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Earth's Fever

To the answer to the question of global warming is a sticky issue. There is no doubt that there is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and it is obviously due to human industry. The second article of the readings was arguing that the average surface temp. of the earth has increased. But this point isn't even debated by the majority of the scientific community. I don't know many people that think that the carbon content of the atmosphere hasn't increased or that the avg. temp isn't up a half degree or two. But what the real issue should be and what i don't think is being talked about enough is the real effect that this temperature increase will have. Oreskes barely touches the issue, but Lindzen claims that the experts he has talked to say that the earth and the human population could readily adapt to a change of 1-2 degrees of temperature increase. Even if the carbon dioxide levels doubled in the upcoming years how much would our avg surface temperature increase? The current models for these extrapolations can't be seen as truth. Even some of the models, according to Lindzen, can't even correctly predict what has already happened. Global Warming is happening but what is the impact going to be on our population? Can we do anything to seriously curve the trend? Our climate isn't a simple matter and trying to understand it is a mammoth task. The global warming debate, in my opinion, should move away from proving temperature increase but focusing on its impact on human civilization.

Comments

I enjoyed your article. You took the topic at a slightly different approach, and I agree with what you said about even if the global temp. is slowly increasing, can we really do anything to stop this trend? I mean, is the entire industrial economy going to stop producing carbon dioxide? I don't think so.

I think you are right in saying that this is an issue that is a "mammoth task" in trying to understand. I think Lindzen gets at the fact that the temperature is slightly increasing, but like you said, he proves that the Earth is capable of adapting to this small change in climate. Also the way we are testing whether or not there is global warming via the current models is not proving to be valid. The climate is a complex issue and to extract such conclusions from such means of testing is not valid. So, from all of this, I think it is really hard to say exactly what is going to happen. Therefore, I do not think we need to be freaking out just yet. I think, however, we could start making small changes such as changing our attitudes about how we view our surroundings like McKibben gets at towards the end of his article, "Crossing the Red Line."

What is being said is that the average temperature is raising 1-2 degrees. However, the further you go from the equator the more of a difference you encounter and the further you go the more that difference really matters. A few degrees is all it takes to decimate the polar bear population, not even to mention all the other species of birds that use the arctic for their nesting sites. An average of 1 to 2 degrees can really have an intense impact.

i agree with most of the post, except the last sentense. you said that the debate over global warming needs to be more focused on how it is effecting humans rather than proving the actual temperature increase. i feel that for people to take global warming seriously there needs to be a concrete, recordable change in our environment. unforatunate as it may be, people need to see that temeprature change before they will try to do anything about it. i also think that instead of just focusing on how global warming will effect humans, we need to consider other animals and also plant species. for example, what will happen to the northern borreal forests in minnesota?

Wes, I agree with your blog to a certain extent. I agree with the idea that society needs to focus less on the fact of an actual increase in carbon dioxide levels and temperature. However, I disagree with your point that we should concentrate more on the affect this rise will have on human civilization. In my opinion, we need to focus on the affect the rise will have on the entire world, and more specifically the environment. Even if there is nothing to worry about with this change, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Our society should be prepared to deal with all different possible outcomes. Overall, as human beings we need to protect our environment that we are a part of.

I think you made some good points, especially about how immense a task it is to understand the climate. However, you talked about the affect global warming will have on our population. I think we have to think about global warming on a much larger scale, how it affects the entire world in all aspects: humans, wild life, ecosystem, etc. And although some of the scientific evidence may be ify, I would rather be safe than sorry. But I do agree that more emphasis should be put on the effect of global warming.

Very true. I think the global warming is happening, but what is going to happen to us. Scientists need to spend more time figuring out what will happen to the Earth if the temp rises two degrees.

Appreciation for the great blog post. I am glad I have taken the time to learn this.