Global warming seems to be one of the most debated issues of modern civilization; everyone has a strong opinion about it one way or the other.
Global warming causes fights at family gatherings, and discords between friends. But how many people really understand the arguments on either side of the debate? It seems like people form their opinions based on how they feel, or what they want the answer to be, rather than based on information or evidence.
We’ll break down the arguments on both sides, and then let you decide for yourself whether global warming is all smoke and mirrors, or if you might want to go out and buy a hybrid vehicle.
Climate Change is a Normal Part of the Earth’s Cycles
Global warming skeptics point out that the Earth has gone through several periods of warming and cooling, and has even experienced a few ice ages and warm periods throughout history.
There is also an argument to be made that we may be headed for a cycle of cooling due to lower solar activity than was initially expected over the last few years, and continuing in the near future. A previous period of similar low solar activity led to a major cooling of the earth in the 1700’s, which even led to the Baltic Sea freezing over.
Just a Couple of Degrees is Not a Problem (it’s not that bad)
Many people point out that a couple of degrees isn’t really a big deal. Can you actually tell the difference between a 23-degree day and a 25-degree day? How about 6 vs. 8?
These types of slight temperature variations don’t make that much of a difference, and many global warming skeptics point out that science and environmental organizations seem to be exaggerating the effects and are making things sound so much worse than they are.
There is no Consensus.
There are numerous scientists and researchers out there that have done studies that show trends that differ from those being reported by mainstream organizations.
There is also a lot of doubt shed on the interpretations of many studies, where different researchers can come to completely different conclusions while interpreting the same sets of data. This just goes to show that the issue of global warming is one that is more influenced by opinions than it is by hard data.
Image credits: Solar Cycle – NASA; Polar Bear – AP