The Task of our Lifetime
Dr. Jeffrey Bennett Addresses Global Warming Conceptions
February 27, 2017
Filed under Lifestyle
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Earth, a single planet whose inhabitants is approaching eight billion people, is nothing short of a miracle of infinitely statistical proportions. The odds of finding life in the universe is vastly miniscule, nonetheless discovering human life. Regardless, this reality exists, and each of these nearly eight billion humans experience this consequential reality every single day.
Today, the single most controversial scientific trend throughout the world is global warming, or climate change for those that do not believe in the binding-realities of the former label. As humans quickly approach a population sum of eight billion individual lives, the planet is beginning to react to the actions and activities that each human participates in on a daily basis. Whether operating a gas-powered vehicle, using traditional electricity and coal utilities, or operating factories and plants through oil and coal consumption, the effects of each activity directly and indirectly reflect the growing rate at which the planet is warming. This deeply-controversial scientific discovery is thus commonly named global warming, and more recently climate change.
For many individuals, the thought of human beings having any influence on the earth’s climate patterns is nothing more than an offensive and narcissistic inclination that human beings have any effect at all on such a massive planet. Though initially this thought process does warrant an understanding of the nature of which this defense is made, there is a lack of any reasoning for an alternate explanation for the trend.
To clear up the current development of the global warming controversy, it is important to understand that there has been consistent scientific research and support throughout decades of independent investigations, university research, privately-funded study, scientific publication, and trend analysis that all points towards the same conclusion; that global warming does in fact exist and our current actions are speeding up the rate at which the earth warms exponentially faster and more consistently than ever before in recorded history. In other words, the actions that each and every human being makes while within earth’s atmosphere is directly impacting the bottom line of the planet’s overall climate.
Moving beyond the skepticism of such a phenomenon existing, one can begin to study and research the existing conclusions and deductions drawn from decades of data and hundreds of independent studies that all point towards the same understanding. Take easily recognizable organizations such as NASA, Tesla, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science for example. Within each’s in-depth research, accessible and approachable information is provided to anybody willing to look.
Beyond the influence-able realm that organizations have on funding massive research projects, many individuals in the scientific community have provided their own independent research that lends a hand to addressing and demystifying the phenomena.
Dr. Jeffrey Bennett, an astrophysicist and educator, has researched global warming trends for many years, publishing his own book, A Global Warming Primer, which condenses the scientific data that has been accumulated for decades into a palatable source of information.
In his recent global warming tour, Bennett took time to address the skepticism that is associated with climate change.
Specifically, he notes that, “Models reflect knowledge that the sun isn’t responsible for increasing temperature – However we can be very confident that the result of all global warming is contributed to human activity.”
The approach to overcoming the disconnection from the true gravity of global warming’s impeding effects on the planet, Bennett suggests relevance in the form of events that are occurring today, around each of us. Whether consciously aware of these events or not, the notion still remains that inefficient management of resources and harmful and dated methods of energy sustenance is actively damaging the planet.
According to Bennett, “Over the last 800k years, interglacial effects have separated ice ages, resulted in large 20-30 degree (F) temperature spikes.” Thus, naturally the planet does in fact have cycles in which the climate shifts over time, but always recovers. However, even if the planet is experiencing interglacial, or warming periods between the glacial period that had occurred previous to human inhabitants, the rate at which the planet is increasing is vastly different to that of all previous interglacial periods. As a result, the notion that the planet’s current warming period is purely natural cannot be valid, as all past data pointed to the conclusion that temperature change is consistent, and therefore does not spike. However, as NASA recorded, the rapid effects of increasing CO2 levels has resulted in temperature increases at nearly 10 times the normal ice-age-recovery warming rate.
Beyond the statistics, the reality of such a phenomenon is existent throughout the planet today. Notably, both Bennett and NASA have concluded that, “the evidence of rapid climate change is compelling”.
As arctic ice-caps and sea ice continues to melt, ocean levels increase, at a rate that is nearly double that of the last century. In the last decade, according to NASA, global sea level rose nearly 14 inches in the last decade alone. A century ago, sea level had only increased by 6.7 inches.
Consequently, the increased sea level rise that exists globally today means that tropical storms and other dangerous cells will become even more damaging and intrusive. For low sea-level habitations such as Florida, Haiti, Louisiana, and California, this can result in entire cities becoming submerged.
Bennett notes, “…Melting of ice will cause sea level to increase by 1-meter by year 2100, and may increase to as much as 6-meters in certain areas.”
Alongside increasing sea levels, ocean acidification, or the increased damaging content of CO2 and other gasses is resulting in the destruction of ecosystems and coral reefs that are home to millions of fish and other life.
Beyond the immediate destruction of these crucial habitats, these consequences will affect humans. Bennett explained, “…Increased oceanic acidification can result in deaths to coral reefs, increasing acidity in oceans, could kill off fish, and result in the starving of an estimated 1 billion people worldwide.”
Even forests and rainforests are being affected. Today, nearly a third of the world’s natural forest population has been destroyed, a result in man’s desire for increased production and access to key materials in production such as Palm oil, which is an essential ingredient in hundreds of massively distributed products worldwide. Alongside global warming, the negligent effects of human’s inability to realize the immediate and long-term effects of their actions is physically noticeable throughout the planet today.
The solution, (which is composed of many smaller solutions), lies in human’s decision to move onto sustainable energy solutions, such as those that Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, is actively harnessing and developing. By investing in wind and solar technology, humans have the ability to slow down and completely rid themselves of their CO2 emissions, whilst also becoming more efficient in the process.
Furthermore, the efficiency of creating a federally supported “carbon tax” means that individuals who refuse to move towards more energy efficient and sustainable solution options must pay a fee that accurately reflects the true cost of using CO2 releasing materials. Thus, the carbon tax will attempt to steer individuals away from continuing to perform harmful actions on the planet through gas-powered vehicles, and traditional energy-harnessing solutions such as electricity.
Though global warming will not end anytime soon, the negative effects that are currently being experienced today can be slowed down and eventually reversed. According to a combined conclusion by dozens of scientific researchers, the effects of global warming will continue to exist for decades. The decision to slow down harmful release of CO2 through inefficient energy consumption, and rather move towards solar and wind technology means that humans have the ability to turn the train around before the effects of global warming become too burdensome and the green-house effect becomes a run-away effect, resulting in the loss of habitable life on the only identified planet in the entire known galaxy. The risk is very real.