Opinion: Climate change doubters should consider hard facts on global warming

Let us hypothetically say there was a study that came out on the effects of gun ownership in America. Suppose this study said that in 16 of out 17 years when gun ownership rates were high, crime was at its lowest rate ever. Let us also assume that high levels of gun ownership have caused gang violence to decrease to its lowest level in recorded history, and that in large cities where gun ownership is allowed, murders are at an all-time low.

If this study was real, and not hypothetical, the NRA would no doubt share it like wildfire, and Republican politicians would be on the news constantly telling their Democratic counterparts, “I told you so.”

And I would not be able to blame them, either. Who can argue with facts and statistics like those?

A lot of people, apparently.

Because a study just like that exists. In NASA’s most recent look at the effects of climate change, 16 out of 17 of the warmest years in recorded history have occurred since 2001, the arctic summer sea has decreased to its lowest level in history, and the average size of large ice sheets in the arctic shelf are at an all-time low.

Statistics like these should not be ignored. These are hard facts, not political rhetoric. These facts were not fabricated by the mainstream media. They are real. Climate change exists, and it is beyond foolish that Americans are still debating this when so much evidence is on one side of the argument.

Not only does it exist, but humans are—in part—contributing to it. Despite claims that the earth naturally warms and cools itself throughout history, it has long been proven that carbon dioxide creates a “greenhouse” effect which can cause a long-term rise in temperature. In the same NASA study, carbon dioxide levels are at their highest in recorded history, with a positive correlation between higher global temperatures and high levels of carbon dioxide.

The quicker we as a collective America can accept all of this, the faster we can work with the rest of the globe in limiting carbon dioxide output and working towards more permanent solutions.

Instead, we remain divided over whether climate change exists at all. Some in Congress would rather use money designated to help fight climate change for something they believe is more important. Some decide to ignore the facts and make it easier to shut down legislation to ease climate change.

This is extremely dangerous and sets a political precedent where facts are disregarded for the sake of political leverage.

This political leverage, I believe, is misguided. There is this conception that we must forfeit a booming U.S. manufacturing sector and strong economy to help the environment. This belief disregards that General Motors, Disney, Shell and more than 1,200 other large companies are already taking steps to stop climate change—voluntarily. The government and corporations can work together and compromise to come to a solution that benefits everyone.

Granted, some politicians have come a long way, and President Donald Trump is—somewhat surprisingly—one of those politicians of late. It was just announced on Saturday that Trump is seeking to stay in the Paris Climate Accord at some level, reversing his previous decision to withdraw.

Though the Paris Climate Accord is not perfect, and will not stop climate change in its entirety, it is a large step in a global effort to help the cause. Being that the U.S. has the second-largest carbon footprint, it is essential that Trump keeps our country in global conversations about climate change.

It is just as essential that we as American citizens look at the facts logically and completely. Call your representative and tell them to support efforts to halt climate change. Google “climate change facts” and get educated. Talk about it with your friends. Plant a tree. Make a difference.





One comment

  • Quite a surprising commentary for a Liberty University publication.

    Here are a couple of things we DO know:

    1: They physics of greenhouse gases have been known for over 100 years now. Increasing levels of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere trap more heat, it’s an undeniable physical fact, and geological time scales do not account for the rapid rise of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere since the beginning of the Industrial Age.

    2: Every single degree celsius increase in the temperature of the atmosphere increases its moisture-retaining ability by seven percent. This is another indeniable fact, thanks to the Clausius-Clapeyron equation.

    Now exactly HOW these factors will affect weather patterns is difficult to predict, because we have no frame of reference. But it’s undeniable that human industrial activity accounts for more heat and moisture in the atmosphere, and the long-term consequences won’t be pretty.

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