Climate Change: Hoax or Harsh Reality?

For our whole lives we have been warned about global warming, about how if we don’t change how we live and treat the environment we’ll end up in post-apocalyptic world. And for all our lives too many have scoffed at such predictions and “scientific nonsense,” as many have been content wading in their own rivers of denial.

Chicago experienced harsh winter temperatures this past season as a result of a polar vortex that many meteorologists have attributed to global climate change. Image by Edward Stojakovic.

But people might not be able to convince themselves that climate change isn’t a problem anymore, as earlier this month the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its first comprehensive report on global warming since 2007, warning us of what is to come. According to the IPCC report, over the next century sea levels will rise, posing a threat to coastal cities and low-lying countries.  Furthermore, because of global warming caused by human actions, extremely hot and cold days will plague the Earth, water and food borne illnesses will increase, several areas of North America will become drier and more susceptible to wildfires, and cities will experience more urban floods.

But bad becomes worse: the report finds that climate change will have an impact on every ecosystem on the planet, with “extreme weather events leading to breakdown of critical services such as electricity, water supply and health and emergency services, and the breakdown of food systems.”  The detrimental effects of climate change can be grouped into three categories. The first of these groups is the ocean, where the average sea level could go up 20 inches by the end of the century, and where acidification already poses a threat to marine organisms and ecosystems. The second negative result of global warming is its impact on health. With rising temperatures, scientists predict that diseases such as malaria will spread, and because of summer heat waves, the number of premature deaths will rise. The last major group of consequences deals with food resources. The IPCC report finds that tropical food production yields will decline with a rise in temperatures, as plants’ growing seasons are shortened and hampered by climate change and rising carbon dioxide levels.

Although solving global warming seems like a daunting task, politicians can work to curb climate change and protect the world as we know it. Scientists recommend that we attack the root cause of many of these problems: high carbon-dioxide emissions. Furthermore, the report recommends that we implement and improve health programs to reduce vulnerability. Lastly, there needs to be some trade-off between drought-resistant crops and crop yield with farmers, as farmers are now testing new crop varieties that need to be drought-resistant. And it’s about time we start to take preventive measures. For too long we have comforted ourselves saying that climate change won’t affect us in this life, and that it will just be a problem for future generations to deal with. For too long we have deluded ourselves. This report thus serves as a wake-up-call, urging us to take action before it’s too late. It’s time we change how we treat the climate before it changes us, and our world, for the worse.

Sources

Editorial Board. “The New IPCC Report Shows That Work to Limit Climate Change Must Begin Now.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 05 Apr. 2014. Web. 06 Apr. 2014. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-new-ipcc-report-shows-that-work-to-limit-climate-change-must-begin-now/2014/04/05/78372fe2-b922-11e3-9a05-c739f29ccb08_story.html>.

Yokohama. “In the Balance.” The Economist. The Economist Newspaper, 05 Apr. 2014. Web. 06 Apr. 2014. <http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21600080-new-report-ipcc-implies-climate-exceptionalism-notion>.

17 Comments

  1. “For too long we have deluded ourselves”. More like: for too long the IPCC has deluded itself – that man’s CO2 has any influence on global temperatures and therefore climate. The organisation is pure politics, as has been documented on numerous occasions, including the latest that the AR5 SPM was a ‘Summary BY Policymakers’, I.e. politicians and bureaucrats wrote it themselves for their own self-serving interests.

  2. bradfregger says:

    The problem isn’t those of us who are skeptical about human caused global warming (AGW), the real problem are the AGW fanatics who refuse to pay attention to what’s really going on; to reality. Many climate change scientists have called this refusal to accept the new data showing the total failure of the AGW hypothesis as a religious fervor, not unlike the creationists who, in their belief that the universe was created 8000 years ago, refuse to accept scientific data that proves otherwise. While the creationists use the Bible to support their beliefs, the AGW religious fanatics use the IPCC, a political body with an obvious agenda. This agenda came to light one more time when government politicians demanded that the summary of the current IPCC report be changed because it didn’t reflect the disaster that governments need to convince their publics to accept the high cost of trying to stop climate change. This interference in the scientific process was reported by none other than the lead scientist of the report, I paraphrase “There were 2 scientists and 50 plus government people at the meeting where the summary was changed. I will not be part of this massive editing of the facts as we reported them.”

    I will agree there’s a “consensus,” a consensus made up of three major groups: governments that need tax increases to fund progressive programs; the media that needs a “sky is falling” story to survive; and a large group of political scientists who need the AGW hypothesis to be perceived as being true to protect their funding and reputations. The problem is, the consensus is always wrong; that’s the entire objective of science, how knowledge increases. Your quoting the IPCC doesn’t convince an intelligent, knowledgable person of the truth of AGW anymore than quoting the Bible convinces us that the universe was created 8000 years ago.

    • Yea, yea yea. But, I’m still going to listen to the scientists. Gez, even my doctor knows it’s happening.

    • I cannot agree with your dismissal of our most trusted messengers. Sorry.

    • Abdullah Oblongata says:

      Brad appears to be incapable of reading the scientific literature. It is a problem may people have. You don’t have to rely on the IPCC reports or the NCA. You can read individual peer reviewed papers. I do and have now for the last 8 years on the topic of global warming. I also read some science blogs. I am not an expert on the subject but I have a working knowledge of the theory. I have taught science in the public schools for 40 years and that is how I stay informed and up to date. Brad, on the other hand, watches to much television. Oh, and by the way Brad, the earth is about 4.5 million years old.

