Global Warming: belief and disbelief

Pine Island, Thwaites and Smith Glaciers are in the west of Antarctica. They are rapidly losing ice at the rate of 150 cubic kilometres every year, and that makes up to 15% of the annual global sea level rise.

These days, many people believe that global warming is not happening and some even claim that the planet is cooling. It is hard to reconcile such a rapid rate of ice loss with a stable climate condition. Last year scientists estimated that over the past twenty years melting of polar ice has raised the sea level by 11 mm on its own. Some additional sea level rise is attributable to the expansion of water as it warms.

Believe it or not, the planet is warming. Disbelief and belief are natural human characteristics. We tend, as a species, to believe things that suit us to believe and disbelief things that we find self-critical or undesirable to believe. Believe that the planet is warming and we can find tens of thousands of statistics to support that belief; disbelieve that the planet is warming and we can find thousands of statistics to support that disbelief.

We can then indulge is a war of statistics; some will be more compelling and supportive than others. None of them will be conclusive. In this sense belief or disbelief in global warming is similar to belief or disbelief in God, but there is one important difference.

The existence of God is not provable in the ways that we understand proof. However long we live proof in the existence of a deity will not arrive in our lifetimes. But proof of the planet’s warming will eventually be apparent in the planet.

People may ask why we should commit our resources and time in trying to prevent global warming which may not be happening, thus diverting those resources and time from our own gratification and prosperity. The answer to this question is simple; just as people commit some of their wealth to insurance policies to protect against unfortunate contingencies, so committing some of our wealth and resources to fighting global warming will, at worse, be in the nature of an insurance policy. And if we prove to be wrong about anthropogenic climate change and have committed our resources at least we will enjoy a safer cleaner healthier planet.

2 Responses

  1. Robert, I have a simple non-political solution to solve global warming, please contact me
    ” What can I do, I’m just a little guy”
    give me the chance to explain it to you.

    Thanks
    C.J. Felde

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