I'm sorry, was your best argument to really cut and paste from Wikipedia?
No, we cannot end global warming. Global warming cycles have been well documented through fossil records, sediment records, ice core records, and direct scientific observations for the past 500 or 600 years. Further, well-observed, accurate, calculated, predictable and completely natural perturbations in our orbit bring us closer to and farther from the Sun. All of these things act together to give us warm-cold-warm cycles over time-spans of millions of years, hundreds of thousands of years, tens of thousands of years, a few thousand years, a to a few centuries, and on a very small scale, even decade cycles. It's natural, it happens, and all of our records show that it's happening, and it's supposed to be happening right now. When our ancient ancestors were walking around Europe, conditions sucked. It was cold. Now we're more comfortable. This does *not* have to do with solar flares or sunspots. Those are extremely short lived events that primarily act to throw charged particles at us, particles that get deflected by the magnetosphere and EM radiation absorbed by the atmosphere. If you don't believe scientific data, just pull out a geography book or a copy of National Geographic from the early 20th Century, look at a pretty picture of where a certain glacier or ice cap was, then take a comfortable drive to see where that same glacier is now - it has retreated, because it is melting. If the climate wasn't changing, it would have been at equilibrium, either not moving, or continuing to grow. More heat = more melt. Global warming is fact.
NOW what you CAN debate is whether or not greenhouse gases are the problem. Global warming is happening much faster than we think that it should. We think that it's actually accelerating in a way that we don't think think it should. We know that those gases do what we blame them for, under laboratory conditions. But do they work the same way in nature? Can we even put out enough of these gases all by ourselves to cause the acceleration problem? Or is this perhaps also just a normal thing that acts so quickly that our reference materials couldn't pick it up? After all, observing 20 or 30 years on a serious basis is barely a blip over the geologic record.
So, can we end global warming? No. It's a force of nature, and cannot be stopped anymore than you could stop a hurricane.
Can we end greenhouse gases? Sure we can. Even if they aren't hurting the climate, doesn't it seem like a good idea to get pollutants out of the atmosphere anyway? I'm glad that we've done much to clean up our water supply, and reducing local city smog.
I'm not an environmentalist tree-hugger, I'm just a geologist trying to explain the difference between global warming and Al Gore-style greenhouse gases, can one be fixed or not, and if you want to debate it with someone, to make sure that you're debating the right thing, because one is not equal to the other.
· 10 years ago