Raoul on sustainability: Blog 2 Climate Myths

Climate Myths

In our previous blog we explained some of the concepts that are related to the climate, and the changing thereof. This week we want to dive in another topic that is related to the climate, namely climate myths. There are numerous people whom don’t believe that humans are the underlying cause of the changes we currently observe in the earth’s climate. In this blog we will try to bust some of the used arguments with science.

One of the arguments I come across often is “Earth’s climate has changed before”. There is no denying that indeed the climate of the earth has changed before on multiple occasions, since there have been multiple ice ages and even periods of a hot and dry climate in the current arctic regions. The major difference between the changes in climate which occurred in the past and the one we have been experiencing since the Industrial revolution is time. The change in climate that currently is occurring has taken place in approximately 200 years, which is a short span of time compared to the thousands of years it took in the past when the climate was changing. This relatively short span of time is dangerous for every living being on this earth. Due to the increasing rapid changes species do not have enough time to adapt to the changing conditions and fail to keep up with the changing conditions. This will potentially lead to extinction of numerous species of plants and animals, and it can be dangerous even for human civilization.

Another argument which is often used by climate deniers is that scientists do not agree whether human civilization is the underlying cause for climate change. When searching for scientific articles concerning this topic we see quite the contrary to what climate deniers claim. A study conducted in 2004 by Naomi Oreskes, looked into 900 individual papers on global warming and or climate change, and found in each of the papers the conclusion that human civilization is indeed the underlying cause for the current changes in climate we observe. An even bigger study executed by John Cook in 2013, looked into more that 20 years of climate research. They found the overwhelming result that of all the analysed studies 97% shared the same conclusion, again that humans are indeed the underlying cause of climate change.

The last myth I would like to talk about is the often used argument that climate change isn’t harmful at all. The image below, as presented by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, shows a summarized overview on how climate change would impact human health. In the inner circle four main effects of climate change and global warming are depicted, the middle circle shows the resulting events of the four different climate change effects. The outer circle illustrates the implications for humans. Looking at the picture we can see some dangerous disease that can be caused or worsened by the effects of climate change.

The goal was give scientific arguments contradicting various arguments often used by climate deniers. Next time we will discuss the documentary of Al Gore called An inconvenient truth.

Stay safe.