Do you believe the activities of humans are contributing to global warming?

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Are we humans doing things to our planet that is causing it to become dangerously warm? Or it just another weather cycle that has nothing to do with humans? We realize this is a controversial subject, so if you choose to comment, keep it civil and constructive. No name calling. Educated opinions invited. Uneducated ones are not.

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Rich T

You can choose either to believe fossil fuel companies, committed to their own profit – and nothing else – or the organization founded in 1845 and committed to the truth – and nothing else:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/exxon-knew-about-climate-change-almost-40-years-ago/

If you choose to read the article, congratulation – I think it means that you’re inclined to swallow only after chewing.

Rich T

There are a few things I don’t hear deniers saying. At the risk of inciting backlash from those who prefer to stick to their own opinions, preferring not to consider evidence, here goes. Disclaimer: While I have participated in science as a student and as a technician, I am not a climatologist and unlike them, I have not spent my entire professional life gathering ice, soil and tree cores, pored over temperature records, developed weather and climate computer models and tested them against historic records, etc, so I cannot join the overwhelming majority who say without a doubt that human activity has caused the fastest rise in atmospheric and oceanic temperatures in all of *human* history or human pre-history. I do know a couple of simple facts however:

When I park my car in the sun with the windows closed, it heats up a great deal more than when I leave the windows open. This is an example of the “greenhouse effect”. Heat is delivered directly to the Earth from the sun in the form of light at the infrared end of the spectrum. The rays strike everything – the roof of the car, air molecules, everything – and whatever is struck absorbs some heat energy. When the car’s windows are open the heat energy is free to radiate back out of the car. When the windows are closed something interesting happens; a significant amount of the sun’s radiant heat gets trapped inside the car. This is how heat builds up – the glass forms a semi-permeable barrier which causes some heat rays to be trapped inside the car. Only a subset of all rays – the ones that strike the glass at the correct angle – are able to pass through the glass and get into the car. Once inside the rays bounce around imparting heat with every collision until all their energy is spent, or they’re able to exit the car. Again, only a subset of these rays will strike the glass at the correct angle and be able to pass *out* of the car.

As early as the 1800s it was predicted that CO2 in the atmosphere would do this to the Earth. That has been borne out by experience and is settled science. Scientists don’t question that anymore. It’s a basic principle, like gravity. Without the greenhouse effect to trap heat, the Earth would be as cold as the moon, and we would not be here. (CO2 isn’t the only “greenhouse gas” – methane and water vapor have this effect also.)

While coal use as a fuel began on a very limited scale around 3,000 years ago, it was not mined or used as a fuel on an industrial scale until the invention of the steam engine in 1698. That was the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Since that time (a period of just over 300 years) billions and billions of tons of coal, and beginning about 1858, billions and billions of barrels of oil have been extracted from the Earth, both primarily for use as fuel. Largely as a result of industrialization, the Earth’s population has multiplied such that there are now 14 times as many people currently alive as there were in 1804 (14 Billion vs 1 Billion). That’s a LOT of burning that did not exist before, and all of the increase coming in an extremely short period in terms of the Earth’s history. Currently we’re extracting about 9 Billion tons of coal and about 33 Million barrels (about 5 Million tons) of crude oil a year. Most of that is being burned.

There is a simple equation for burning hydrocarbons (coal, oil). The reagents are CxHxOx + O2 -> CO2 + H2O. If you plug in the tons of hydrocarbon fuel, you can calculate the tons of resulting CO2. CO2 is a gas at all temperatures experienced on Earth. (Have you ever tried to imagine just a single ton of gas?) Clearly the combustion of tons of fossil fuels every year – with an ever increasing amount, beginning 300 years ago – has released many, many, Millions of *tons* of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Just like water, CO2 has a well established cycle on Earth. Plants take in CO2, use it to form carbohydrate where it stays till they die, and the plant either decomposes or is eaten or burned for fuel, and the CO2 is released to the atmosphere once again.

However coal and crude oil are the product of plants (mostly) that decomposed eons ago and were buried over time. CO2 in that form is said to have been “sequestered” and has not been part of the CO2 cycle – until now. When all that CO2 is reintroduced into the atmosphere by our burning fossil fuels, the only way the CO2 cycle could possibly maintain a constant CO2 concentration in the atmosphere would be if plant life expanded on Earth to the same extent that the CO2 was introduced. Clearly that has not happened over the past 300 years – we know that there has been no sudden increase in vegetation or photosynthetic plankton around the globe in the past 300 years. If anything, with the 14-fold increase in the world’s population, it’s been quite the opposite.

