By Letter to the Editor on March 15, 2019.
The March 5 edition of the Medicine Hat News left me quite disheartened, first because the daily poll showed that 53 per cent of responders do not believe in human caused climate change, and second because of Dave Thompsons’s letter ( “Send a clear carbon tax message to Ottawa and Edmonton”) which ignored the facts about global warming.
Glaciologically, an ice age is any period where there are ice sheets covering the northern and southern hemispheres so yes, Dave, your Google search was right about that. We are in an ice age. However, what your letter fails to mention is how these “wobbles” as you refer to them are caused by a rapid increase in the melting of the polar ice caps putting billions of pounds of ice into the oceans and shifting the weight distribution of the globe (as proven by a NASA study). Scientists have mapped the axis shifts since 1899 that the north pole had moved consistently toward Hudson Bay. Over the last two decades, however, it has drastically swayed, creeping closer towards England.
The reason for this increase of ice melting is simple. The more CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, and water vapour put into the atmosphere, the more energy is trapped in the atmosphere. This in turn raises the earth’s temperature. This is the well known greenhouse effect. Any middle school science student could explain it.
The increase in this global effect is human caused. We all know that climate changes naturally, it has been happening since long before humans were even in existence. What we are experiencing now though is not part of any natural cycle. Before the industrial revolution (pre-1750) the Earth’s atmospheric concentration of CO2 was around 275ppm. Now it is more than 400ppm. This exponential increase directly correlates to human activity and is affecting our environment and climate.
Vegetation and land combined with the ocean output 771 gigatonnes (billion tonnes) of CO2 into the atmosphere yearly but absorb 788, this is a net deficit of 17 gigatonnes. Humans pump out 29 gigatonnes each year. Nature has a way of combating carbon emissions; humans should as well.
Obviously we need oil and gas and that comes with its emissions, but we cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that these emissions are changing our planet. I do not want future citizens to have to bear the inevitable burdens of climate change because some lawmakers care more about their own agenda than listening to science. If a consensus of all doctors told you that you have an illness would you believe them and try to combat it or leave it alone because a politician told you it’s nothing to worry about?
I encourage all of you to please take the time to do some research and trust the consensus of hardworking scientists who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of knowledge and truth. Human caused climate change is a scientific fact and is not something we can ignore.
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