What It All Boils Down To By: Samuel Powell

It was a frigid morning in the spring of 1917: The ice sheets spread for hundreds of miles across the North and South poles without a crack or crevice. Now, in 2017, the ice sheets have diminished and sea levels are on the rise.

Over the last 20 years, thousands of scientists have studied the Earth's surface temperature. They all noticed an increase, and were left with a staggering question. Why?

Fossil fuels, such as gas and coal are being burned everyday in factories, automobiles, and in power plants. These everyday necessities are adding methane, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide to the atmosphere. These types of gases, known as “greenhouse gases,” produce a thick layer that blocks heat and radiation from reentering space.

After tireless research, scientists have spoken through countless scientific articles, and research papers. In the scientific community, there is a overwhelming consensus that global surface temperatures have increased in recent decades due to overconsumption of fossil fuels around the world.

What is the truth about global warming? People have debating global warming for decades. However, the truth is now clear.

Earth transforms sunlight light energy into infrared light energy, which leaves Earth slowly because it is absorbed by greenhouse gases. When people produce greenhouse gases, energy leaves Earth even more slowly—raising Earth’s temperature. - Micheal Ranney
Global Temperatures Over The Last 140 Years

23 percent of Americans do not believe in global warming, although 97 percent of climate scientists insist climate change is real and caused by human actions. It is evident by rising sea levels, melting ice caps, and longer droughts. Ever since the beginning of the 20th century, scientists have suggested the burning of fossil fuels, could create global warming, so why is there still a disagreement over global warming?

Economic Interests

One of main sources of discord over global warming comes from economic agendas and politics. Political candidates need lavish funding for re-election. They often get generous donations from companies or affluent individuals in the fossil fuel industry, who have a financial interest in denying the existence of global warming.

Not all, but a substantial amount of people with power, especially in politics, are swayed by “big money” contributors. Our president elect, Donald Trump, claims not to believe in the scientific evidence for rising global temperatures. The corporations and individuals who are associated with his campaign are expecting him to disavow any regulations that might do harm to their business.

In addition, according to CNN, more than half of the Republican politicians in the 2010 US midterm elections dispute climate change. Global warming remains an issue of widespread political debate , often split along political party lines.

Eli Kogan’s father states this when economic interests in politics arose in an interview, Many politicians have a large economic interests in the fossil fuel industry. These politicians will most likely deny the facts that millions of scientists have supported for years.

Economic interests in society and in politics is one of the largest sources to why there is disagreement over whether or not global warming is really an issue.

Education

It is natural to assume that if people disagree about the science behind global warming, it is because they do not understand it, or perhaps they need to be better informed.

According to the Climate Change research sector of Yale University, Americans also recognize their own limited understanding. Only 1 in 10 say that they are “ well informed” about climate change, and 75 percent say they would like to know more about the issue. Likewise, 45 percent say that schools should teach children about climate change and 32 percent would welcome a national program to teach Americans more about the issue.

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Global warming is complex. It should be debated widely. Even though nearly all climate scientists are in agreement, it is still necessary for people to discuss the issues for many reasons.

There was an ice age 10,000 years ago and it is a fact that climate change occurs naturally. However, the current speed of climate change is unprecedented. People may legitimately disagree, but political and financial agendas should not be allowed to influence the debate.

Credits:

Created with images by Christopher.Michel - "Polar Bears near the North Pole" • NASA Goddard Photo and Video - "United States of America" • cwizner - "pollution smokestack industrial" • PublicDomainPictures - "white house washington dc senate" • Unsplash - "life beauty scene" • Pexels - "batch bookcase books"

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