In fact, by various techniques scientists have been able to confirm that the CO2 component of atmospheric air has increased in proportion to the amount of extra CO2 generated by human activity. This in turn is confirmed by temperature measurements taken around the globe over the past few hundred years (using naval log books, for example).

Temperature data show a warming trend over the past 2 centuries – which has accelerated.
CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has increased – at an accelerating rate.
Humans have put many millions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere over the past 200 years – at an accelerating rate – that had been sequestered for millions of years underground.

If the connections between these facts were not already well established prior to the current century, one would certainly have more than enough reason to investigate whether they were related or not.

The fact is, given a basic understanding of chemistry and physics, the data show what the greenhouse effect – a 19th century discovery – would have predicted, and a phenomenon that climatologists have been warning about for at least 50 years.

The real problem is what to do about it. It would be far better for your grandchildren – and our only home, the Earth – if we moved on and addressed this question rather than debate whether we “believe in” climate change – and humans’ role in it – or not.

Ok – that’s my contribution. If you don’t “believe in” science, then I guess it’s just my opinion. But if you don’t “believe in” the science that supports climate change, then why on Earth would you ever expect anything to happen when you crank your engine or set foot on an airliner? – or leave your car windows open a crack when you park in the sun, or… (fill in the blank)?

Diane Mc

Do I think man is causing pollution which hurts the environment? Yes. Global warming? No. Why did Michael Mann (one of the godfathers of global warming) sue 2 separate individuals when he was challenged as lying about his hockey stick theory, then refused to supply the documents that supported said theory? Case was thrown out. It is a hoax. Maybe it started with some sincere beliefs, but now too many are making a livelihood from it. Receiving large grants from their countries. There are a number of former ‘believers”, one, the former head of Greenpeace, Patrick Moore, as they now know the data is all skewed by computer modeling.

Would also like to know if 50% of fellow RV’s believe it, why are you still driving an RV? While not quite the same, it is similar, on a different scale, to celebrities/wealthy people who fly in private jets, have huge homes requiring a large carbon footprint, yachts, multiple cars.

The US contributes 4% to the worlds pollution issues and we are constantly working on ways to improve. China & India are the 2 biggest polluters in the world and are doing mostly nothing about it.

Side note. The recent hurricane Dorian had everyone in a tizzy about us having the most Cat 5’s in a short period of time. Of course the info was false. 1932-1935 saw 5 Cat 5’s. Then there is the Amazon fires. Only after the hue and cry do we find out that the picture posted by the celebrities, like Leo DiCaprio, were from pictures 20 years ago. Majority of fires were yearly burns by the farmers in areas other than the Amazon. And the fires in the Amazon are lower this year than in past years. Oh…and the description that the Amazon is the “lungs of the earth”. Another falsehood. It takes in and expels equal amounts of CO2.

Off my soapbox.

Montgomery Bonner

Ok, I said this before, but, I will again. 10,000 years ago, the north hemisphere was covered in ice. No humans, but that ice melted, since no humans, what caused that global warming? Humans do uncountable damage to this planet every day, but to assume, we little beings, are causing the temperature to rise is stupid. Let 30 volcanoes (about annual average) all go off at one time, and you wont be worried about warming, you will be wondering where you can get another blanket, and if their is going to be enough food. Significant forces affect this planet, the largest one is the sun, it’s now heading back into the significant cycle of activity for sun spots, and those have a much larger affect on this planet than us humans. Believe what you want, we aint the problem.

Donald S Travis

Our Earth has gone through 5 mass extinctions, where 80 to 95 per cent of all species in existence at that time were exterminated. And yes, humans were no where around then. Major Continental shifts, massive earthquakes, volcanoes everywhere, asteroids creating massive dust clouds, and more. Most of these took millions of years to evolve, and after that millions more for surviving creatures and plants to adapt to their new emerging environments, creating many very new and different organisms, mammals, fish, birds, plants, etc and finally us humans. All of the underlying causes of our planets past are still at work, slowly but surely, and probably nothing today’s science can do about them. So what can humans and our best science do to help humankind’s future?

We can carefully analyze things we are doing that may be contributing to faster progress on the 6th mass extinction, or more short term just major flooding and catastrophic hurricanes, and what we can do to prepare for that short time, and stop doing things that may be contributing short and long term.

I do believe man is absolutely contributing to current climate changes (and other major pollution activity) over the past few hundred years of our actions. De-forestation for farming and urban growth and continually increasing CO2 emissions creating a heat capturing blanket over the Earth, and more.

