Is Global Warming Legit?

Jacob Brotman-Krass, Chief Layout Artist

In the political world, there are few more debated topics than the state of our environment. This issue is also one of the most important ones we face as a society, as it directly affects the future of our children and grandchildren. Climate change is heavily proved scientifically, and while a vast majority of scientists (upwards of 90%) claim human activity is directly responsible for the speedy increase in global temperature over the past two centuries, it is important to see the other side of the argument.

A common argument against human-caused climate change is the fact that many places still had cold winters, maybe even unusually cold. This however, is a small-picture view on this issue. Climate and weather are two different things. Climate is the overall trend of temperature and precipitation over years, decades, and even centuries. Weather is the day to day, week to week forecast. Weather is ever changing, and even experienced meteorologists frequently forecast weather incorrectly. It is easy to look at one day that was colder than expected and say it disproves climate change, but in reality, the overall climate gives a different story.

Yes, natural climate change does occur; the Earth goes through periods of heating and cooling naturally. However, the dramatic increase in temperature on Earth (the entire planet, not just one area where the weather could be cooler or warmer) directly correlates to the industrial revolution. The link between these two events is the byproduct of the burning of fossil fuels: carbon dioxide. As shown on Venus, carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. The heat from sunlight that makes its way through our atmosphere is supposed to bounce off the surface of the Earth and have some of the sunlight reflect back out to space. However, the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere traps this sunlight, keeping the heat from leaving our atmosphere. It’s been clear to scientists for the past decade that the problem of human-caused climate change is very real, but open discussion about this topic is beneficial, as long as an open mind is kept on the subject. Let the evidence dictate the truth, not our politicians.