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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Climate change is it fact or fiction?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (21313 points ) October 21st, 2012

I find myself more in the camp that there has been climate change or it is in flux as we speak. Given how man abused the Earth during WWII for close to five years, more or less, and still didn’t destroy the Earth with all that fuel and wreckage laid waste in the ocean. I am not all the way there because I have experienced some climate change in the area I live in from when I was a child. I remember when October hit it was fairly wet and cold, especially near Halloween. The big question was will it be dry for Tricks or Treat. The rain usually started in late Sept. If there was an Indian Summer, it was not long. The last 3 years I have observed women were still in shorts at the beginning of October (great for those who look good in them, bad to have to suffer through those who should never have been in shorts in the 1st place); this year even with half of October gone there were still women in shorts (no……I don’t notice the dudes, though they might be in shorts more also I am just not watching them). These seemingly warmer or later winters, is that man effecting climate change or has it been like that for some time and I just hadn’t notice? Without traveling the globe to see if others local climate has changed how do one really know if climate change due to man is true or just what people want to believe?

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38 Answers

FutureMemory's avatar

I love how you work in women’s clothing into your question. So classic.

tom_g's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central: “Without traveling the globe to see if others local climate has changed how do one really know if climate change due to man is true or just what people want to believe?”

science

hearkat's avatar

The climate has always been in flux since before mankind started doing our damage. We can only speculate what the earth would be like now if we still lived as cave people, just as I can only speculate what my life would be like now if I still weighed the same as I did when I graduated High School – there is no “control” against which to compare.

Clearly, we contribute to the problem, as noted above; and I’d like to see society change to less intrusive ways of life. I do try to “vote with my dollars” by buying local and mostly organic foods, and less harmful cleaners, and minimal packaging, post-consumer recycled paper products, etc.

However, I don’t know that even if society changed its ways immediately, that we’d see any change in our lifetimes. It took many decades of industrialization to get to where we are now, and reducing damage once it’s been done usually takes even longer.

Qingu's avatar

Yes, it’s real. And the argument that “climate goes through cycles, therefore we can’t know” is absurd.

Your living room goes through natural cycles. It gets hotter in the summer and warmer in the winter. This does not imply that burning a fire in the middle of your living room won’t raise its temperature.

The science of greenhouse gases is well understood, the effects have lined up with predictions.

Now, I don’t think climate change will “destroy the world.” I don’t think it will destroy human civilization, or even come close. But it very likely will destroy the livelihoods of millions of people who live in poor, coastal countries or in central Africa (which is projected to have extremely bad droughts). It is already having extremely harmful effects on the ocean environment, and we do not know what kind of feedback cycles will come into effect if the Arctic ice caps dwindle beyond a certain point.

Qingu's avatar

It’s also worth noting that “climate change” is really about a disruption to the carbon cycle. And each of Earth’s five previous mass extinctions events was characterized by carbon cycle disruption.

JLeslie's avatar

Yes climate change is a fact. We are on a warming trend. Whether it is caused by man or not is the argument at hand, at least in politics. The people who most want to deny a connection to what man has done is big business who don’t want to pay for new measures that would limit pollution. People who hate any idea of government interfering with business including government regulations, people who are against government telling them they should buy fuel efficient cars. Should lower their thermostat in the winter. Should recycle their plastic. And, people who seem to be on a kick of rejecting science and education.

It doesn’t matter to me if it is true or not that man influences climate change, because everything that should be changed sounds to me like a good idea just in terms of respecting the earth, not being dependent on other countries, and not polluting ourselves.

ETpro's avatar

The argument that humans can never influence the Earth—God wouldn’t let us—is patently absurd. Ask the Easter Islanders. Ask the ancient Olmec Indians of Central Mexico. Oh wait. You can’t because those civilizations died out due to climate and environmental change their use of their land caused.

It really isn’t rocket science. CO2 is a greenhouse gas with a 37 year atmospheric half-life. We are puking 26,000,000,000 metric tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. Here’s a chart of the rise of atmospheric CO2 since the industrial revolution. It actually cuts off a few years back. We are now at just short of 400 PPM rather than the chart’s 330 PPM. Note the slight dip in atmospheric CO2 between 1600 and 1800. That was the little ice age. Today’s atmospheric CO2 levels are the highest Earth has seen in 2,000,000 years. But 2 million years ago, we did not have humans adding 26 gigatonnes per year to the atmosphere, so the high levels back then eventually took care of themselves. With anthropomorphic influence, we can’t count on Earth’s built-in regulatory system to control the greenhouse effect.

