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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

What if the actions of man, caused global cooling?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (21066 points ) February 16th, 2012

People are all a buzz over global warming, but what if there were things man did that caused the Earth to get cooler and cooler. Would people care as much or worry more? Would it be how fast the cooling took place? If the summers never got hotter than 72deg and was getting slowly cooler would anyone be complaining as much as global warming?

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25 Answers

tom_g's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central: “People are all a buzz over global warming”

I’m not sure that people are. From what I see in the polls, acceptance of the science in these matters is depressingly low.

@Hypocrisy_Central: “If the summers never got hotter than 72deg and was getting slowly cooler would anyone be complaining as much as global warming?”

I sure hope so, although I suspect people would continue to fail to understand the implications of global climate change.

wilma's avatar

As I recall, back in the 70’s when I was in high school, we were told that the Earth would get cooler and that we were heading into another Ice Age. It was supposedly happening because of all the air pollution blocking out the Solar rays. We were told that our cities would probably have to be climate controlled with big domes and other such inventions.
I always wondered how the flying cars would work with the big domes.

Rheto_Ric's avatar

The actions of man are causing global cooling. If the scientists are correct, it will get hotter, the ice caps will melt, dump cold water into the ocean currents, causing them to slow or stop altogether, prompting another ice age in the northern hemisphere. This is a natural phenomenon being speeded up by man’s presence on the planet and industrialization. And cows belching.

filmfann's avatar

I remember hearing that if a bunh of shaved iron was dumped into the South Pacific, it would combine with the large algae growth (or something) and could create the next ice age.

Forgive the sidetracking, but it reminds me of my fathers medicine.
My dad would take medicine for his heart, which would mess up his blood pressure. He took a pill for that, and it messed up something else. He ended up taking far too much medicine. It would have been better if the problem had been corrected, rather than trying to make it work with medicines.

AdamF's avatar

Human actions have and continue to cause global cooling (potential, that is), via for instance, aerosol radiative forcing. The reason the climate is warming is because the net contribution of those cooling influences is less than the net contribution of warming influences.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-cooling-mid-20th-century-advanced.htm

FutureMemory's avatar

I despise hot weather, so I say bring it on.

Wouldn’t even a minor global cool down result in crop failure?

elbanditoroso's avatar

From a political point of view, there would be no difference.

Some would deny it is happening and would criticize the science behind it. And they would denigrate the people who advocated change to address the situation.

The problem is not that the earth is cooling or warming. It does that all the time. The problem is that some people do not like their life framework to be affected by facts, and as a result they refuse to believe scientific proof. Why? Because it might upset them or cost them money.

marinelife's avatar

Heat up or cool down makes no difference. The idea is that the actions of man have changed the climate enough to affect Earth and life thereon is the problem.

YoBob's avatar

Of course, but not because the threat is any greater. but because there will always be those out there who carve out there nitch in life by picking issues, convincing everyone that the sky is falling, and then gaining political/financial purchase by offering up a “solution” that the masses can rally around. (or in the absence of a solution, at least the perception that they care about the “problem” and intend to study the issue and do something about it, whereas their political opponents are obviously soulless idiots for not jumping on the bandwagon)

JLeslie's avatar

I remember the 70’s too, and concerns about global cooling and the coming ice age.

We are now supposed to stop using global warming, and use Climate Change because the past few years that had extremely cold and snowy winters in parts of America meant the nay sayers of global warming could laugh off the warnings. There are several reasons why global warming will cause colder winters in some parts of the world, but the nay sayers don’t care about those theories.

Coloma's avatar

Extremes of either/or are a double edged sword. Both having negative consequences.
However…we CAN assist in “global cooling” by working on our emotional intelligence. This would be a beneficial sort of “cooling.” As in chill out! lol

wundayatta's avatar

I think people would have a harder time with cooling than they do with warming. I think there would be more political upheaval.

King_Pariah's avatar

Ah hell, let’s just pop the magma plume beneath Yellowstone and get it over with.

