Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Climate change's "biggest offenders"

Climate change arguments are rather like a Puxatawney groundhog.

They tend to pop up this time of year with the contentions geared towards the ferocity of the season...or sometimes the lack thereof.  In the current case of the U.S., the heavy snowfall coupled with sub-zero temperatures and flesh-slicing williwaws prompts a few voices to cry, "Ha!  There is no global warming!  It's all a lie made up by liberals who don't support the troops.  You can tell because they have to call it 'climate change' now to keep the lie going."

Well, that's the thing about science isn't it?  It can change in light of the facts.  There is indeed a "climate change" occurring and it means more than just warmer temperatures and hot summers.  True, the output of our sun has increased, causing temperatures to rise on other planets in solar system.  But that's not the whole story.  The affect human pollutants have on the atmosphere is documented.

As such, this article from The Atlantic illustrates just who the world's "biggest offenders" are in terms of contributing to climate change.  A team at Concordia University in Montreal developed a map that depicts countries in proportion to their emission of greenhouse gas.  The more red and bloated the country, greater the amount of emissions.  As such, the researchers claim that only "seven nations" are responsible for 60% of the climate change up until 2005.

The United States leads this list with China coming in second.  I must admit that I was slightly taken aback upon reading this.  The environmental situation in China appears far worse than that of the United States.  In fact, I was under the impression that even though we might seriously be lagging in our environmental thinking, the U.S. has greatly reduced its CO2 emissions.  Then I actually...heh...read the article and was reminded that the study tracked emissions up until 2005.  Indeed since 1700 and the Industrial Revolution, the U.S. has outpaced most everyone else in CO2, aerosol, and other atmospheric pollutants.

Okay, so that was the past.  What about now?

Well for starters, we can accept that climate change is real and that humans are a part of it.  Not only does it affect where we and other species live but it contributes to major social issues such as global poverty.  We can also look towards clean, renewable energy sources.

No one said it was going to be easy.


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1 comment:

  1. A humorous look at it:



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