There would not be any controversy about this if it weren’t for entrenched economic interests who are willing to destroy the future of mankind just as long as they get their moment of wealth first. The $40 trillion fossil fuel industry is pouring funding into junk science and disinformation, just like the tobacco industry did back when Congress first started investigating the connection between heart disease, cancer, emphysema and smoking. Interestingly, Big Tobacco executives are still to this day appearing to testify before third world legislatures claiming there is no connection between smoking and these diseases, and that nicotine is not addictive. The liars for Big Oil use the same shameful playbook to put their profits before the future of humanity.

janbb's avatar

You have to ask?

Coloma's avatar

Man induced or otherwise, yes, climate change is a fact.
I don’t see how anyone can possibly dispute the fact that we, absolutely, have more than a couple of fingers in the pot of global warming.
I am SO excited today because these dry western mountains are getting their first significant rain and snow of the season. I can finally breathe a little easier that my mountain will not go up in smoke!

Nothing is more terrifying than living in a wildfire zone in drought conditions.

Coloma's avatar

Is anyone aware of just how hard it is to stuff geese and sheep into ones car in the event of a fire? lol Wool and feathers are highly combustible materials.

Symbeline's avatar

@FutureMemory Haha yeah, I was gonna say. XD

Not a scientist, so I denno. But I tend to believe that yes, it is a fact. I don’t know how much I can observe on my own and confirm that it’s a fact, but the climate does seem different from what I remember. Things seem so sporadic, especially in the Summer. Immense heatwaves for two weeks straight, no rain, no snow in December…that’s probably not ’‘normal’’.

Linda_Owl's avatar

I think that Climate Change / Global Warming is very real & I think that a lot of human activity is responsible for a lot of the increase in temperature. As our world gets warmer, it is affecting our weather patterns. The US has had tornadoes in areas where tornadoes rarely happen. The US has been dealing with drought conditions for several years now. The glaciers are melting & sea levels are rising. Food production has taken some severe hits. As long as humans continue to pour pollutants into the air & into our oceans, I can’t see the situation improving. And if we continue to use petro-chemicals & coal to generate electricity, things will get worse. (And don’t even get me started on the use of Nuclear Energy to generate electricity, because this has the potential to be so destructive that it will take 25,000 years for things to ‘get better’ – the spent fuel rods cannot even be safely stored !)

FutureMemory's avatar

Climate change is it fact or fiction?

I think I gotta go with fact.

Hypo, I busted out this old avatar just for you.

Coloma's avatar

@FutureMemory Good gawd…that image is now, forever, branded in my mind, there oughta be a law. lol

BhacSsylan's avatar

Fact. Next question?

Also “Without traveling the globe to see if others local climate has changed”... you… you do realize we do this, right?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@FutureMemory Thanks for that, nothing like having your lunch back up on you.

@ETpro There would not be any controversy about this if it weren’t for entrenched economic interests who are willing to destroy the future of mankind just as long as they get their moment of wealth first. The $40 trillion fossil fuel industry is pouring funding into junk science and disinformation, just like the tobacco industry did back when Congress first started investigating the connection between heart disease, It would not be a $40 trillion dollar industry if John Q did not aid and abet it. Many I know would not suffer the higher cost to go Green, walk distances they can drive, take public transportation (to many homeless and “crazies” to deal with, they say) or dare ride a bike to the Quickie Mart for that soda or beer. Because John Q wants to travel in his own environment, his own tunes, and without waiting he also is not helping the situation. Less cars, less profits for those evil oil men.

@Symbeline Things seem so sporadic, especially in the Summer. Immense heatwaves for two weeks straight, no rain, no snow in December…that’s probably not ’‘normal’’. You actually had heatwaves? Damn lucky chic (grumble grumble).

@Linda_Owl As our world gets warmer, it is affecting our weather patterns. The US has had tornadoes in areas where tornadoes rarely happen.

The glaciers are melting & sea levels are rising. Food production has taken some severe hits. OK, tornadoes in areas that never had them before is telling. Certainly did not hear of that when I was a child. I can’t remember the year, 2003–2004, where they had 3 times the hurricanes and more powerful ones to boot. Glaciers melting is something I didn’t hear as a child either. They can genetically work on the food to make them take less water or grow larger. They can even use what system they use to get a 1,200lb pumpkin and apply it to other foods, so they can have a 30lb potato. If you grow food hydroponically in huge warehouses, you can have optimum climate control for growing.

Qingu's avatar

No single freak weather event is evidence for global warming. Weather is always to a large extent chaotic. But global warming does predict a higher occurrence of freak weather events (for the simple reason that there’s more energy to play with in the atmosphere.) Or to put it another way, global warming “loads the dice.”

