I have always been a sceptic concerning “global warming”, now known as “climate change”, but am slowly wondering if I might have been wrong? Certainly there is climate change — that is factual and measureable. The questionable portion is what is causing it? Is it cyclic as the right will shout at you, or is it caused by cow flatulence and other emmisions into our atmosphere?
The latest research I have read is that of physicist Richard A. Muller (from the University of California). His editorial was printed in the New York Times on July 28, 2012. You can read it here. Richard, too, was skeptical, and still is on many aspects of climate changes causes, but he has changed his mind on the human factor causing it. This is well worth a read. Cow flatulence is most likely not causing a problem, but man’s burning of fossil fuels might be. We most definitely need more data to be certain, but one would think that if there is any possibility at all that man is causing this, we need to err on the side of prevention.
This is not to say we need to outlaw the burning of fossil fuels immediately, but we certainly should be putting dollars into meaningful research to find renewable sources of energy that would be affordable and would do a good job for the world’s population. Solar, wind, geothermal … these all seem like good sources of energy. Right now they’re too costly for their efficiency, yet as with anything, time and quantity of production will bring down the price and new technology will work in our favor as well if we spend the dollars on research.
Let’s face it … I would much rather live next to a field of solar panels than I would a coal, natural gas, or oil burning facility that produces electricity. I’d rather a nuclear plant not be located within 500 miles of me because even though we’ve never had a major disaster in this country, should that one in a million happening occur, 50,000 years to stop glowing in the dark seems a bit long.
We need to get away from the politics of renewable energy resources and start working together to ensure we leave an earth that is easily liveable for all generations after us, whether that is 50 years, 500 years, or 5000 years in the future. If we screw this up, it’ll be a bit tough to jump in a ship and move to a new planet should ours become inhabitable.