Exactly how serious is global warming? Is it just a mild problem, or is the whole planet doomed because of it? Or does the truth lie somewhere in the middle? On the other hand, is the whole thing just a hoax?
There are a few nearsighted experts, especially certain politicians, scientists, and even journalists, who claim that global warming is just a hoax perpetrated by overzealous environmentalists and their supporters, but I say it’s these pseudo-experts who have their heads up the ozone hole. These colorblind experts say that the main cause of the problem has been simply due to extensive climate cycles, which means for millions of years there have been various temperature fluctuations; some may last several hundred years, others several thousands of years or so. They claim that these high and low fluctuations are the primary reasons that account for what we call global warming. Although there is definitely truth to this reasoning, this is not the only factor.
Scientists have used various methods to determine the state of Earth’s climate back into ancient times, such as glacier extension, ice cores, the remains of pollen, reading the rings in trees, and studying ocean sediments, to name a few. I’m not sure how reliable these methods are, but I think they at least give us a ballpark figure.
Let’s take a look at these crazy climate cycles. Experts say there have been four major ice ages on the Earth. The last one began forty-million years ago and ended ten-thousand years ago, but since then there have been fluctuations in glaciation, which means sometimes glaciers and ice caps advanced and sometimes they retreated. Then the planet basked during the “Medieval Warm Period” from the 10th century to the 14th century, approximately. After which it shivered through the “Little Ice Age” between the 16th and 19th centuries. These are rough approximations of course, because some experts may add or subtract a century here or there, due to gradual increase or decrease in climate change. These two periods are roughly four-hundred year cycles each. The so-called Little Ice Age was a general cooling down of the Northern Hemisphere, but some glacial expansion ensued and in many parts of the world severe winters developed.
However, as this period tapered off, temperatures have begun to rise ever since, especially when the Industrial Revolution impacted parts of the globe. This is when things began to heat up very nicely. In fact, it is estimated that during a general two-thousand year period before 1850, it is believed that the planet’s temperature levels have been basically stable, although there have been limited fluctuations. Let’s put two and two together: around 1850 we can see the rise of the Second Industrial Revolution, where we observe the beginnings of our emitting toxins into the atmosphere. At this time the railway systems were underway, plus the chemical industry was increasing, and the refining and distributing of petroleum. When the automobile industry began and skyrocketed in the early 20th century, fossil fuels initiated a major rise in CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. Coincidence? Or is there some connection between these artificial aberrations and the rise of global warming? I believe it’s blatantly nearsighted to declare that only fluctuating climate cycles are the main factor.
In spite of these changing global cycles, there are still obvious signs that something is going wrong on this planet. For instance, awhile back I was listening to the Coast-to-Coast-A.M program on KNAX, AM Radio, and heard a story explaining that approximately forty low-lying islands and atolls had been swallowed up by the Pacific Ocean in the last few years, and that on other vanishing islands about ten-thousand people had to evacuate, particularly the atoll nation of Tuvalu. It was predicted that more islands will be submerged over time. Isn’t this highly abnormal?
Okay, I double-checked this information with several other sources. Lohachara Island near the Bay of Bengal was completely swallowed. The low-lying islands of Vanuata in the Pacific and the Maldives in the Indian Ocean are being threatened by the ocean and may soon be swallowed up. Inhabitants of such islands and atolls are evacuating continually because the oceans are in the process of submerging them.
Some sources say this phenomenon is clear evidence of global warming, whereas others say the islands were submerged due too typical storm surges, and particularly from devastating tsunamis. But wouldn’t that mean waters would eventually level out and those islands would return to normal? Evidently that’s not happening. To my shock and awe, some anti-global-warming pseudo-experts even declared there have been no rise in sea levels while these islands were vanishing, whereas our intelligent global warming experts claimed there have been continual rises in sea levels, and that the sea levels continue to rise. So, who are we going to believe? Which of these expert experts should we listen to? If you’ve ever watched CSI, they say, “Follow the evidence.” And I believe we’re seeing a lot of evidence to global warming!
It seems obvious to me that when glaciers and ice caps start melting, water levels of the oceans will rise; causing low-lying islands to be wallowed up. And when we start seeing water creeping up along our coastlines, I think we’re really going to start getting concerned.
