Global Climate Change - HistorySmith
 


Click on the titles below and read the following articles (aslo handed out today in class).  After reading these articles, and factoring in what you saw in the movies Home and An Inconvenient Truth,  write a comment that assesses the pros and cons of the global climate change debate.  What arguments do the skeptics (those who deny global climate change or who don't believe that humans are responsible for it) make in challenging the science of global warming?  What do you think?  Is this nature running its natural course or is there an environmental impact from human activity.  How serious is this issue and what can be done about it?

Officials from various countries discuss upcoming U.N. climate talks

A bad month for climate-change skeptics

The global warming guessing game




Farah
11/21/2011 01:50:11


Scientists are split into two groups. One of the groups believes that humans are the main cause of the changes in the global climate. The other group believes that this is just natural procedure and that humans have nothing to do with the changes in the global climate.
In my opinion, human behavior has a great impact on global climate. If it hadn't been for humans, the ozone layer would not have been damaged and the temperatures would not be rising drastically. Humans use a lot of things that damage the ozone layer. CFCs, cars, and factories are some of those polluters. Cars and factories extract gases that pollute the air. Factory owners cannot shut down their factories just to save the environment; however, they could build something that would prevent the factory’s waste from reaching the air before it is sanitized. CFCs have been destroying the ozone layer for years. In 1978, CFCs weren’t banned, but they were boycotted. If people actually stop using CFCs and start using bikes instead of cars that pollute the air, we might not be in that much danger. The Ice Age was a result of nonhuman behavior; however, the melting of the ice in the North/South poles was probably the result of the terrible decisions made and utilities used.
During the Ice Age, rising temperatures weren't a problem because in order to have a normal life with normal conditions, the temperature should be suitable for humans. Now, if the temperature rises, we would be in great danger. If Antarctica/Greenland melted, each of them would cause sea level to rise 20 ft. People should start worrying less about themselves and start caring more about the environment. Money is a great thing to have; ergo, people feel the urge to work 24/7 and not care about anything else. Many people have been inadvertently damaging the environment. Educated people should raise awareness to the terrible things that might happen to the Earth as a result of those careless humans.

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Raya
11/21/2011 02:05:42

The skeptics make arguments like the nature is more dominant, nature cannot be controlled, and that the warming is due to the nature not humans. They can also say that sometimes weathers can be extreme which occurs coincidentally and also that it is not right to predict climates as they depend on the nature rather than reasons like pollution. So, they believe that climatic models, which make the predictions about the climate in the future, are impractical This global warming is largely due to humans, as now there are large industries that pollute the air by throwing off wastes into the water, air, and land. There are pollutions due to the numerous vehicles. These manmade inventions pollute the air and climate by emitting harmful chemicals and cause global warming. So, we should take climatic models seriously and act to improve them.
I certainly agree with Hiramatsu that now all countries should take initiative to act to decrease the global warming as later in the future it can destroy large parts of countries by flooding. Due to global warming icebergs in the big oceans and other water bodies are melting which is a huge problem. This is because water levels are increasing and this increment might cause flooding and kill a lot of people and animals. Like the lecturer in the Inconvenient Truth said that much of the ice in Arctic Ocean is melting day by day and there will be a time when it will totally melt and flood the nearby countries. So to stop this I think that there should be a new treaty, a second Kyoto commitment period. So, this global warming is a very serious matter because lots of people are in danger of dying in floods. A country like Bangladesh can get totally ruined as it is only 1 m above the sea level and if the water level rises due to global warming and melting of icebergs, the whole country can be drowned.
I agree with the article ‘A bad month for climate-change skeptics’ that there should be no debate and we should look forward to make better the global climate.

