Monday, November 5, 2007

Above All Nations is Humanity...

Sitting down to write about global warming quickly reveals just how ignorant I am on the subject. Would I be more accurate saying climate change? And while the consensus now seems to be that within my lifetime we will begin to see the affects of global warming more and more clearly how will this affect daily life? Stories circulate of rising sea levels submerging New York City and possible mass extinctions but how credible is any of this? It seems people are concerned but the scope and complexity of the issues surrounding global warming are such that simply defining much less intelligently discussing and affectively dealing with global warming becomes a major challenge.

However global warming does exist and appears to have to potential to have far reaching impacts not only on the distant future but also on our own lives in the coming years, so it would seem imperative that we educate ourselves on the issue and honestly asses what steps can be taken now to prevent the catastrophic consequences of inaction. Equally as important, we need to ask our leaders to be honest with themselves, and act responsibly on our behalf. Obviously there is no quick fix but to simply pretend the problem does not exist may mean throwing away our collective future.

To accomplish anything meaningful to combat global warming we need to act together and be willing to go out of our way to do the little things. We all share a stake in the future of our planet and now more than ever we need to take responsibility for this shared future. How tragic would it be if we prove to be too shortsighted and self-interested to prevent an unprecedented catastrophe which we saw coming and might have avoided? “Above all nations is humanity” reads an engraving I pass often on my way to and from class and I think it is in this spirit that we must each do what we can, whether as nations, communities or individuals, to address the challenge of global warming. Together I am confident we can and will be successful preserving our world and our future.

-Patrick Clark Nadeau, Cornell University Student

5 comments:

Poptech said...

NO 'Consensus' on "Man-Made" Global Warming

Laura Santamaria said...

I wonder if they've really looked at the scientific studies, experiments, research, and publications on the matter. People have been misquoted before, graphs taken apart to show only what is intended to be conveyed, and information given out that has not been reviewed by peer scientists for mistakes. Oftentimes this is all by accident. If they have seen all of the data from primary sources, then it would be interesting to discuss the matter with them. If not, I would like to see them read the papers, see the experiments, participate in the research, and then add their names again.

max royster said...

I can see how people can deny that global warming has caused the small increase in global average temperature over the last century. A change of less than a degree over a hundred year period could easily be chalked up to natural processes within the earth system. What I dont understand is how people can still deny that what we are doing to the earth will have any effect at all. The CO2 we are adding to the atmosphere isn't going to change the climate overnight or even on yearly timescales. The fact of the matter is though that what we have been doing and continue to do will have some effect on climate regardless whether we have observed any of this change yet.

will whitney said...

Climate change skeptics often speculate as to the "true" motivations behind climate change science. Often, the conclusion is that climate scientists like to hype up global warming because it offers them more funding. But beyond reasonable skepticism, websites such as the one linked to by "poptech" above try to mislead readers. Take, for example, the sunspot cycle data set (in the "Anti Man-Made Global Warming Resource" listed on website linked above) we looked at in class today, which is cited as data despite being known to be a flawed and false data set. Or the link to "propaganda" in the opening paragraph of the "NO 'Consensus'" web page, which compares climate change science to propaganda. The link, which should present some basis of this claim, does in fact lead to an article titled "Al Gore's climate change film 'is propaganda.'" But on closer examination, the article is actually about a 45 year old lorry driver who tried to argue this case against the British government, which had, much to the contrary, chosen to present "An Inconvenient Truth" to tens of thousands of schoolchildren. For these same climate change skeptics to question the motives of real climate scientists seems unjust, especially when at least one of the "skeptical institutions" (the Science and Environmental Policy Project) cited is directly funded by ExxonMobil. (see http://www.heatisonline.org/contentserver/objecthandlers/index.cfm?id=6143&method=full

will whitney said...

Sorry, the link got cut off:
http://www.heatisonline.org/
contentserver/objecthandlers/
index.cfm?id=6143&method=full