CLIMATE CHANGE – Change is nothing new, even when it comes to the climate.
by Zachary Sierra, Staff Writer
Our blue and green marble is heating up. Glaciers are shrinking, polar ice is melting and 2015 may prove to be one of the most active storm seasons in recent history. We have been told for years that we must cut our CO2 output if we want to save the earth.
But how much of that is grounded in hard science?
Turns out rather little. See most of the predictions for global warming come from complex modeling and lots of math. But as physicist and inventor Freeman Dyson said, “They are models, but they don’t pretend to be the real world. They are purely fluid dynamics. You can learn a lot from them, but you cannot learn what’s going to happen 10 years from now.”
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) disagrees heartily on this point. Nasa’s website cites information from the panel as evidence linking virtually every unusual weather event currently occurring in North America to global warming. From the heavy rains in the east to the dryness in the west, global warming and CO2 levels are held responsible.
Freeman Dyson disagrees, “It is also true that the whole livelihood of all these people depends on people being scared. Really, just psychologically, it would be very difficult for them to come out and say, ‘Don’t worry, there isn’t a problem.’ It’s sort of natural, since their whole life depends on it being a problem.”
Dyson also stated that he believes those within the field may have fallen prey to believing in their own models as factual, something he remarks as being common within the scientific community. He cites changes to climate that predate industrial society that have had a greater effect on the planets climate than what we are witnessing now such as the Mini Ice-age the planet experienced during the 17th century.
But perhaps the greatest point posited by the award winning scientist is: “And why should you imagine that the climate of the 18th century — what they call the pre-industrial climate — is somehow the best possible?” This comes along side the points the CO2 or carbon dioxide is actually the primary food for plants. Using photosynthesis, they break down the molecules into their composite parts, and release the oxygen back into the atmosphere for humans and other oxygen breathing life forms to enjoy.
So agriculture may well be positively effected by global warming. A higher concentration of food for plants as well as increased precipitation, more arable land and more months suitable for growing could solve hunger problems around the world. Events such as El Nino will be more common thanks in part to warmer oceans, creating a wetter Southern California which we could definitely use.
Of course there will be trials and tribulations along the way, but as Dyson points out, often things that are disruptive are in fact good for a system. While issues such as the sea level rising, which pose real threats, may not even have anything to do with humans. There is evidence that sea levels have been rising for over 12,000 years. This coupled with the fact that humans only produce a little over 3 percent of the CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere, bringing up real questions about the true correlation between humans and climate change.
Regardless of humans involvement in speeding up the changes our world is going through, we are going to have to deal with them. If Dyson is correct and climate change proves harmless or beneficial, great, and if not, then is what we are doing now helping the issue? Climate change happens with or without us, so rather than pointing fingers or arguing about what country warmed the planet the most, we should be endeavoring to plan for the new world we will inevitably find ourselves in one day.