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Youssef
11/21/2011 02:10:30

The debate on global climate change is both useful and harmful. Officials and committees have brought up many questions about that topic. Countries are trying to solve the climate change problem and are raising questions about where are we all heading? There are meetings that are taking place like the one in Durban, South Africa on November 28, 2011 between officials from the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases. These meetings are held in order to come up with solutions and predict outcomes. Countries are brought together to play a role in any major agreement on reducing carbon output worldwide. There’s a system called the Kyoto Protocol in which leading nations agree to commit to the climate issue for a long period of time. U.S. officials argue that they cannot commit to a future binding agreement without knowing what it would demand. Developed nations need to increase their leadership roles in order to achieve worldwide gas pollutions. Another main problem is that the global climate agreement couldn’t acquire sufficient political support. Skeptics come up with questions like: how to respond to climate change? Whether the world is warming or there is no reason to act? Skeptics vision natural variability as a dominant factors in explaining dangerous weather. Also, predicting future effects comes with exceptional uncertainties inadequate information about the climate system. Climate change is a very serious issue. Earth is warming by 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit over the past 50 years. The doubling of the amount of carbon in the atmosphere leaves only a 50 percent chance of relatively minor temperature change. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change) predicted that very hot days will get hotter, and days with rain and snow will occur more often. For now, scientists can gather data, and observe global temperature records. They can compare climate now with computer models 10 years ago to find out how relatively similar they are. We need to wait and give the issue its time, in order to come up with accurate information that will aid us into resolving the concern.







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Hussein
11/21/2011 02:36:52

Skeptics believe that believe that “global warming” does not exist and it is just the course of the earth that the temperature rises. They call it climate change. They base their conclusions on the spasmodic heating, and cooling of planet earth as just another transition between two ice ages. I personally believe that I am skeptical about global warming and that is would happen anyway whether or not humans drove American SUVs or Chinese eco-friendly cars. It is just the course of the environment and the weather of earth. On the other hand, the seriousness and intensity of this matter is quite high and the consequences are severe. Living on the coast is practiced by the majority of earth’s population and if the ice caps melt, it will severely effect the humans living on coastlines and in low altitude cities. I believe that driving efficient cars will solve other issues like having better air quality and preserving fossil fuels but will not slow down the affects of climate change. For better, I would like to see climate change work faster and head towards the next ice age so the ice caps would hold and sustain themselves.

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Baheya
11/21/2011 02:45:51

Over the past 50 years, the world's temperature has risen unusually fast by 1.6 degree Farenheit. Some scientists believe that humans are responsible for this move called Global Warming or climate change. Others believe that this is a natural process and humans have nothing to do with it( they are called skeptics).
The main issues that cause climate change are mainly caused by humans: people use cars which leads to polution. Another major thing is factories. Factory owners don't care about the world, they only care about their money and work. Factories dismiss carbon dioxide and its levels have risen. In 1850, a natural warming trend started after the Little Ice Age and IPCC, NASA were responsible for this. The issue of climate change is a very important one and cannot be neglected. We can predict that in thirty years form now, this process will have a huge impact on the world because all the iceberg in the north will melt due to the Global warming as said in the movie you watched" Inconvinient truth". An action should be taken by all countries to save the world. People should not compare the economy with the environment because both of them are important but the world's environment is more important. Hiramatsu said that people should keep their expectations low when it comes to the negotiation in November 28 which will be in South Africa and he also said that all countries should be involved to find a solution to the problem of climate change.

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Adam
11/21/2011 03:00:15

Pros about global warming: The scientific community is very aware of its presence, and they have been doing research for years on how the temperature has changed. As seen in "An Inconvenient Truth," Al Gore stated that many countries have started to take action against global warming, with only the United States and Australia being out of that party, even though there are several states and cities in the US that have started to take action as well.

Cons about global warming: Those who work in the business, with oil, petroleum, amongst other gases, and in politics as well, are skeptical about global warming, believing it to only be completely natural, possibly as a way to keep the business going. Because they view it as a theoretical point instead of a factual one, it also puts things into question on the money that could be spent to make technology that can reduce the severities of global warming or that could be spent for the businesses that emit carbon dioxide into the air, and only focus on economic progress.

I think that human activity is causing an environmental impact in the course of nature. For example, tigers used to thrive in India and Siberia, and now they're endangered to near extinction. The ice is melting in the North Pole, and in Greenland as well, so polar bears are also on the verge. Deforestation is decreasing the amount of trees that come about, and since they take in carbon dioxide, less trees means more carbon dioxide. I think the issue of global warming is very serious, mainly because of the hazards it can cause for people and animals. Animal habitats like coral reefs are dying because of pollution. The use of oil puts hazardous gasses into the air that make the air lose its "freshness." What can be done about global warming is reducing those carbon emissions, reducing the amount of deforestation, which would mean restricting cutting down trees in the Amazon rainforest, as the diversity of animal life there is massively large. Using less electricity and oil and creating technology that can rely on less evironmentally damaging factors, like solar power can also benefit the environment, and of course, taking care of the habitats we are in so that animals don't face risky and dangerous situations.

