Global Warming

Nov 2007
"Is it really known how important protecting the ecosystem is..."
- Jesse Phillips

People have made advancements in the technologies that make our lives easier and possible. As we have made these advancements we have changed the environment in which we live. We build stone buildings, walk on paved streets, live in a world of artificial life. This is in contrast to living in the woods as we did centuries ago. Changes have made life easier in some areas but more difficult in others. Resources are limited and the ways we produce energy are toxic. Advancements are now being made to make things better and more environmentally friendly.

Humans are know to be able to disrupt life and change its development. With the rise of information about global warming it is now thought that humans can change earth's climate. We have found that the gases emitted from our energy sources destroy the atmosphere and can cause what is referred to as the green house effect.

It is not right to claim that global warming is not happening. There is plenty of evidence to support past claims and prove the temperature of the earth is rising. The importance now is to find what needs to be done, what can be done, and who needs to be involved.

Before attempting to solve a problem it one should have an understanding of what the problem is. There seems to be a fairly good understanding of this when it comes to global warming. The warming of the earth will cause ice caps to melt, longer summers and warmer winters. It is predicted that ice caps melting will bring about flooding of many mainland shores. Animals are likely going to have problems with these changes, but we can't predicted what will happen to them. It is also likely that after the earth reaches its high, it will start to cool drastically which could bring about another ice age. The ice age would seem to be the biggest problem. A large amount of our power comes from dams, but if it is frozen over it will become more difficult to produce power.

One of the main questions that should be answered is, what can be done, many think they have the answer. Stop driving, drive an electric or hybrid car, regulate pollution by companies, and save the trees. These are all good ideas and should be sought after as we advance our technology. If the question is rephrased and applied to a little earlier scenario we get, how much influence do we have on the warming of the earth. This is the big question and it is one I don't think we have a clear answer for.

The problem with global warming today is that we don't know enough. If the question is do we contribute to global warming, the answer is yes. If the question is how much, then there are many different answers. We can look at warming trends during the industrial age and compare them to those before and come to a conclusion of about 10%. But is this us? There has been research at NASA suggesting the sun is to blame. The ice caps on mars have also been shrinking which is a sign that humans may not have as much to do with it as was once thought.

Global warming is something new to the worlds research. It should be taken in stride. We should be studying it and making predictions, not to decide what actions should be taken, but to test our understanding. Knowledge is a good thing to have, it lets you make clear and useful statements. The problem comes when information is missing, but no one knows that it is. It is not good enough to have all the known information, one needs to have all the unknown information before conclusions are made that appropriately solve the problem. Is it really known how important protecting the ecosystem is, no, but then again should that really be tested?