I’ve not studied this topic as a scientist would, so I rather doubt my opinion will carry much weight with many, but this business of climate change seems rather implausible to me.
There are a number of issues that rarely seem to be discussed when it comes to climate change that makes me wonder how this relatively sudden negative change in the world’s climate could have ever come about. I’ll enumerate.
1) I would think for climate change metrics to be statistically valid, there would need to be a sufficient amount of data to base a realistic theory upon. The generally accepted scientific age of the earth is 4.5 billion years. Man started recording reliable climate data only just very recently (the earliest regular, reliable record of worldwide empirical climate data dates back to the 1880’s, as far as I can tell). That works out to be about 3.3 parts to a million. With such little data, how could anyone believe that the past 130 or so years represents change to a discernable cycle?
2) Man’s footprint on the earth is still actually very small. Most of the reports I’ve seen that regard how much surface area of the earth is inhabited by man place that number at 3 percent. Also, factor in population growth and that number would diminish rapidly if we peer backward over time, especially the past 130 years. The earth is a very big place and roughly two-thirds of its surface area is uninhabitable because of water. It seems to me that man’s recent scourge on the earth’s atmosphere (while I don’t deny that we are a dirty lot) would have to be far, far more pestilent than what it has been if man were the sole cause of sudden climate change.
3) Of prime importance to our climate is the sun. Has it’s output changed in recent years? Has the distance between earth and our most necessary energy source changed? Has the earth’s orbit changed? Has the moon changed in it’s orbit, size or distance? Have the amounts of water or other needed elements in our atmosphere changed significantly in recent years? How much atmospheric pressure have we lost from this big, blue bubble that we live in? These would seem to me the most significant factors in determining the ambient temperature of our planet, and I doubt very seriously that any of these factors have changed enough to impact our climate.
4) How much change is evident, anyway? Most studies I’ve seen report temperature change anomalies and not actual temperature change. I’d like to know just how much temperature change has occurred over the past one hundred or one hundred and fifty years since man has been recording reliable global climate data. I’ve only seen a couple of sites that report this in actual degrees and what I’ve seen is very slight change – on the order of 1 degree or less.
I’m not saying that we are not experiencing climate change. I believe climate change is natural. What I am saying is it seems very unlikely to me that we, as a human race, have caused a sudden change in our climate because of our bad habits. How can we rule out that we are not in the middle of a normal pattern of ups and downs? How do we know that the purported increase in global temperature is out of the long standing norm and persisting in that direction? And how can we know this given that all we have (except for geological observation and extrapolation) is a miniscule amount of empirical data to base these climatological theories on? All this seems particularly questionable given the implausibility of change with respect to the above four issues.
We, as a race, do have a responsibility to live a cleaner life. Anything that negatively impacts our air, water and soil should be corrected. We owe each other and especially our progeny the respect of not polluting their environment. My concern is just this – what is really behind this sudden craze to legislate change for such a controversial issue? In the 1970’s the fear was global cooling. Since then, it changed to global warming. Now it is climate change. What’s next… “social” climate change? Now that would be a volatile discussion.