I got given this statement as part of a uni project and wanted to know any views people had, as a form of research for my project.
All responses welcome!
All the Yes points:
All the No points:
We’ve been here before
The current threat of climate change and global warming is not the only popular environmental movement there has ever been. And like the ones I am about to explain. it has been exaggerated.
In the 1970s, the trendy climate change fear was global cooling. Notably, that didn’t happen. Scientists came crawling out of the woodwork to explain why the next Ice Age would in the next millennium (it hasn’t) and the media and government spin-doctors were all over the idea in much the same fashion as they are now. As we can see, it hasn’t happened – and in fact the opposite idea is now prevalent. The current climate change scare is just a repeat of the 1970s.
Furthermore, does anyone remember chlorofluorocarbons? Those really did damage the environment: most notably the ozone layer. The papers were flooded with the idea that the ozone layer would be stripped away irreparably and we had well and truly destroyed our own planet. Except that it’s now closing. Rapidly. Once again, a case of insubstantiated media hype exaggerating an environmental issue way beyond its realistic scope.
The Ozone layer hole is a really bad example for saying that the threat is overblown. The ozone threat was recognised by everyone as being vital and most likely much worse than any potential global warming. It was also easy to identify what caused the problem and the problem was therefore not too difficult to fix. This resulted recognition from states that something had to be done in Vienna in 1985 and then in 1987 at the Montreal Convention CFC’s the main cause of the problem were banned.[[https://debatewise.org/debates/2303-should-we-still-be-concerned-about-the-ozone-layer]] This makes this precicely the opposite of what is being argued by the proposition. The ozone is only no longer a problem because something was done to solve that problem. This has not happened with climate change.
It should also be noted that global cooling was an understandable scientific forerunner to global warming. There is general agreement that aerosol effects were the dominant cause of the mid-20th century cooling, as the West cleaned up its act this was always going to reduce its influence (though I guess China may well be reversing that. At the time some scientists underestimated the impact of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere that would counteract the aerosols. In short whether the planet warmed or cooled depended on what which created a bigger effect, CO2 or aerosols. It should also be noted that the scientific community were always divided on this and it was the press not scientists who hyped it.
So yes global warming may be exaggerated but using these past examples to show that this is the case does not help.
Lack of scientific understanding
Neither the media nor the politicians understand the science behind climate change theory. When a report from the government or a newspaper comes out about climate change, there are usually scientific errors throughout the arguments. For example, the CO2 emissions debate: neither the media nor politicians consider how much CO2 was thrown up by the Icelandic eruption that grounded flights. If CO2 is theoretically so bad for the ozone layer, then why was this never mentioned?
Is CO2 bad for the ozone layer, as both are greenhouse gasses it seems unlikelyNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ozone is also a greenhouse gas in the upper atmosphere and, therefore, plays a role in Earth’s climate. The increases in primary greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, may affect how the ozone layer recovers in coming years. Understanding precisely how ozone abundances will change in a future with diminished chlorofluorocarbon emissions and increased emissions of greenhouse gases remains an important challenge for atmospheric scientists in NOAA and other research centers.
[[http://www.research.noaa.gov/climate/t_ozonelayer.html]] Eruptions are of course having an impact, but such eruptions have happened ever since the earth was created. So while they have an impact it is not likely to be any different to what it was in the pre-industrial era. If there are suddenly a lot more eruptions then there may well be nothing we can do to reduce CO2 to ‘preindustrial levels’. Volcanos do also tend to balance themselves out by adding particles to the upper atmosphere. Much as is the case with the above discussion of aerosols and CO2.
It should be noted that we should not be bothered whether it is bad or not to the ozone layer but whether the result of that is bad for humans and ecosystems, it is unlikely the ozone layer or atmosphere cares how much CO2 it contains.
So much evidence
We have so much proof it’s serious.
Except that…we don’t have that proof.
Scientists themselves are divided on the issue. Clearly, if they are divided, then the issue is not as clear-cut as the media and popular opinion would have us believe.
Secondly, we didn’t have proof for the 1970s ‘global cooling’ scare and, remarkably enough, the idea was eventually dropped. There is little to say that the current trend will not do the same thing.
The opposition at this point provide no examples of their ‘proof it’s serious’ and therefore, the point is invalid.