Symbeline's avatar

@Qingu Didn’t know that. I mean I know you always have freak weather, but there is a difference in a normal heatwave, and when the news cautions people not to waste too much water with car washing or watering the grass. At least over here, I’ve never heard of that until the last two years.

rojo's avatar

My Mother-in-law is 88 and, until this year, lived on the farm where she was born.

All I have to do is listen to her speak of the changes to the land that she has observed over that period. She knows of the droughts and floods. She knows knows the creeks, tanks, fields and hills. She know how many cattle they used to be able to run and how much sorghum and bluestem they could grow. She knows that at one time it was possible to grow sugarcane there. She knows how the land was, how it is now, and how much change she has personally witnessed. And she knows the lands story prior to her birth from her parents and her grandparents.

And if she thinks that observing the same patch of land for close to 9 decades and knowing the stories of the six decades prior to her birth tells her that climate change is real; I am inclined to believe her.

Shinimegami's avatar

When criminal Al Gore use it at swindle indicate is fiction.

tom_g's avatar

^^ pizza toilet sharp q-tips fire cookie smile.

ETpro's avatar

@tom_g No Know. Innocuous tongas use Internet while confused at mind pockets. And since Al Gore never said he invented the Internet, it’s all his fault.

rojo's avatar

It’s fuckin’ hot here and getting hotter

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^^ The hotter, the better. ^^

ETpro's avatar

Well then, @Hypocrisy_Central, you’re sure to enjoy watching the next mass extinction play out.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^^ If or when that happens, I will not be around. The rest who will be here, will evolve, find a way to adapt. Those who can’t, will die. Good ol’ natural selection.~ ^^

ETpro's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central From what I know of it, you will live to see the damage your ideology has done. How do you come to the ridiculous conclusion that mankind deliberately polluting the environment till it cannot support anything but the simplest life forms is “natural” selection?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@ETpro How do you come to the ridiculous conclusion that mankind deliberately polluting the environment till it cannot support anything but the simplest life forms is “natural” selection? According to what I am told science has been saying, those higher lifeforms will adapt to whatever, evolve into something that can survive any change that comes along.

hearkat's avatar

The meek (cockroaches) shall inherit the earth…

ETpro's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Amazing then that 99.5% of all species that ever evolved went extinct, most in mass extinctions brought on by climate change brought on by comet impacts, supervolcano eruptions, and yes, CO2 extremes. But hey, no reason to learn from history. Let’s bet that Drill Baby Drill is such a compelling slogan we can deliberately pollute the atmosphere till it cannot support advanced life, and everything will magically work out fine this time. What is it they say about those who refuse to learn the lessons of history. Oh, never mind. That isn’t in the Bible, is it?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@ETpro @Hypocrisy_Central Amazing then that 99.5% of all species that ever evolved went extinct, most in mass extinctions brought on by climate change brought on by comet impacts, supervolcano eruptions, and yes, CO2 extremes. Yet man is here. So if we are to look back on evolution (if it is as they say) something better than man will come from it then, if not man adapting to the hell he has made.

ETpro's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Don’t get too cock sure of yourself. We’ve been the dominant species in this cycle for less that 1 million years. Considerably less. Dinosaurs held the dominant species realm for over 100 million years, but a comet strike wiped them out. It just might make sense for us to learn what wiped out the previous dominant species, and not do that. Deliberately polluting the atmosphere with billions of metric tons of greenhouse gasses is a new way to go. No species has ever done that before. But it is clear that pouring billions of tons more greenhouse gas into the air than the Earth’s natural absorption can clean up, and doing it forever, is stupid. It will lead to the same outcome previous top dogs on the evolutionary chart suffered from natural causes.

rojo's avatar

Here, @ETpro This should calm your fears.

And Here is their newsletter, I suggest you read it first.

ETpro's avatar

Argh. Committed dodos.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@ETpro Don’t get too cock sure of yourself. We’ve been the dominant species in this cycle for less that 1 million years. Considerably less. Dinosaurs held the dominant species realm for over 100 million years, but a comet strike wiped them out. According to Darwin et al, the dinosaurs, etc were not even 1/100th as smart as we (man) are, so man will find away off his superior intellect to survive, as long as there is a planet still standing, because man will not be reacting off instinct like those dumb animals, etc, of the past.

ETpro's avatar

^^ I refuse to take advantage of such flawed grammar. I’m out of this thread. It is boring.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^^ I am still evolving so…....... ^^ (waves goodby)

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