. But you see few people touting cows as being as bad as SUV's.
Interestingly, one of the natural sources of methane is from the tundra. As it thaws especially, it releases methane from decomposing organic material, which has been buried below the permafrost. But this also happens when it isn't thawing. In fact you can go up to lakes up north, and find holes or pockets of gas under the ice. When you poke a hole in it, you can light it on fire like a flare.
This happens naturally, and has no link to human activity. The earth has naturally cycled though periods of hotter average temperatures and cooler average temperatures over the years. One thing I often tell people is that, where we are located (the niagara region), used to be under a one mile thick glacier. That gives you a perspective on the natural possibilities that the earth has created on its own, and, for that matter, has survived.
As the methane in the arctic releases, as the planet thaws, the planet does warm up, and the water in our oceans gets evaporated further into cloud cover. The cloud cover increases and blocks some of the suns energy. In turn the clouds themselves help cool the planet. This is my guess...
Climate models are very tricky to predict. You know how hard it is for the weather casters to be fairly accurate about the weather? Well they use the same climate models used to tell us about Global Warming to predict that weather. Anything programmed or computed has the possibility of bugs or unnatural behavior, simply because it is programmed. It is easy to conceive that in a million lines of code, there may be one mistake. Or even in a million of lines of entered data into a database there could be skewed numbers. A computer model is only as good as the data that human beings have entered into it. And to accurately model something like the earth is a huge undertaking. There are so many variables to account for. On a side note, I am developing a game, and within that game I need to try to model the human body in an accurate matter. I know I will be unable to account for everything, it is just too impractical to program in everything.
On the note of skewed numbers. We have constantly been told that, "oh, last year was the hottest on record!" Well... Was it? The latest hottest year on record was 1996, and since then we have actually had cooler years. The numbers have been graphed in a slightly different manner since then however, which helps make it look hotter. This year has actually been kinda cool. So was last year, so how were they the hottest years on record? The Iraq heat bubble? Those are normal temperatures for that region...
I was going to try to find some sources for that, but I am running out of time at the moment.
I wanted to comment on the 97% issue too. For years now the media has been telling us that 97% of scientists agree... But where did that number come from?
The 97% is actually 97% of the 32.7% of scientests which expressed an opinion one way or another on climate change. The So really the number is about 32% of scientists. This is an example of how the media and government is skewing numbers to make it seem like you should be all in on it.
Really, 31 thousand scientists tend to agree that there is not enough evidence either way to suggest that humans are impacting climate on a global scale... http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/climate-change-scientists-petition/2014/05/20/id/572409/
So why the hype on global warming? Why is it such a strong issue that they need to pound it into our skulls?
There are a few theories on that. But I will let you digest that and reply in the comments below.