I have been following the scientific research concerning climate change, and the phenomenon referred to as “Global Warming” for more than 40 years and I have come to the conclusion that it is undeniable. In that span of time I have read literally thousands of published scientific reports. Though not officially trained as a scientist, I am a reasonably intelligent individual. Only three simple factors are required to give birth to an “environmental conscience” in most individuals. The first would be a knowledge of the existence of the massive accumulation of ever mounting research-based evidence. The third factor would be an open mind. The second factor, however, is where the problem lies. That factor is awareness and comprehension of climate change and Global Warming. For anyone who possesses these three, the conclusion is glaringly obvious: Global Warming is not only occurring, it is in fact accelerating!
Now, it is true that there are those individuals…both trained and untrained alike…who argue that Global Warming is a naturally occurring part of the ecological processes of this planet. In fact, geologic evidence indicates that this is indeed the case. Throughout the eons, this world has repeatedly entered periods of extreme cold…commonly referred to as “ice ages”. This is primarily (though certainly not solely) a function of periods of reduced solar activity. The difference is in the occurrence of “augmenting factors”. The best known example of one such “factor” would be the apparent collision of an asteroid with the earth approximately 65 million years ago. Evidence indicates that prior to this collision most of the earth possessed a decidedly “tropical” type of climate. Based upon geologic evidence, the impact of this asteroid with the earth ejected gargantuan amounts of debris high into the atmosphere, where it remained for many years, circling the earth within the air currents. This atmospheric contamination greatly reduced the amount of sunlight that reached the surface, and triggered an “ice age”.
Now, a new “augmenting factor” has come into play: Mankind. For the first time a species has arisen that utilizes technology. The by-products of much of our technology are now serving to augment and escalate the natural cycles of our world. The pollutants that we are pouring into our atmosphere are having the same effect as the debris cloud generated by that asteroid collision 65 million years ago; albeit more gradually. The average temperature globally has risen by more than 1 degree centigrade since 1900. I know, to those who do not follow the research this may sound like an extremely minimal amount. But you must remember that, like many things, our climate is a very delicate balance. The process has now reached the point where one does not need to read a report to be aware of the issue. Just look around you! The recent “Super-storm” Sandy is a perfect example. In recent years the polar ice cap has receded further than at any other time on record. Hurricanes, which are driven by warm air currents and ocean temperatures, are becoming more prevalent and more intense with every passing year. Extreme weather patterns are occurring all over the globe on an almost daily basis now. Global Warming is a precursor to…to coin a phrase…Global Freezing! If left unchecked, the one triggers the other.
Lamentably, however, the greater percentage of our population is either blind to or apathetic about Global Warming. For most of them it is not their fault. In my close following of these scientific reports, I have seen how powerful corporations and individuals in positions of power and influence manipulate reports, create powerful and influential publicity campaigns, and create an atmosphere of incredulity around scientific evidence; often portraying the conclusions as mere opinion as opposed to quantifiable fact. The greater and more damning the evidence becomes, the greater their efforts to delude the public become.
Recent publications by NASA have detailed numerous scientific findings and conclusions. Among them are the following:
1. Since the beginning of The Industrial Revolution (1750-1850) average acidity levels of the oceans surface waters has increased by 30%.
2. The average temperature of the earth began rising in 1880. Most of that increase has occurred since the 197o’s (coinciding with the rising carbon dioxide levels displayed on the above graph. The warmest 20 years have all occurred since 1981, and ALL of the top 10 have occurred in the past 12 years! This warming trend occurred despite the fact that from 2000-2009 solar output was BELOW average!
3. The oceans (which absorb most of this temperature increase) have warmed significantly as a result, with the top 2300 ft. (700 m) having warmed by an average of 0.3 Fahrenheit since 1969.
4. Between 2002-2005 the Antarctic ice sheet lost approximately 36 cubic miles (152 cubic km) per year, while the ice sheet in Greenland lost almost 60 cubic miles (250 cubic km) per year!
5. As a result of this melting ice, global ocean levels have risen approximately 6.7 inches (17 cm) in the last century, with the rate of melt-off in the past decade being almost double the average in the prior 90 years.
6. The amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by our oceans is INCREASING by approximately 2 billion tons per year
The existence of Global Warming and the unprecedented threat to our survival that it poses is terrifying! The average human being will instinctively cling to any voice heard above the rest that offers a more promising and rosy outlook, rather than hear gloomy news. That is human psychology. Those in positions of power; whose industries have contributed significantly to this dire scenario utilize this aspect of our psychological makeup to their advantage. They spend vast amounts of their financial resources to downplay the threat posed by Global Warming, all in an attempt to protect their profit margin. If new “clean” technologies (many of which have already been developed) were to be implemented on a wide scale basis, these powerful individuals and corporations would lose their vast financial empires. Thus, they invest prodigious sums of money to discredit scientific data, to ensure that politicians who support them and their industries come into positions of power and influence, and to confuse the general public. They do this out of greed for wealth and power. It is this planet and the entire human race, along with every other species on this planet, that is paying the price for their avarice!
But it is not yet too late! As I said before, promising new “green” technologies already exist. They rarely come into play, however. This is because those same corporations purchase the rights to them, and then subsequently “bury” them. There ARE individuals and groups who are attempting to change this pattern. If enough people make a concerted effort, there is still time rectify the situation and save ourselves. Efforts to purge our environment of existing pollution must be escalated. Politicians who come to power with the support of corporations with a proven history of environmental devastation must be replaced with others who are not marionettes of these same industries. These promising “green” technologies must be developed and utilized on a global scale. The general public must be educated as to the truth about Global Warming and the role we play in it. We can be the species that finally destroys our environment, or we can be the one that saves it. The choice is ours to make. For the sake of our progeny, as well as for ALL life on this world let us ensure that we make the right one!
Todd Sain Sr.