Accepting Global Warming
If there is one thing that all conservatives agree on, it is that the theory of manmade global warming is a myth. It’s all hype perpetuated by overzealous environmentalists who want to impose their nigh religious environmental hysteria on everyone. All the scientific claims supporting global warming are part of a giant hoax to spread fear about the health of the earth. But conservatives are not fooled.
In reality, they are fooling themselves. Global warming is happening, and people are responsible. (Not solely responsible, of course, but humanity’s actions have a large impact). Whatever conservatives believe about global warming (their narrative varies) is wrong.
Conservatives can’t seem to keep their story straight regarding global warming. Sometimes it’s that the earth isn’t warming at all (“it hasn’t warmed in ten years!”), other times it’s that it is but we aren’t responsible (“natural cycles”), and sometimes that humanity’s carbon emissions are insignificant compared to other sources of carbon dioxide (“cows/volcanoes/some other non-manmade cause emits way more carbon dioxide than humans do”!).
This inability to decide on a narrative doesn’t say much for the scientific rigor of the anti-global warming side. Those who disagree with the theory of global warming seem willing to seize on any possible interpretation of the available data, as long as it fits one of their theories. Even if the theories contradict each other (the earth’s temperatures can’t be holding steady and rising due to global warming at the same time), climate change deniers just try to accept both.
The “natural cycles” theory is the most common among global warming opponents, since it’s pretty clear that the earth has been warming and if humans are causing global warming, worrying about alternate sources of carbon dioxide emissions (like volcanoes or cows) is beside the point.
The natural cycles theory has two very large weak points. The first is that even if we are in a natural warming cycle, human activity could still have a hand in global warming. Human activity could very well be warming the earth, even if it is already in a warming cycle.
Also, there isn’t really any real evidence to suggest that we are in a warming cycle. It’s a possibility, but simply proposing alternate hypotheses doesn’t prove anything at all. There has to be some evidence backing it up, and there is precious little evidence to back up this theory.
The rest of the anti-global warming arguments are even worse. The weakest goes that since some scientists predicted global cooling during the seventies, and were wrong then, then all those scientists predicting global warming must be wrong now. This is pretty flimsy reasoning, especially since there were very few scientists at any time who seriously suggested that the planet was cooling.
Another idea is that since so many global warming advocates undeniably see preventing climate change as more of a religion than anything else, then climate change must be wrong. Of course, this doesn’t alter the scientific arguments at all, and is a simple ad hominem attack.
The case for global warming is simple, and logical. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, which means it traps heat from the sun. Human activity has increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by a significant amount since the Industrial Revolution. Over that time, earth’s temperatures have risen. The reasoning seems conclusive.
Most scientists agree, since there really is a consensus about global warming. Ever wonder why anti-global warming people advertise every single scientist that agrees with them, no matter how sketchy his credentials (does the founder of Weather Channel really qualify as an expert on climate?), while those who believe in climate change seem to have every scientist in the world on their side?
That’s because almost every scientist believes, to some degree or another, in manmade global warming. And unless there is a massive conspiracy to promote global warming, or every scrap of scientific data is being reading wholly incorrectly, then the scientific world’s belief in climate change is an indicator of whom the science favors in this argument.
If people are causing global warming, that fact doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone must wholly agree with Al Gore on everything. For myself, I believe that global warming is an inevitable part of human development, and that we would be better served by planning for a world in which global warming is a reality, instead of futilely trying to prevent it. But wherever one stands on this issue, ignoring the science and clinging to a ridiculous idea that global warming isn’t happening serves no one.