      • bradfregger says:

        Abdullah, like all narrow minded progressives, jumps to numerous conclusions and only reads the literature that agrees with his preconceived notions. I’ve been studying this subject for 5 decades, I’m a professor at a Texas university, and my Master’s degree is in societal futures. He would be wise to check out some alternate sites so there would at least be a chance that he would be presenting a more balanced picture of the issue to his students. I would suggest climatedepot.com.

        • Abdullah Oblongata says:

          I checked your background Brad and your not a scientist nor have you worked in a science related field. You teach in business management at Texas State or something, probably a introductory course. I only have two refereed publications in the scientific literature but that is two more than you will ever have. I wouldn’t waste any money on your book either. Finally, Marc Moron’s Climatedepot is funded by big oil. People that read the crap there become morons.

          • bradfregger says:

            I never said I was a scientist. I did say that my Master’s is in Societal Futures and that I’d been studying the issue for a decade longer than you have. Additionally, scientists tend to have a very narrow focus, knowing relatively little outside of their expertise. I suspect an intelligent. Informed lay person could know more about climate change than the majority of scientists in the world. In regard to climate depot, I knew you would attack them and their readers on a personal level, that’s the preferred approach of narriow-minded bigots that can’t defend their position intelligently. This lack of intellectual curiosity is made obvious by the claim that climate depot is funded by big oil which is only the repeating of progressive propaganda with zero basis in fact. I had know idea who the site was funded, but it only took me one minute to discover the answer. By the way “big oil” quit funding research to determine the actual process of climate change more than a decade ago; the bad PR made the effort a losing proposition. In fact, big oil is a major researcher into alternative energy. They see themselves as energy companies, not oil companies. Plus, they know that fossil fuels will be essential for decades to come. You really need to broaden your knowledge, it’s not too late.

          • Abdullah Oblongata says:

            Rick Scott, the Governor of Florida was just asked about global warming by a newspaper. In the subsequent interview he repeatedly said that he was not scientist. When ever he was asked whether he would act on what 97% of scientists said he evaded the question. You state that you are not a scientist yet you don’t believe the 97% of climate scientists who study it professionally. I am not an expert on Societal Futures but I am a scientist, and on the subject of global warming, you have your head up your ass.

          • bradfregger says:

            If you are a scientist, then you are a fraud, and join that group of frauds who call themselves scientists. A true scientist recognizes when his hypothesis fails to predict. A true scientists refuses to support liars and incompetence in the scientific community. A fraud joins the liars and puts his incompetence on display for all to see. As to the 97% figure, a good example of the BS you are spreading around, pretending, maybe even believing, you’re spreading rose petals.

            http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2014/05/wsj-myth-of-climate-change-97-what-is.html?m=1

  3. Every day we read news that is sobering: Just today, for example:

    Climate change: Pacific Ocean acidity dissolving shells of key species

    http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_25664175/climate-change-pacific-ocean-acidity-dissolving-shells-key

    We are mad to ignore these and other facts.

    • Maybe not mad, but controlled. As the piece pointed out, our gvt. has known about the danger for decades and yet did nothing about it other than allowing fossil fuel profits to line their pockets. And, the current administration is the worst of that group – he has done nothing on climate change other than allowing US fossil fuel production to increase to record levels with a technology that poisons our waters and even causes freakin earthquakes in Ohio. Ohio, Earthquakes… Sorry, but I’m disgusted today. I hope you are too. Maybe then people with act.

      • I am very happy with what Obama has done in comparison with Clinton, Reagan, and Bush Jr.!!

        . I am referring to the new CAFE standards, the EPA regs on new coal plants, etc. Look at the gov. website under environment and you will see many positive actions taken. Me poor memory doesn’t do the topic justice.

        • The EPA is cooking the books on methane too. Recent reports show that they undercall this powerful greenhouse gas by 50%. And, from drilling to end stream, fracked natural gas has a bigger carbon footprint than coal as per studies out of Cornell. And it’s polluting our water supplies on top of that. Lastly, since CO2 is a long lived stock pollutant, he’s nuts to think that his policy doesn’t have an impact on climate. As far as I’m concerned, each molecule emitted brings me closer to my own demise, and my kids. Especially since feedbacks are amplifying the system. All that big talk in ’08 just brought us even worse greenhouse gas pollution. And, he knows it. He had Dr. Chu there. He’s worried about Jobs when he should be worried about American lives that are being lost with tremendous property damage. Detroit and home builders must love all the carnage though. Every photo I see of all the record breaking weather this past decade, has wrecked cars, and destroyed homes. In fact, I think that’s where the uptick in consumer spending is coming from – replacement of damaged property. But, that last bit isn’t grounded in fact, merely opinion. The rest is.

  4. “But people might not be able to convince themselves that climate change
    isn’t a problem anymore, as earlier this month the Intergovernmental
    Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its first comprehensive report on
    global warming since 2007″

    So, Alec Vandenberg–The IPCC releasing another lie-filled “report” means that AGW is “real”?

  5. The title sucks. When will the media stop creating doubt.

  6. Broken Hearted says:

    I feel like climate change could be real but it is caused by Obama. What sort of change do you think he was talking about in 2008 democrats. AGW probably stands for like something like stupid like American Ghost Warriors. and IPCC probably stands for International Purposeless Corny Comedians.

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