Monday, December 21, 2009

Global Warming Misconceptions

Monday, December 21, 2009
11:29 P.M.

Hey everybody! There's not much to talk about in terms of weather, seeing as the pattern is pretty benign right now, but as I'm sure you are all aware of (or at least most), there was a large climate conference called Climategate. I'm not sure where exactly it was, but it was international. Cliff Mass talked about it on his blog, and I highly encourage you to check his blog out, but here are some biases I've noticed about global warming from people around and about.

Since Seattle is fairly liberal, most people here seem to think that global warming is going to do all sorts of crazy things. They think that Seattle is going to get hammered by hurricanes and snow on back to back days. Or they point to a single storm and say "global warming was solely responsible for that storm." I was on facebook the other day looking at some group or something calling for Obama to stand up for America on leading the world in an effort to reduce CO2 emissions (something I am very frustrated with - he has not kept his promises here) and all over the wall I saw people saying that global warming was going to result in snowstorms in Florida or just crazy weather anomalies that have no scientific basis, and that the whole reason the snowstorm on the east coast was occurring was because of climate change (that was quite a storm too!). It frustrates me because when I try to explain that that is not what global warming is I get dismissed as one of the "non-believers" and that people like me are going to end up destroying the world. Kinda frustrating. :(

On the other hand, there are the more conservative types who believe global warming is a hoax. There are not as many of them in Seattle but there are lots in our country. The evidence is clearly there. CO2 levels have risen dramatically since the beginning of the industrial revolution, arctic ice is melting, average temperatures have risen, etc. Of course, these people say that these don't have anything to do with man made global warming because the Earth's climate goes in phases. The Earth's climate does go in phases, but this warming has been brought on by an increase in CO2. I'm a skeptic on most things but the evidence for global warming occuring is on par with that for evolution.

The problem is that the people who have it "right" often don't get their ideas published before they are construed and edited by biased editors, so the "truth" remains relatively behind the scenes. The moderate side is the correct one in this issue, but there are only two real sides that dominate America right now, and those are the conservatives and liberals. Can't we just look at the facts and use common sense? Is that too much to ask? I'm a moderate myself and sometimes it seems like it is...
Happy Holidays!

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