As I wrote about in my first post, I used to be a paranoid conspiracy theorist, but I started viewing the world differently when I realized there is no real evidence that 9/11 was an inside job. This was quite a shock to me because I had been absolutely certain about that one. It caused me to ask, “What else might I be wrong about?” One of the first issues that came to mind was global warming.
Now look, I don’t like Al Gore. I think he’s just another slimy politician who is out for his own benefit. He’s also an alarmist. For example, in An Inconvenient Truth he says, “If half of Greenland and half of west Antarctica broke up and melted, this is what would happen to the sea level…” He then shows an animation of coasts slowly being covered with water as the sea level rises by 20 feet. The only problem is, climate scientists aren’t predicting that will happen any time soon. In reality, they’re saying sea levels will rise a little over 3 feet by 2100. (But that wouldn’t have made for very frightening animations.) This sort of alarmism is one of the reasons many people are skeptical about global warming.
I grew up in a Reagan-loving, Limbaugh-listening, Clinton-hating household, so the earliest memories I have about global warming are, “It’s a hoax!” From an early age it was drilled into my head that global warming isn’t real, that it’s just a liberal conspiracy to raise taxes, hurt businesses, and force us to start riding bikes everywhere like those commies in China. My parents were both intelligent and well-read, so I just assumed they were right.
Throughout my twenties I gradually left my Republican roots behind and began exploring other political movements. Around this time I began to admit that global warming was happening (numbers don’t lie), but I was still convinced humanity had nothing to do with it. I figured global warming was just part of a long-term cycle of heating and cooling that happens naturally.
Now that I’m in my thirties, I don’t identify with any political party. I would rather approach each issue individually than blindly take a stance based on a party platform. This is the problem with many Republicans. If you ask them why they don’t think global warming is real, they usually can’t give any scientific reasons. They just assume it isn’t real because that’s what [insert rightwing news station or website] says. It’s not that they’re stupid. They just have certain sources of information that they trust. (To be fair, many Democrats also blindly agree with their favorite news shows and sites.)
So last year I finally asked myself, “How do I know global warming isn’t being caused by humans?” I realized I didn’t have an answer. It was just something I believed. But what did I know about climatology? Nothing. And I mean zilch. (I took an Earth Science class once, but I think I got a B.) So I decided to set my personal biases aside and take a look at the evidence.
I learned all sorts of things. There is so much evidence for global warming, it’s overwhelming. But the thing that really stood out to me is this: 97% of climate scientists agree that global warming is real and that it is being caused by humans.
I’ll say it again: 97%! That is a startling figure. Who am I to argue with over 30,000 climate scientists? In 2013 there was only 1 peer-reviewed article that rejected human-caused global warming. Out of 2258. Sounds like the guys in lab coats are pretty sure about this one.
Global warming deniers like to say there’s an ongoing debate, but there’s no debate in the scientific world. The debate only exists in the media. And if news networks want to have a fair debate, this is what they should do.
I used to think climate scientists were probably being paid by the government and environmentalist organizations to fudge the numbers and make it look like humans are causing global warming. But that was before I knew just how many climate scientists say it’s a fact. Is it possible that that many scientists have been compromised? If so, how come no one has come forward to expose all the corruption? (Doing so would certainly result in a million-dollar book deal.) And why would the U.S. government participate in such a vast conspiracy? So it can increase revenue by taxing carbon emissions? Surely it could find other ways to collect more taxes (it always has before).
Now ask yourself, who has a greater incentive to lie about global warming? The government–which can always find other ways to squeeze money out of its citizens–or oil companies whose profits would drop significantly if everyone agreed that their product is destroying the environment? It seems more likely that big oil would do everything it could to fight the idea of human-caused global warming. And as it turns out, there is evidence that this is exactly what’s happening.
As for the motives of environmental groups, which scenario sounds more likely?
- Environmental groups are using their limited budgets to bribe over 90% of scientists in a vast conspiracy to get people to drive hybrids (even though regular cars aren’t actually hurting the environment).
- Big oil companies are using their huge profits to bribe anyone they can in order to delay action against global warming so they can protect future profits and limit lawsuits that would result from the pollution they caused.
The idea that humans have nothing to do with global warming and that the truth is being suppressed smells like yet another wild conspiracy theory. If 97% of climate scientists are hiding or ignoring the truth, then we’re talking about corruption on a scale never seen before (even worse than Congress!). And when you consider the data from all the scientific organizations that support the consensus, global warming would have to be, by far, the biggest hoax in the history of the world.
Just think about it. Of course, I don’t expect global warming deniers to immediately change their minds because of this post. If you’re one of these people, you probably feel like you have good reasons for believing what you do, and I can respect that. But I want you to at least consider what it would mean if you’re wrong.
If global warming is real and we don’t do anything about it, billions of people would suffer needlessly. Weather events would become more extreme which would mean stronger hurricanes, deeper floods, longer droughts, and bigger wildfires. All this damage would cause food shortages, malnutrition, mass migration, and international conflicts as countries fight over dwindling resources. Not to mention the economic damage which would drain hundreds of billions from the economy hurting everyone’s standard of living. Future climate change would be the biggest threat our species has ever faced, so if you don’t think it’s real, you better make sure.
If you’re a global warming denier with children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or if there are any children in your life that you care about, you owe it to them to at least see what the other side has to say. You owe it to yourself, too. The world is already becoming a more dangerous place. One retired admiral–who has a Ph.D. in Meteorology–calls it a threat to national security.
Think of it this way: If you set your personal biases aside, honestly examine the evidence for global warming, and you still aren’t convinced, no harm done. Go ahead and click some of the links in this article. (Don’t be scared. If you are convinced, you can still be a Conservative.) But if you refuse to even consider the other side’s arguments and it turns out you’re wrong, then you will have missed an opportunity to help sound the alarm before it’s too late.
If you have any questions, this page answers all the most common objections to human-caused global warming. I also highly recommend the video below. It explains the evidence for global warming and how scientists know it’s being caused by humans.