How long this can continue before it is irrevocable in its short and long term effects is a matter of debate. Denying it is happening at all is against all logic based on lots of believable science.

Let’s de-politcize this whole debate and really work on gaining scientific consensus on our actions going forward. No action is unacceptable in my mind.

Eric Hill

Our air may be thinner than you think. Half of our air is in the troposphere which is only 4 to 12 miles thick. The breathable air is below 5 mi high, the so called “death zone” above which you need to carry oxygen. If you could drive straight up you could do it in 5 min. So.. If you don’t believe we can pollute that after years of dumping stuff into it then you probably don’t believe we can pollute a river enough for it to catch fire, or that if you live next to a freeway you are more likely to have lung problems or down wind of a forest fire you won’t have problems with smoke. You probably think these things are fake news or hoaxes. Some of the chemicals floating in the atmosphere isn’t coming from nature. Those jets flying at 35,000 feet aren’t spewing oxygen and neither are automobiles burning gasoline along with anything else burning stuff. If most of the naysayers had spent most of their career studying and testing this thing then I would be more inclined to believe them, in any case I’m less inclined to believe a politician who won’t be bothered with facts.

Ellen

I just wish people would clean up their dog’s poop….

John Fleming

1) the Earth is warming . . . It has been in a warming spell since 1700. 2) Man clearly has some effect, but as yet no scientist has been able to quantified it. 3) Global Warming has many positive aspects: The Earth is becoming greener – 50% of the Earth has shown an increase in leaf cover, lower deaths by cold temperatures (a greater cause of death than warmth), As CO2 is plant food, crop yields are increased from 40 to 75% with a doubling of CO2, resulting in billions in savings from reducing commercial fertilization. 4) CO2 is actually at a critical and historical LOW and burning fossil fuel may have actually averted a climate catastrophe. 5) the Global warming crisis religion is just a Benny Hinn Ministries on steroids. It is being weaponized to promote taxation and enrich governments on teh backs of the poorest among us, make people like Al Gore rich, and turn American citizens into useful idiots for their vote. We can easily mitigate the effects of global warming with sea walls and dikes (like we have been building for 200 years) while taking advantage of its positive aspects without damaging our economy and jamming “alternative fuels” down our throat for zero effect on global warming.

Mark B

Groan. Why did you ask?

You can’t ignore CO2 levels are at the highest level in 3 million years, and they’ve climbed exponentially over and over since industrialization. That fact is not a hoax. It’s a measurable fact. We should be able to agree CO2 levels shot up very fast. It doesn’t prove causality; it’s just a fact.

And anybody who visited US/Canada/Europe glaciers 20 or 30 years would be able to agree there has been massive shrinkage in those areas. This fact is not a hoax; glaciers are shrinking dramatically. It doesn’t prove causality; it’s just a fact.

Maybe it’s god’s plan. Maybe it’s cyclical. Maybe it’s because there are aliens at Area 51, and they need our planet warmed up because it’s too cold for them. Maybe it’s because of solar forces, or pole changes, or the earth’s core or a combination of things. Whatever the cause, we should be able agree there have been changes. It’s observable. Maybe we won’t be affected, or maybe these is a potential for impact on humanity.

Let’s try to have a respectful dialogue on whether there is something that can be done to capture or reduce CO2 (whatever the cause). Why try to fix? Because we can see some changes and if some of the predictions are correct, there may be larger changes. It’s like a hurricane. You don’t know when, or even if it will hit, but you prepare.

If this is a perfect storm taking our planet, then it could be plausible humankind may go the way of the dinosaur. Wouldn’t it be prudent to have a plan of how we send our seed into the universe to take root somewhere else, just in case that hurricane hits?

Paul

Is the earth warming? Absolutely, and it has been since the last glaciation. Are humans contributing to a changing climate? Almost certainly, to some degree – you can’t believe that 7 billion people (and growing) can live on this planet without having some sort of impact, especially with deforestation and the growth of cities. But there are a lot of natural impacts as well (volcanoes and long-term solar cycles to name a couple) that are often ignored or poorly understood. Personally, I don’t think the world as we know it is ending in 12 years (or whatever the latest deadline is). I think a warming world is better for our species survival than a cooling world. And I really don’t think that anyone is willing to give up their current standard of living and all the amenities of modern life and go back to the stone age, which is essentially what would be required to eliminate fossil fuels and reduce CO2. The average person has no clue how big a role fossil fuel plays in every single aspect of their day-to-day life, and there currently is no alternative.

