Anthropogenic Climate Change… Real or Not?
Definition of anthropogenic: resulting from the influence of human beings on nature.
Earth’s “perfect” climate allows us to live comfortably, thanks to a certain balance of oxygen and other elements in our atmosphere, including carbon.
For several thousand years the atmosphere was stable with CO2 hovering around 275 parts per million.
Beginning in the 18th century, humans began to burn coal and gas and oil to produce energy and goods. The amount of carbon in the atmosphere began to rise, at first slowly and now more quickly. Many of the activities we do every day like turning the lights on, cooking food, or heating or cooling our homes rely on those fossil fuel energy sources that emit carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. We’re taking millions of years worth of carbon, stored beneath the earth as fossil fuels, and releasing it into the atmosphere. By now the planet has about 392 parts per million CO2—and this number is rising by about two parts per million every year. ~ 350.org
While our collective daily activities contribute to the problem, the major sources of carbon are fossil fuels and unsustainable agriculture (factory farms, crops that are not rotated, etc.). Our climate system is getting thrown out of balance.
If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm. ~ James Hansen, America’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration
While we (humans) continue to pump CO2 into the atmosphere, where it’s trapped—rivaling the forests’ and oceans’ natural ability to absorb CO2—special interest groups pump loads of money into lobbying and efforts to mislead and confuse the public about the realities of climate change.
Why not spend that money on something that would be of benefit to society?
For those who don’t agree with the science behind human-induced climate change, please consider our quality of life—and, more importantly, that of our children and grandchildren. Clean air, clean water, even safe food is at stake if we don’t make sustainable energy, business and agricultural practices a priority.
Want to understand more about climate change? Click here for Climate Change 101, a free podcast series by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, a non-profit, non-partisan organization promoting strong policy and action to address the twin challenges of energy and climate change.
Besides being mindful of your personal carbon footprint, there are other ways to help.
Your Voice Counts.
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