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Ranna
11/21/2011 03:25:34

There have been many debates on whether or not global climate change is good or bad. Skeptics have been on different sides. One group says that climate change is caused by human activity. The other says that it is caused by nature, and that no one can control nature. Something very good going on, which was mentioned in “An Inconvenient Truth”, is that many countries are taking action against global warming. I certainly believe that humans have a great impact on climate change. They are damaging the ozone layer because of many reasons. First of all, Pollution from factories, is leading to global warming. Factories are releasing carbon dioxide into the air. The problem is that factory owners don’t care about what is happening. All they care about is to be rich, so they are giving excuses that global warming is caused only by nature and they have nothing to do with it. We are damaging the ozone layer because of all the gases in the air, from pollution. Also, cars are causing major problems. The IPCC said that the weather is getting warmer day by day, so it is predicted that the days will get much hotter in the future. This natural warming started in 1850 when the Little Ice Age started. Right now, the ice has started to melt in the North and South Pole and Greenland. We need to make serious decisions now and act quickly on what is happening to our world. All the countries should act together as one to figure out what they can do to reduce this deadly matter. Factories should try to figure out a way not to emit all the carbon dioxide in the air. Also, instead of having way too many cars that are causing problems, people should start using more bikes for transportation.

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Hania
11/21/2011 03:40:36

There are two different opinions about global warming or climate change, one is that what's happening with earth and the drastic climate changes are just nature's course between two ice ages and those people are called skeptics. And the other group of people that this is happening because of human impact on the earth. I very much liked the expression that Al Gore used in the video we watched in class "an inconvenient truth" where he had a scale and on one side there was gold bars which represented the economy and on the other side of the scale there was the entire PLANET! Al Gore stated great points in his video and I agree with him. In my opinion is that what is happening in the world today with global warming is mostly because of humans. The world has changed in the last 50 years more than it changed in the last 4,000 years. As the number of people increase their is more demand, and that means more cars more factories and definitely more pollution to harm the world. And the people that own the factories and produce the cars only care about the money part of the business, they don't care weather the Earth is damaged because of their emissions or not. A severe consequence of the world heating up are the ice ages melting and the water levels rising and causing costal cities just like alexandria drowning and gets covered by water. That is just one consequence there are many more, and we should take this issue very seriously and be aware that we are getting worse and worse and start taking care of our lovely planet.

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Omar Altieri
11/21/2011 03:41:37

The cause of Global warming is still not 100% conclusive, as for now the world is split into two groups: one believes that humans are the cause for the global climate change. And the other, also known as skeptics, believe that the global climate change is due to nature not humans.
I believe that human procedures are the cause of global warming, not nature. Richard Muller has verified that the earth is warming by about 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit over the past 50 years. And what happened over the past 50 years? Over the past fifty years cars became the main source of transportation around the world, factories have grown etc., of which most causing carbon emissions (pollution) which in turn damage the ozone layer and heat up the climate.
I agree with Hiramatsu that an action must be taken in which all the countries of the world should join hands and try to decrease global warming as soon as possible because in the “Inconvenient Truth” it is predicted that in 30 years the Arctic Glaciers will melt causing a vast number of states and cities to flood if global warming is ignored.

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Nehal
11/21/2011 03:53:04


The people who think global warming in just a theory, not a fact or a truth, base this idea on the occurrence of ice ages in the past thousands of years. They say that the process of ice melting and then re-freezing has been occurring in Earth many times and it is not caused by humans. However, most people think that global warming is caused by the actions of humans, and I agree with that. Human consumption of gas and oil and their destruction of natural environments is severely hurting our planet. This issue is extremely serious because of the effects it might have on us in the future. I agree with Al Gore when he said that at some point or time we would have to chose between our economy and our planet. To me, this is not a difficult choice. Our economy can be rebuilt and prosper again, but we only have one planet where we can live and survive; we have no where else. So I came to this conclusion: without the planet, there is no economy. There are many things that we can do to save our planet. First of all, use more eco-friendly everyday machines. For example, we can harness solar power for electricity, use cars that use less gas and produce less carbon dioxide, use light bulbs that save energy,….etc. Also, this has to be an international effort. All countries must work together to regulate a set of rules that will help save the environment and reduce factors that harm it.


