This is my final segment in a series discussing global warming. In my first segment I stated that, to conclude that the United States needs to take serious measures to fight global warming, all of the following questions must have the answer of true.
- Global temperatures are rising.
- Carbon emissions from humans are why global temperatures are rising.
- The global warming will cause catastrophic environmental consequences.
- It is the proper role of the United States government to enact regulations on private companies and individuals to protect the environment.
- The actions of the United States government will effectively prevent these consequences.
- The evidence supporting all of the above is so overwhelming that we should no longer debate or delay.
Before I discuss these questions, however, I would like to take a moment to discuss the methodology of this series. I relied on data from mainstream sources or sources that overtly supported global warming. As an addendum at the end of this post, I breakdown my sources by category. Although there were many sources for convincing arguments and data against global warming, I did not use them if I could not find solid support in an unbiased source. My arguments are based entirely upon the same data that global warming supporters use along with the predictions made by global warming supporters.
So here is my summary of the first five questions as delineated in previous segments along with the final question to be discussed here.
Are global temperatures rising?
Global temperatures rose in the second half of the twentieth century. They have been flat for the last fifteen or so years. It is unclear if this means global warming has stopped or if this is just a pause.
Are carbon emissions from humans are why global temperatures are rising?
There are many factors that contribute to variations in global temperatures. Carbon emissions from humans are one possible factor. The statement that these emissions will cause a significant temperature rise is an unproven theory supported by computer models. So far the predictions made by these models have not been fulfilled. While this theory has certainly not been disproved, it also has not been proved.
Will global warming cause catastrophic environmental consequences?
Although Al Gore and others have been predicting Armageddon, even most scientists who support global warming say that these claims are grossly exaggerated. While global warming has been theorized to cause every type of climate calamity one can think of, there is a lack of evidence to support this.
Is it the proper role of the United States government to enact regulations on private companies and individuals to protect the environment?
Can the actions of the United States government will effectively prevent these consequences?
The proposed actions of The EPA to combat global warming are unlikely to have any meaningful impact and will be dwarfed the increased carbon emissions from China, India, and other developing countries. There is a much greater chance that they will have a significant negative impact on our economy. The one thing the government could do to significantly reduce carbon emissions, promote fracking, is opposed by environmentalists.
Is the evidence supporting all of the above is so overwhelming that we should no longer debate or delay?
As I stated at the beginning of this topic, for the answer for this to be yes, all of the above questions would require a yes. While none of these questions can definitively answered no, only one can be answered yes. Taken as a whole, the evidence is certainly not definitive. To state once again, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. If we are to take steps that will have significant and possibly devastating consequences to the economy and our lifestyles, we need much more evidence than we have right now.
The debate certainly is not over, despite President Obama’s statement to the contrary. A true scientist encourages debate and doesn’t try to end it. Einstein never said the debate is over on relativity. We should not say this debate is over now.
Going back through the last six segments, I would break down my references into the following categories:
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), NASA, Princeton, The Federal Register
Washington Post, ABC News,, Baltimore Sun, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Scientific American, The Economist, The Guardian
Internet Sites (Supposedly Neutral):
Wikipedia, ScienceLine.Org, TheHill.Com, Patheos.Com
Overtly Left Leaning Sites:
Huffington Post, Union of Concerned Scientists, Grid-Arendal, Yale Climate Connection
Overtly Right Leaning Sites:
CNS News, Investors Business Daily (editorial), National Review
Advocates of global warming could argue that the right leaning sites are invalid. I used the Investors Business Daily editorial as an example of a claim by opponents of global warming that I stated I could not verify. I used CNS news for a quote from John Kerry that was widely reported in right leaning sites and ignored elsewhere. The National Review was used to cite comments inside of EPA regulations that was not reported in mainstream sites. I will leave it to the reader as to the affect this has on my arguments.