According to the April 2013 poll by Public Policy Polling, approximately 37% of people asked believe global warming to be a scam. Are scientists deceiving the public? Is global warming actually an event that has been going on for some time?
That question is quite hotly contested. Most common is the argument that absolutely nothing is happening and everyone is getting worked up over nothing. Some people say that global warming is part of Earth’s natural climate cycle and there’s nothing to worry about (when dinosaurs walked or swam through the vague area of your living room, temperatures were much warmer than today’s average–although it might not stay that way for long). Along these lines, you can make a fair statement: our planet may have been slowly warming since the Little Ice Age (lasting in the vague duration of 1350 to 1850) or indeed the last “real” Ice Age. It’s really not necessary to say that humans weren’t really quite technologically advanced enough to record data on the atmosphere’s carbon content and average temperature levels at that point in time.
You can also argue that carbon levels in the atmosphere and global temperature have absolutely no correlation. It could be a coincidence that carbon levels have surpassed an infamously treacherous milestone and that both sea levels and temperatures have increased as well. Yes, all of that is true, but much of science is assumption and hypotheses. Guesses, to be frank. In reality, it’s rather difficult to make any firm statement about our world that will hold for the next two to three decades. (Hey, E = mc² has been true so far. The recent “disprove” you may have heard of is not definite)
Let’s play a quick round of the girly game “Would You Rather?”. Hmmmmm…let me see–oh, I know! Would you rather…hit the brakes now to keep from sliding down the hill, or wait until you’re certain that the car really is slipping? Because that’s the choice we, as a species, are faced with today. Because once everyone is completely certain that global warming is 100% real and we’re going to be in deep doo-doo very soon, it may be far too late to do anything to prevent the massive mountains of brown-ness. Medical diagnoses and treatment, especially of cancer and other life-threatening diseases, are examples of such a choice. “We think this horrible thing is happening. Do you wanna do something now or do you want to wait until you can feel your cells dying and you know something’s wrong?” There’s the chance of getting all worked up over nothing, but who cares? Your life might be at stake!
Cancer treatment won’t work very well if you’re already dying.
Would You Rather take that chance? Yes, animals are going extinct, and yes animals that can’t adapt will die, and yes it could be natural selection at work during a totally natural event, but climate and conditions are changing far too quickly right now for almost anything but cockroaches to adapt to! (Imagine a gross world where cockroaches are the only animal. Ew. I’m shuddering and clutching the insecticide to my chest.) These global warming clues have increased during a single generation of human beings!
Global warming may or may not be happening, but hey, as they say, it’s always better to be safe than sorry! Everyone needs to act and everyone needs to help. We can’t ignore what’s going on right under our feet. It so happens that humans are the only organisms on this planet that can change our environment, for better or for worse, so we’ve got to do so, whether it’s our fault or no. Our lifestyles can stand minor changes, no, major changes, to be greener, without actually changing too majorly themselves.
Take the chance if you want to, but that rough 37% of the population might end up dragging everyone else down too. Would you rather make changes to keep sea levels low or wait until the ocean’s at your knees?
Careful, your thighs are getting wet.