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Faisal
11/21/2011 04:26:34

Scientist is organized in two different ways. One of the groups believes that humans are the main cause of the changes in the global climate. The other group believes that this is just normal and humans have nothing to do with the changes in the global climate. They believe that climatic models, which make the predictions about the climate in the future, are impractical. This global warming is largely due to humans, as now there are large industries that pollute the air by throwing off wastes into the water, air, and land. There are pollutions due to the numerous vehicles. These manmade inventions pollute the air and climate by emitting harmful chemicals and cause global warming. So, we should take climatic models seriously and act to improve them.
Another main problem is that the global climate agreement couldn’t acquire sufficient political support. Skeptics come up with questions like: how to respond to climate change? Whether the world is warming or there is no reason to act? Skeptics vision natural variability as a dominant factor in explaining dangerous weather. Also, predicting future effects comes with unique information about the climate system. Climate change is a very serious issue. Earth is warming by 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit over the past 50 years. For later on, I would like to see climate change work faster and better towards the next ice age so that it would be able hold and sustain itself.

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Mounzer
11/21/2011 05:06:00

"There are many different answers that pop into people's heads when the question 'Is global climate affected by human beings' is asked. Some people think human beings are the only cause, some think that they have nothing to do with it, and others think that humans, along with natural climate change, causes the ice to melt and the water to freeze". Humans weren’t there during the ice age, it’s not our fault there are changes in temperature. Yet on the other hand, there are many things that pollute the earth such as cars, buses, throwing things in rivers or lakes, etc. human activity on earth is causing many of these problems. For example, in the video clip it said that Ice in he North Pole and Greenland are melting, and now because of that, many polar bears are dying because that get tired from swimming and drown. If it weren’t for humans, the ozone layer wouldn’t have been harmed, but because of all the gases we release the damages it. Gases are released such as pollution from factories. We have many of those in Egypt, which pollute the air, yet the factory owners don’t care because they only care about making more money. We cant just sit back and watch it happen, we actually have to have a plan. During the video clip, the speaker was showing us major cities that would eventually be under water, such as New York, Tokyo, Shanghai Etc. as the population grows, there will be more demand, which means there will be more pollution harming us.

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AbdelRahman Zwein
11/21/2011 05:51:17

There are two groups of scientists in this world. One group believes that humans are the reason for global warming, the other group, also known as the skeptics, believe it is merely nature taking its course and repeating its cycle and that humans have no influence on it at all. Skeptics call "global warming" climate change, they base their conclusions on the spasmodic heating, and cooling of planet earth as just another transition between two ice ages. Human being were not alive during the last ice age, so we did not by any way cause the last ice age, keeping this in mind, we might be no causing this "temperature change" but possibly making it more extreme, which, in my opinion will have more hurtful complications in the future affecting humanity and other organisms. Keep in mind that the theory of anthropogenic, man-made, global warming is just that, still a theory. I believe climate change or global warming is a very serious dilemma, and that countries should work together and contribute their effort into coming up with a permanent solution for this problem.

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Nadim
11/21/2011 05:59:26

Global warming is one of the world’s major issues. It is a topic that is widely discussed by global leaders all over the world, as it tends to have a huge impact on our future. Skeptics believe that global climate change is not linked to human actions, but rather to the natural events that occur on a daily basis. Meetings are taking place all over the world with the goal of preventing global climate change. Treaties like the Kyoto Protocol have been signed, which is an international agreement where countries that have agreed to join are required to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gasses. There are both advantages and disadvantages to global climate change, but the cons vastly outweigh the pros. Some of the pros are that the arctic regions might experience the growth of plants, because of milder weather. Longer growing season can benefit the agricultural businesses. Another advantage is less energy consumption, because warming up houses wont be necessary. Some of the disadvantages are that sea levels around the world will rise, which is a result from melting ice caps. Changes in climate can affect agricultural growth, which can result in food shortages. The ice caps will melt which will kill all species living on them, such as polar bears. I personally think that global climate change is cause by humans, because we are the reasons behind pollution and that destroys the ozone layer. The issue of global climate change is a momentous problem which everyone should be aware of. The only way we can stop it is by reducing the emission of greenhouse gasses, and cutting down on the pollution that causes it.

