By Chelsea Sullivan
Photo from the National Park Service
A new wave of climate change deniers has surfaced in the media recently. Having someone like Trump in power to back them up is just enabling them to ignore science even more. Meanwhile, there is more proof than ever before that humans are negatively affecting the Earth and causing climate change.
Here are some deniers and why they are wrong, according to science.
1. Trump himself is consistently tweeting incorrect evidence that global warming isn’t happening
Climate change is a lot more than the Earth just getting drastically warmer.
For example, it includes the changing pH of the ocean. Since the Industrial Revolution, the acidity of the ocean has increased by 30 percent. This affects species like oysters, clams and plankton, which, in turn, affects the whole food chain.
Extreme weather events are also now much more common. The European Consortium of Innovative Universities compiled a list of studies, most of which showed that climate change made extreme events like hurricanes and floods “more frequent, longer-lasting, or more intense.”
Scientists from Trump’s own administration published a study proving that, “human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.” The report, published by the federal Global Change Research Program, also revealed that “thousands of studies conducted by researchers around the world have documented changes in surface, atmospheric, and oceanic temperatures; melting glaciers; diminishing snow cover; shrinking sea ice; rising sea levels; ocean acidification; and increasing atmospheric water vapor.”
Trump responded, “I don’t believe it.”
2. Patrick Moore, a self-proclaimed “sensible environmentalist,” denied climate change in an interview on Fox News and was even quoted by Trump on, you guessed it, Twitter.
First, Patrick Moore did not co-found Greenpeace. He was briefly affiliated with the organization well after its development.
Second, this argument barely has any scientific evidence behind it. Yes, carbon dioxide is a major building block of life and we need a certain amount of it to survive, but having too much of it is a problem. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere slows down the rate at which the earth loses heat. It absorbs heat moving up towards the atmosphere and radiates some of it back towards the surface. But humans are producing creating more carbon dioxide through deforestation and the increased burning of fossil fuels. Now, there are more molecules radiating more heat back towards the surface, leading to warming temperatures.
For anyone who still may trust Moore’s credibility, it is important to note that in the same Fox interview, he argued, “There’s not going to be any electric trucks any time soon hauling forty tons of food into the supermarkets.” Meanwhile, Volvo has electric trucks being used in Europe, which will be brought to the U.S. within the next year. Also, new prototypes created by Tesla are already being tested in the U.S.
3. Just last month, conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh added to the conversation in an interview with Fox News.
“Climate change is nothing but a bunch of computer models that attempt to tell us what’s going to happen in 50 years or 30. Notice the predictions are never for next year or the next ten years. They’re always for way, way, way, way out there, when none of us are going to be around or alive to know whether or not they were true.”
The average surface temperature of the Earth has increased by 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit in the last century. According to NASA, “Most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years, with 16 of the 17 warmest years on record occurring since 2001… 2016 (was) the warmest year on record.”
Also, global average sea level has increased 3 inches since 1993 and is expected to rise several more inches in the next 15 years, which many of us will probably be around for.
Very well put