By Julien Gustinellis
It’s hard to believe, but there are a lot of naysayers out there who think global warming isn’t happening. They think it’s not a threat and if it were, that there’s nothing we can do about it. So is it all in your head, or are there facts out there that support what you know to be true?
Here are four common myths about climate change and the evidence to censor it.
Myth #1: The Climate Has Changed Before
This myth implies that because the climate has changed before, it’s not our fault. However, science says otherwise. It is a scientific fact that the climate reacts to the dominant force on the planet. As human beings are now the dominant force on the planet, that means that we can and will affect the climate, now and in the future. In fact, science has proven that “greenhouse gases” (mainly CO2 but also methane) are factors in climate change. Historical evidence shows that as these gases are reduced, the climate becomes colder; as they increase, the climate becomes warmer. Thus, humans contribution of greenhouse gases into our environment has, indeed, warmed the planet.
Myth #2: The Models Are Unreliable
There are a lot of naysayers whose chief argument is that the global-warming models are unreliable. Despite this inference, though, models have successfully predicted the planet’s temperature for over 50 years. Since the turn of the 20th century, people have been able to measure temperature in the air, earth, and sea. In addition, scientists have been keeping averages of temperature over time. When you group these models together, a common theme emerges: the planet is getting warmer. Other models (for sea levels, etc) have also been tracked. As a result, we can measure and compare this data, which is not speculation, but mathematical science, to conclude that the planet is warming.
Myth #3: There is No Consensus
A lot of people who claim global warming is a myth think only a few people, scientists, and politicians such as Al Gore (a former member of the Energy and Commerce, and the Science and Technology committees, and 2000 presidential candidate), are talking about it. Truth be told, however, scientists worldwide have conducted multiple consensuses on the subject, and seven of those authors have collaborated on a paper, “Consensus of Consensus”, Cook et al. (2016). In it, they came to two conclusions. Firstly, “between 90 and 100 percent of the contributing scientists agreed that human beings were the cause of climate change with a 97 percent consensus among publishing climate scientists.” And secondly, the greater the expertise, “the higher the consensus on human-caused global warming.”
Myth #4: It’s Cooling
This is a fun one. Despite the evidence that the planet is getting warmer, some people want to believe that it’s actually getting colder. This is simply a twisting of facts. If you don’t believe it, take it from NASA, The United States of America’s aerospace agency, which determined that, in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat”. But most of these changes have resulted from changes in the Earth’s orbit and its distance from the sun.
Their studies have also shown that for the last 50 to 60 years (since the mid-20th century), global climate change is, with 95 percent certainty, due to human influence and proceeding at unprecedented rates. They also cite that ice cores taken from Greenland and Antarctica show that the Earth’s climate does indeed change because of greenhouse gas levels as a result of human behavior.