Defying myths of global warning - ocolly.com : Columns

Defying myths of global warning

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Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013 2:54 pm

There are some pretty severe misconceptions on the subject of global warming, climate change, or whatever is a convenient label at the time.

 

I have heard some on the far left claim global warming could potentially destroy our planet in some apocalyptic fashion and result in the annihilation of a majority of our civilization in the near future.

 

Of course not all people take this stance, but most regard climate change as a substantial threat to our planet and something must be done. President Obama even mentioned it in his State of the Union address.

 

I do not deny the existence of greenhouse gasses and their effects; this would make me look ignorant. I do find the fact most people associate the emissions of carbon dioxide, a colorless gas with billowing smokestacks and pollution from factories, somewhat funny.

 

To be fair, it has been observed a doubling of carbon dioxide will result in an increase in temperature of about 1 degree Celsius. Now if history has any weight on our current understanding of this, it would say most of this increase in temperature would occur in higher latitudes thus resulting in longer growing seasons and increased biodiversity as well as other benefits. I need serious help understanding how this is a bad thing.

 

Majoring in Psychology has subjected me to various articles and research that produce sketchy results at best, and I tend to have a similar skepticism when it comes to all statistics.

 

A question I have seen posed by others who share my skepticism in regards to global warming is how exactly would one measure the temperature of Earth?

 

Do you measure surface temperature? At what altitude? Do you measure water temperature? How deep? Do you measure air temperature? Where? How do you combine all of these measures into a valid measure of Earth’s temperature? How do we know this was all done exactly the same 100 years ago?

 

Another subject many like to focus on is the melting of the ice in the Arctic, Antarctic and Greenland. Well here are some fun facts: Arctic sea ice does in fact melt during summer seasons and temperatures have in fact risen, but the Arctic region was warmer in the 1930s. Also, ice cover around the Bering Strait and Alaska has been at its highest ever recorded.

 

As for the Antarctic, sea ice has been thickening all over the massive continent.

 

Greenland has been warmer, but its ice has melted only slightly. Additionally, Greenland has experienced no net warming since 1937; in fact, there is evidence of a slight cooling.

 

Al Gore went so far as to claim in his documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” that sea levels will rise 20 feet in the near future. Science directly contradicts this and says sea levels will rise a maximum of 17 inches in the next 100 years, and some highly respected scientists claim sea levels won’t rise at all.

 

At this point, I have completely rejected the idea global warming or climate change poses extraordinary threats to our livelihood. I feel fairly strongly about this subject because both now and in the past our government has used climate change as an excuse to push its Keynesian ideologies and push us further into debt.

 

Unfortunately some sciences have become politically driven and scientists see falsifying evidence as inconvenient as opposed to valuable evidence. I do not claim to be an expert on the matter of climate change. I hope to merely present a perspective that gains very little attention due to its unpopularity.

 

Jake Park is a psychology sophomore

opinion@ocolly.com