Here are some facts. The snows of Mt. Kilimanjaro have been disappearing year by year. Glaciers are literally shrinking. The Arctic ice cap has decreased in size by 40% in approximately forty years. Reports project that in fifty to seventy years it will shrink down to nothing. The ice sheets in Antarctica are breaking up into big pieces and falling into the ocean, so the southern ice cap is shrinking back also. If all the ice in Antarctica vanishes, sea levels across the world will rise twenty feet, reports say. And if the ice vanishes in Greenland, there goes another twenty feet! And then if the Arctic ice cap completely melts on top of that — I think we’ll have a serious case of Water World! Anyway, continents will begin to shrink and islands will literally disappear. Obviously, mapmakers will have to redraw the maps of the Earth. Actually, we would have a semi-water-world syndrome, because there’s not enough water in the whole world to cover every bit of land. What a letdown! And to think I really enjoyed that movie!
Carbon Dioxide on the Rise
So what is causing all this Earth-heating? Why is our atmosphere rising in temperature toward boiling point? (Or is that an exaggeration? Actually, the whole matter makes my blood boil!) For one thing, CO2 levels keep rising on the Earth.
The extensive climate cycles are not the only causes of global warming, although they do have a significant impact to our climate changes. Global warming is also a factor of human-caused events more than anything else, especially in the last hundred years. In fact, reports state that CO2 levels were much lower in Medieval and even Ancient times, and we can go back several thousands of years further, compared to what they are now. Scientific experts have ascertained this information through ice core samples from frigid regions like Antarctica. This gives us clues into our distant past, via trapped air bubbles which have been there for several thousands of years. These ancient air bubbles contain varying levels of CO2, and scientists can compare these to the quality of air in present time. Clearly if the levels are extremely higher now than they were several thousand years ago, I think that’s a pretty big clue.
Through the burning of solid waste, trees (such as rainforests), and especially fossil fuels, which involves products such as coal, oil, and natural gas, these items cause carbon dioxide (CO2) which are distributed throughout our atmosphere. These are caused by human activities, which is not a good sign that we’re doing a good job as caretakers of the Earth. This was one of our original job descriptions when we were put here on this planet. I think we need to get our collective act together — before it’s too late.
When there is more carbon dioxide dumped into the air, temperatures rise higher, because it traps more of the sun’s heat inside the atmosphere. Unfortunately, the CO2 levels are predicted to rise much higher in the future, as long as we keep dumping toxins into the air. Skeptics think all this is no big deal. It’s the “So freaking what?” attitude. They either don’t care or don’t believe there will be any severe effects. These people have become lethargic, complacent, and uncaring. They would rather fatten their pocketbooks than care about our environment. These skeptics think we’re suffering from the Chicken-Little Syndrome, running around crying that the sky is heating up. And of course Al Gore is considered one of the biggest alarmists today. Personally, I think we should be alarmed.
A large percent of global warming over the last half-century is due to increased greenhouse gases, and the largest source of this is from fossil fuels. Essentially, we’re talking about the creation of petroleum products. In other words, this is putting the spotlight on “we the people” who drive automobiles. We can add diesel trucks, motorcycles, airplanes, and other means of transportation. And of course there are numerous factories and oil refineries spewing poisons into the atmosphere. It’s not pleasant to look at this ugly brown debris hanging in the air, otherwise known as pollution, but it’s also not pleasant to realize all this atmospheric waste causes global warming.
Are “we the people” going to do something about it? Or are we just going to sit back and say, “So freaking what?”
EPA, Climate Change: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/
An Inconvenient Truth, with Al Gore, a documentary (DVD)
Vanishing Islands: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2000/04/0428_islands.html
The preceding article is from “Strange Reports from Zones Unknown,” a collection of accounts involving the paranormal, Ufology, conspiracy theories, cover-ups, and other intriguing topics of the weird and unusual. You can find further articles and short stories written by R. R. Stark at:
Strange Reports from Zones Unknown: http://www.bamblebrush.com/ssfm/blog/rss.asp
R. R. Starks Strange and Curious Stories: http://www.bamblebrush.com/online_books/rrstark/rrstark.asp
Copyright 2006-2007 by R. R. Stark — All Rights Reserved