What’s All The Fuss About Climate Change?

Climate change takes place every day. In fact, for centuries, fluctuations in the temperature around the entire planet happen instantaneously.

Everyone can agree climate always changes.

So, what’s the big fuss about climate change? If the weather is never constant, then why are people up in arms about what is commonly referred to as global warming?

Practically all scientists agree about global warming.

In fact, in May, the Wall Street Journal reported U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry offered a warning of the “crippling consequences” of climate change when he spoke to graduating students at Boston College.

“Ninety-seven percent of the world’s scientists tell us this is urgent.”

How did Mr. Kerry come up with 97 percent?

It’s hard to say, but perhaps Kerry’s source came from NASA’s Global Climate Change website where we can find the following post.

“Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities, and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, another source where Kerry may have found the climate change figure is from one of President Obama’s May 16 tweets.

“Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.”

The claim that 97 percent of scientist believe that climate change is anthropogenic was derived quite interestingly.

One source frequently cited comes from Harvard science historian Naomi Oreskes, where she wrote and published an opinion essay in Science magazine in 2004.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Oreskes asserts she examined 928 article abstracts that were published in scientific journals from 1993 to 2003. She claims she found 75 percent support the idea that for the last 50 years climate change, or global warming, is due to the activity of humans.

Her examination excluded the opinion of prominent scientists who do not agree with the consensus, scientists like Sherwood Idso, John Christy, Patrick Michaels, and Richard Lindzen.

Furthermore, Nature, the international weekly journal of science, questions whether the decisions made by scientists are objective or subjective when it comes to climate change and other decision-making by its peers.

In addition, another cited source for the overwhelming scientific consensus of human activity being the cause of climate change comes from an article written by a student at the University of Illinois. For her thesis paper, Maggie Kendall Zimmerman and her master’s thesis adviser Peter Doran published the article “Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union,” where they did an online survey of selected scientists.

The survey contains only two questions. Zimmerman and Doran reported that when they asked the scientist whether global temperatures have risen and whether human beings are a significant factor contributing to the change in climate, the following sentence went into their article.

“97 percent of climate scientists agree”

The survey did not include physicists, meteorologists, astronomers, cosmologists, space scientists, or solar scientists, professionals who are most likely to be responsive of climate change due to natural causes.

Conversely, Grist posted a series created by Coby Beck, which contains responses to climate change skeptics.

The series provides rebuttals addressed to people who challenge the potential cause or reality of climate change — concepts that offer a variety of scientific topics, denials, and arguments.

What is going on here? Are human activities, such as land conversion for agriculture and forestry, industrial processes, and fossil fuel consumption the cause of climate change and global warming?

Alternatively, are natural factors having an adverse effect on the earth’s climate?

Where can we find the truth?

What is your take on this issue? Can you add more to this debate?

Is all this talk about climate change and global warming just a huge hoax?

[Photo courtesy of theenvironmentalblog.org]