“Global warming” is the colloquial term for what scientists and more knowledgable people call “climate change,” but the nomenclature is only part of the debate when it comes to man-made heating up of the Earth — a situation generally accepted by scientists, and an increasing number of Americans now that the country has been battered by extreme heat for going on two weeks.
Only in America could scientific data not related to an issue of religion or morality be as polarizing as “global warming,” or climate change. Whether or not the Earth is experiencing environmental changes due to the actions of men is not something scientists dispute, but politicians and special interests are constantly duking the issue out for political ends.
American citizens — who are, by and large, exposed to a more biased media than many other Western countries — have fallen prey in larger numbers to propaganda about global warming or climate change in recent years. And there’s an old joke about global warming that comes out every time we see heavy snowfall, at least up here in New York, but it seems the heat wave that’s gripped much of the US in recent weeks has been more influential than peer-reviewed study and well-written articles.
Now that triple-digit temperatures and week-long power outages have befallen several states, those subject to such conditions are a bit more likely to believe that the climate is changing. Jane Lubchenco is head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and she explains to the AP that climate change used to be a “nebulous concept,” but people are slowly allowing themselves to admit the obvious:
“Many people around the world are beginning to appreciate that climate change is under way, that it’s having consequences that are playing out in real time and, in the United States at least, we are seeing more and more examples of extreme weather and extreme climate-related events.”
Have you revised your opinion on whether climate change, or global warming, is impacting our environment?