Coloma's avatar

Well…with my most recent $868 fill on my propane tank…I’ll take the heat. :-/

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@wundayatta I think people would have a harder time with cooling than they do with warming. How so? People seem to like rainy days as being romantic, snow as cuddle and ski weather, they believe you can “layer” yourself into comfortable happiness with cold. From people I know, they are more concerned with the heat than the cold.

@Coloma I hope that is a big tank and don’t have to refilled more than once a winter :-P

wundayatta's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Yes, I would have thought you would be correct, but of the people I meet, and this is just my impression, about 90% complain about the cold compared to 10% who complain about the heat. When asked to choose winter or summer, most choose summer. They seem to think it’s harder to get warm in winter than it is to tolerate heat in summer. So that’s why I think that. I used to be a prefer winter person, myself. But as I age, that seems to be changing, oddly enough.

Ron_C's avatar

There is no, absolutely no scientific conflict with the fact of global warming. The only people that argue the point are pseudo-scientists that work for lobbyist groups. The only motivation for fighting the facts is money and some religion bigotry.

auhsojsa's avatar

The thing with dramatic global warming, is that it could lead to massive cooling and thus another ice age.

cazzie's avatar

I don’t like the term, ‘global warming’ because it is misleading so many people. It is referred to as ‘Climate Change’ and yes, some areas (like where I live) that depend on the present current of warm water flowing up from the Gulf of Mexico, will freeze over when that flow stops, but the ice caps will initially experience a dramatic net loss and weather patterns are getting more and more severe. Weather patterns will change, altering the current climate in areas of the earth.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@wundayatta When asked to choose winter or summer, most choose summer. There was a Fluther question (I can’t find it now) that alluded to what season did they (the reader) like best, and winter and fall beat out summer 3 or 4 to one. I would think people would like summer better just because you can do more and you don’t have to fight fact everything is wet. I believe there are many more ways to instantly cool off than there is to thaw out. I can’t remember what part of the globe you occupy but maybe they think like that there where most other places do not.

@cazzie I don’t like the term, ‘global warming’ because it is misleading so many people. It is referred to as ‘Climate Change’ and yes, some areas (like where I live) that depend on the present current of warm water flowing up Isn’t “Climate Change” rather nebulous? The climate is always changing in some way, or in some degree. Going from winter to spring time is a change in climate. If the average temperature of the ocean, the atmosphere in a given region, etc is rising would not the moniker of “Global Warming” logically fit better?

cazzie's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central People don’t believe ‘Global Warming’ and complain it is getting colder where they are, or they are getting snow, when they never used to get snow before. Climate change reflects the slightly more complicated issue. It isn’t just going to get warm.

Rheto_Ric's avatar

Climate change works for me. People generally don’t like change so it has negative connotations. And yes, the climate is always changing, but I think this speaks to larger, scarier, life-changing changes. When the ice shelf drops into the ocean and the maps need to be altered, that’s the kind of climate change being referred to. Plus all the erratic changes to your world when a tsunami wipes out dozens of Japanese coastal villages. These have always occurred, but feel more affirming to climate change when climate change is being discussed and taxed against.

saint's avatar

What difference does it make. Man is here. I am one of them. I want to stay here. Man is more likely to be able to adapt to a changing physical world, than Man is able to actually change something as large and awesome as the cosmic Earth. I vote for committing energy to adaptation, rather than to trying to challenge the metaphysical nature of man, which is a red herring, and which, frankly, is not going to happen.

wundayatta's avatar

I am sympathetic to your point of view, @saint. I think money spent on adaptation is much more wisely spent than money spent on trying to change course. The course was set 100 years ago. Climate change is a ship that has to be turned and then the turning stopped 100 years in advance, I think. I don’t believe it is possible for humans to initiate policies that they will not be alive to see the results of. However, in adaptation, I see it possible for us to do more short term things that may also help over the long term.

cazzie's avatar

I don’t think building a pipeline down the heart of America to take the oil from the tar sands in Canada down to the Gulf of Mexico is spending wise money on adaptation.

I truly hope that fiasco does NOT see the light of day, even though my country has a rather large stake in the development. The investment was a mistake from the get-go.

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