Global Warming: A False Concept
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The Oxford Online Dictionary defines global warming as “a gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, CFCs, and other pollutants” (Global Warming n.pag.). While the overall temperature of the earth is getting warmer, I do not believe that this increase in temperature can be considered global warming. If global warming is to be taking place, then the earth’s temperature must be increasing in accordance with increased levels of carbon dioxide, or other pollutants that can be traced back to human activity. Thus, this is not the case.
In a recent case study titled Solar Activity, Cosmic Rays, and Earth’s Temperature, researchers Usoskin, Mursula, and Schussler and Solanki, claim that the earth’s temperature varies in accordance with heat given off by the sun (Usoskin et al. 9). These variations can be traced back to sunspot numbers and cosmic ray fluxes, which constitute the sun’s solar activity and impact the earth’s climate accordingly. As the sun gets hotter, so does the earth. As the sun cools, the earth does as well. What we are currently experiencing is not due to carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases. Instead, the earth is getting warmer because we are experiencing a period of higher solar activity.
The fact is that the sun is hotter than it has ever been in the last 1,000 years (Marshall n.pag.). It is obvious that the earth relies on the sun’s heat for its warm climate. Such truism taken together with data that shows an increase in solar temperature produces the following conclusion: the earth is getting warmer, but only because the sun is getting warmer. The implication is startling, because this means that there is literally nothing we can do about what is erroneously referred to as “global warming.” Timothy Ball, one of Canada’s first doctors in climatology, recently wrote that “we are wasting time, energy and trillions of dollars while creating unnecessary fear and consternation over an issue with no scientific justification” (ibid). By this, Dr. Ball means to say that the increase in the earth’s temperature cannot be combated with environmental precaution; neither carbon caps, nor recycling will be able to reverse the effects of an increase in solar activity. By using the term “global warming,” we are not only obscuring the truth in implying that the cause of this issue is human pollution, but we are also spreading fear and concern without reason. Dr. Ball concludes that “these climate changes are will within the natural variability and explained quite easily by changes in the sun. But there is nothing unusual going on” (Mcleod n.pag.).
Locating the cause of the earth’s increasing temperature in solar activity means abandoning global warming as a political concern. There can be no policy or environmental effort capable of reversing the effects of solar activity. It therefore follows that all political preoccupation with greenhouse gases, fossil fuel consumption, and carbon-dioxide production, when they are related to an increase in the earth’s temperature, is simply misguided. When such political preoccupation spreads fear, relies on scientific misinformation, and costs money (recent carbon taxes are a good example), it is downright dangerous.
In conclusion, if “global warming” is a valid concept, then two conditions must be fulfilled: the earth is increasing in temperature, and this increase is caused by human activity in the form of pollution and can be combated. Although it is true that the earth is getting warmer, this increase in temperature is caused by something completely outside of our control: the sun. It cannot be combated; its effects cannot be helped. Thus, the second statement is false. Consequently, global warming is an invalid concept.