Is there global warming going on? And is it man-caused? And is there a danger we will go too far — or have already done so — to reverse the ill effects on climate?
The only answers to these questions are in science.
But they are usually presented in political or ideological terms and most all sides or shades in the political spectrum are guilty to some degree in using the subject to push their own agenda. Even some so-called scientists may be guilty in shading the evidence to make it fit at certain narration, because funding for research is often done at the behest of some entity that wants to promote a point of view, usually to support some perceived financial opportunity or often the maintenance of an existing economy. To put in bluntly, for instance, I’m in trucking and it is to the industry’s advantage (short term at least) to have science that would suggest all that diesel smoke has no detrimental effect on the environment.
The news media is often blamed for inaccurately reporting the science on the subject. This charge may well be true for two main reasons. First of all, the media can only legitimately report what it is told. Second of all, most journalists are not scientists and if they were smart enough to be scientists they’d more than likely be working as such. And scientists probably would not make terribly good journalists for the most part — there are no doubt exceptions. And scientists who have a talent to communicate need to step up their efforts and be supported in doing so.
And of course there is not total agreement in the scientific community on nearly anything and the science would be suspect if there was — I mean man does not and probably can‘t ever know everything, so science itself is an inexact science.
But if our leaders in this nation really believed in education as they often claim to, no matter what their individual political persuasion, they would promote the study of science and government-supported un-biased research — although government support, in and of itself, does not guarantee lack of bias, as we found out during the George W. Bush administration.
Science and ideology do not mix.
I’m just guessing, just guessing mind you, that we probably are adding the greenhouse effect with carbon emissions from fossil fuels at a rate that will eventually do irreparable harm to our environment. That does not mean we have to, or even could, stop everything we are doing right now and/or go back to the Stone Age. What it does mean is that we have to take serious steps now to turn things around. To a degree we are. But we may need to move faster. And what we really need to do is promote a better and non-ideological based understanding of science among everyone, and particularly our young, who have a chance to do something about it.
What brought this to my mind was an article I just read about a new book by Professor David Archer called “Global Carbon Cycle”. And as I understand it, it suggests that there is still time to reverse what appears to be a trend that may lead to global warming that will cause disastrous climate change, but that time is running out.
And the reviewer says the book is quite readable for the layman. So maybe people should read it instead of spouting the latest lines from Rush Limburger Cheese or even Al “I-invented-the-internet” Gore.
I refer you to the article and book: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ac/20101210/sc_ac/7371018_the_real_science_of_global_warming;_ylt=AmsCRSc6N8MpBhTPfOGIrtis0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTRlYm4zanVzBGFzc2V0A2FjLzIwMTAxMjEwLzczNzEwMThfdGhlX3JlYWxfc2NpZW5jZV9vZl9nbG9iYWxfd2FybWluZwRjY29kZQNtb3N0cG9wdWxhcgRjcG9zAzgEcG9zAzUEcHQDaG9tZV9jb2tlBHNlYwN5bl9oZWFkbGluZV9saXN0BHNsawN0aGVyZWFsc2NpZW4
And if there is other credible research out there that suggests really things are no different now than they ever have been and that nothing needs to be done, then we should consider that too, but let‘s see that research. We need to know what we need to know, not just what we only hoped that we needed to know.