Global warming is a scientific hypothesis suggesting that CO2 emissions are collecting in the Earth’s atmosphere and trapping heat, resulting in a gradual warming of the planet. Many reputable scientists believe this to be both a very real and an immediate danger that threatens all life on earth. They cite numerous studies that quantitatively support this conclusion. However, other apparently reputable scientists insist that there is no direct evidence supporting the global warming hypothesis. Many of these suggest that the entire issue is nothing more than a fund raising contrivance aimed at lining the pockets of shysters.
Caught in the middle of all this is the average person, perhaps with little or no scientific background, who must nevertheless attempt to evaluate this complex issue. It seems impossible to formulate a reasoned opinion.
Facts and figures can be distorted, exaggerated, even made up entirely, and therefore any attempt at an objective evaluation based on these must surely founder accordingly. As an alternative, one might try to seek out someone with expert knowledge and follow his guidance. However, as most people are becoming increasingly aware, there is probably no expert who cannot be bought outright, or at least strongly influenced, if enough money is offered, or if enough pressure is brought to bear.
If individuals cannot be considered fully reliable sources of guidance, one might turn toward a trusted group. However, supporting a cause primarily because it is recommended by some group is, in essence, a political action. Perhaps, just this once, a person might like to evaluate such an important issue as global warming through a means other than political referendum.
Some might turn to religion for guidance. However, there is religious guidance from within, and religious guidance from without. Guidance from without – that is to say, from religious leaders – involves human interpretation of the divine Voice. In this respect, it is becoming more and more evident that God says no more or less than what one’s religious leadership want and expect Him to say. Some might find this comforting. Some might find this suspicious.
Of course, guidance from within derives from our own divine gift of conscience and reason and as such remains both valid and vital, but it is so difficult to be worthy of this particular gift. Like the kid who receives a new pair of underwear for Christmas instead of the train set he wanted, we say, “Thank you” and throw the gift in a closet, metaphorically speaking.
But if traditional decision-making avenues are unsatisfactory, what is left? As the saying goes, “What’s a girl to do?” Perhaps the solution is to take a step back and consider the kinds of arguments propounded by each side of this debate, and try to evaluate them for reasonableness, from a macroscopic perspective.
The global warming supporters claim that CO2 emissions must be drastically reduced or global warming will continue and global catastrophe will inevitably follow, and this in the very near future. On the other hand, global warming skeptics contend that the so-called “greenhouse effect”, if it exists at all, has little or nothing to do with human activities and attempting to drastically reduce carbon emissions would catastrophically disrupt global economics, causing great harm worldwide, and to no good purpose – at least, as regards global warming.
If we look past the hyperbole, it becomes clear that global warming supporters are claiming that humans have been throwing away their garbage in a disorganized, unsupervised manner, their planet has become a mess as a result, and drastic cleanup measures are needed immediately before things get completely out of hand. On the other hand, global warming skeptics claim there is no mess, or if there is, it is none of our doing, and anyway it would be such a hassle to clean it up that we are better off just leaving it alone.
In light of the above, is it really necessary to look at global warming as a scientific issue at all? Perhaps, instead, a consensus can be reached that an organized means and methodology whereby humans clean up after themselves is not just a good idea, it is simple common sense.
It is said that planet Earth was originally a Garden of Eden – and then came humans. If the cleanup process is initially disruptive, surely this is something that the human race has earned and must eventually endure, and perhaps better now than later, before Mother Earth really gets her panties in a twist.