Monty

Man made global warming is a hoax. The premise of carbon dioxide as a driver of global warming is false. Carbon dioxide increases after temperature increases.

Wayne Caldwell

We (my family) live in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. This area is, for the most part, an arid climate. And this climate ain’t gonna change. If I want a different, more humid climate, I’ll move to another part of the country. As it is, I like the climate here.

Dry Creek

Sure, climate change is real.
Last winter it was cold here. This summer it has been hot. The climate around here seems to change almost every six months or so. It’s kinda’ eerie.
Luckily, we have the government to save us. As whatever pollutant de jour rises (as measured by government-funded scientists), our taxes can go up to “combat the problem”.
We’re saved now.

Jeff Craig

The fact that 49% of those responding to this survey don’t believe (or ignore, think it’s a hoax, put their own ‘feelings’ above) what Climate Scientists have been finding for two plus decades just goes to show how incredibly stupid humans are.

Yes, that’s a harsh – but you know what else is harsh? Flooding due to increased sea levels, mass migration from land loss, collapsing fisheries, melting glaciers, crop failures due to weather extremes…. All things we are seeing an increase in.

Climate change is real. Humans are causing it by dumping CO2, Methane and other heat-tapping gasses into the atmosphere. If you don’t believe this, then you are the problem. If you are wise, then do like I do and buy carbon offsets from Terrapass. (You can often do it through your home utility company as well.)

Warren Sidney

I agree there is climate change. It has always been and will be until the earth is consumed by our sun. Here is some information NASA has kept secret that supports what I have believed for decades: https://www.sgtreport.com/2019/08/nasa-admits-that-climate-change-occurs-because-of-changes-in-earths-solar-orbit-and-not-because-of-suvs-and-fossil-fuels/

Victor Bobbitt

One of my favorite places to take the TT Yellowstone. It has hike to specimen ridge to see standing petrified trees that science tells us is a type that only grows in much warmer climate and that the climate here was much warmer. Than you can look out over the valley from this ridge and see boulders that science tells us were left by glaciers. Question. Could humans have done anything to change either of these climates

Andy Zipser

The four stages of denialism, as illustrated by the comments that follow:
a) Deny that there’s a problem; climate change is a hoax.
b) Concede that global warming is happening, but that it is the result of larger forces, like volcanoes and sunspots; mankind has little if any impact on the total greenhouse burden.
c) Acknowledge that mankind contributes to global warming, to a greater or lesser extent, but that there’s nothing we can do about it; the only “solution” is to adapt to an increasingly hostile environment.
d) Take comfort in the long view. The earth was around for millions of years without human beings, and will continue for millions more without us. Patiently explain this to your kids and grandchildren.

lec2

to simplify this whole global thing is to say that its all about money and punishment. Its become a political talking point for those who need something to voice an idea which they know little about. sure there is localized problems which are being addressed but our biggest problems are the volcano and the toxins from tropical forest . search the weather in the 1816 era. Also the big lie is the millions of years which no one has a record of and which no one has any idea of the future. what we have is ungodly people trying to act as though they are intelligent. these alarmist live in big houses and use huge amounts if energy. They also rely on computer speculation, not understanding the biblical design of the universe. My intent is to question why the computer models have to be falsified? Anyone with a brain can find true data which points to a cycle of the sun and the relationship to the universe The tax payer foots the bill for silly policies as the lies continue to be told big enough to be attractive. I was told by a geologist in Hawaii that one eruption is equal to fifty years of anything man can do and within that time nature has the ability to swallow it up or correct itself.
Hope this shines some light on the subject. in their eyes a denier is worst that a murderer.

Dennis Johnson

I think it is interesting with all the comments – climate change has been going on for billions of years, for missions of years or for thousands of years and that is very true. However, that does not sound very educated for the length of any family Grand parents to Grand Children. No one has mentioned the number of and speed of the latest and should be highlighted climate changes, we are in the time frame of decades now, folks that is 10 year periods. I was in the US Navy on USS Saratogo and in the Meteorology department – never new what was happening with the data I had to send out every 3 hours from the time we left port (oceans/air) for those years. The National Oceanographic location by the Stennis Space Station would be an interesting visit – they have all this data from my time 1963-64 and oceans and air at all levels have changed in short time. I now do believe we are doing harm. Sorry.

Roger

Hard to believe so many people deny the science and hide their heads in the sand.
Maybe Montgomery will be first in line to execute his plan.
You know what they say about roses and coffee