There are so many contradictory statements out there about climate change that it’s difficult to sort out the truth from the myths. At the same time, you’re told that it’s incredibly important for you to weigh in on these facts, and change your lifestyle in dramatic ways. Carbon credits, carbon taxes, a shift in fuel sources, a reduction in the energy used to heat and cool homes – all of these things will affect your life. How should you think about these issues?
Myth: “The Climate Science Is Settled”
Most individuals do not want a dirty Earth. They want clean air and water, and they want a healthy relationship with their environment. To this end, many believe that the climate science that’s been done represents the definitive word on climate change.
But, as the name suggests, science is always changing. And, while many believe there is a scientific consensus, The U.S. Senate Committee of Environment and Public Works has reported over 650 International Scientists disagree with the official “man-made” global warming claims and “climate change story.”
Many of these scientists are current and former participants in the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change), and have criticized politicians and some scientists for making claims amount a scientific consensus on the nature and cause of global warming.
Myth: “It’s Never Been Warmer In The Past”
According to Iloveco2.com, we are in a relatively cool period right now. Temperatures have changed all over the world. For example, Vikings used to live in a Greenland without any snow, and the popular “hockey stick” graph used to explain steady increases in the Earth’s temperature has recently been shown to be contextually inaccurate.
The foremost authorities on climate change and global warming, the scientists who compile research for the IPCC, have removed it from their reports due to errors in how the graph was generated and the data used for it.
Myth: “There Is No Such Thing As Global Warming”
While climate is constantly changing, it doesn’t mean that there’s no warming. Some scientists do claim that there is a general warming trend in the world, and that this warming may affect weather and seasons.
Myth: “Solar Power Is Widespread”
The solution to a lot of the fossil fuels being used today is said to be in wind and solar. And, while 1.2 million homes in Australia have installed solar panels, with solar power in Perth being generated by over 8,000 of those installations, solar still only generates less than 1 percent of the world’s total energy.
Most of the world is still heavily reliant on fossil fuels because they are inexpensive and reliable.
Myth: “There’s No Harm In CO2”
Some say that there’s absolutely no harm in CO2 emissions, and that excessive CO2 emissions will only help make the Earth a more green, lush, planet. Plants do use CO2. But, the reality is that the Earth lives in a particular kind of balance.
Too little CO2 and everything dies. Too much CO2 and everything dies. What we want (ideally) is to have just the right amount. What is that right amount? No one really knows, though there are some guesses based on models.
What is known is man’s need for energy. And, without plentiful, reliable, energy, we will die. So, while the focus has traditionally been on how to control climate, some experts are focusing on how best to control our energy output.
The cleanest sources of fuel also happen to be the most efficient and the most profitable. Take Nuclear, for example. It produces little or no waste, the radioactive waste it does generate can be recycled through breeder reactors, and the energy output is tremendous.
Profits from this type of energy are fantastic, and the cost to consumers is low. So, regardless of the technology used, everyone agrees that we need a planet capable of sustaining life and energy to meet human needs. Focusing on that will yield the best results for everyone.
Zac Hannah is a graduate environmental science student in his final year. When he’s not studying, he’s researching and writing about the environment so others will understand our planet. Look for his informative posts on a number of today’s top websites and blogs.