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Priyanka
11/21/2011 15:29:46

Global Warming is one of the world’s biggest problems. Some people say that we (humans) are causing this. Skeptics believe that humans are not responsible for global warming. I believe that both of the groups the people who believe that humans are the cause of global warming and the skeptics are both right. For example: Carbon dioxide level raised because of humans. Deforestation caused the level of CO2 to rise. Also pollution is a human controlled aspect. We do somehow contribute to global warming but there are also somethings in nature that can’t be changed. Humans did not cause the first ice age and the transition, as they say, between the first and second ice age is also controlled by nature. Al Gore said that co2 level is much higher than it was 650,000 years ago. I think that humans can control the co2 level and that if we take care of this planet then we might be able to save it.
Global warming is a very serious issue because as you see ice caps are melting. The temperature is increasing and the level of Co2 is rising. All of these have a huge impact in the world. Also population has increased so much that the need of food and water has increased too. I think that things that we can control should be stopped. Like for example we can stop cutting trees and stop pollution.

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Autumn
11/21/2011 16:43:02

Global Warming has long been a major issue for the world to address, and the fact that it has not been formally addressed yet is extremely alarming. What is even more alarming, is that some people are even denying that it exists. We have learned a many things on this subject, including scientific research that has been done to support Global Warming. One case that really did surprise me was when they talked about a scientific research paper with information crucial to global warming was edited by a formal petroleum worker! How could the government let that happen? Unless such was planned. There is nothing negative about bringing awareness to global warming, no matter how hard the press tries to say there is. to stop global warming, we must make drastic changes. Things such as reducing carbon emissions from vehicles, conserving what we have left of our fresh water, or just letting the people around you be aware of whats happening to our world too. In the movie "an inconvenient truth" we find out that to get this information spread, you have to go state by state, city by city, person by person. When you think about things like the Kyoto Protocol, it makes you wonder, why can't the whole world come together and work on an agreement just as affective, but only on a larger scale? We can do it. Just like the American revolution, we the people of the world can make a change!

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Alaa
11/22/2011 19:31:54

I believe that humans are responsible for what is happening to the our planet Earth. After reading the articles and watching the movie I am with the idea of global warming. The humans are using many ways to pollute the air like, exhaustion of fuel used in cars, planes, factories, and ships. Also the countries on the coast of the sea shore are throwing their garbage in the water and the ships are doing the same. Oil tankers disposes and leeks its oil in the water as well and so pollutes the water and so effects our drinking water with time. One of the most important factors contributing to the pollution of the atmosphere is the nuclear boom and NASA launching rockets and space ships into the universe.
The IPCC in the U.N are making studies about the climate change and not everybody approve of the results of their research. It is true that nature has a great effect on climate change but humans are responsible for a bigger share of the global warming. I personally feel that the weather is getting warmer than usual at this time of the year.
What we should do to reduce the effect of global warming is to use solar energy in cars, natural gas, cars run on electricity. The government should stop giving permissions to greenhouses because it emits gases that effect the atmosphere. We should implement system of recycling and stop throwing garbage in the water.

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Sarah
11/23/2011 02:01:18

Some say that humans are causing global warming, some say that humans have nothing to do with it, and some say that global warming does not exist. I believe that global warming does exist and humans are to blame. With all the emissions that we release every day by using cars that release carbon into the atmosphere, etc, we are harming the environment, polluting the air, destroying the ozone, and causing the planet to get warmer. The major issue is not if global warming is real or not and causes climate change, but how can we deal with these changes to our planet? I believe we should continue funding developments preventing harm to the environment because there is no harm in doing so if we find out that global warming and climate change doesn't exist. So what if we waste a hundred million dollars if we get to save lives and our beautiful home, Earth. Skeptics say that humans did not cause the first ice age. Al Gore, however, has said that the carbon dioxide level is much higher than it was 650,000 years ago. This issue is extremely serious because if climate change and global warming are real, then the Earth could have another ice age or have solar flares/burn as hot as the surface of the sun. There is no doubt that weather lately is occurring on extreme levels. We hear of hurricanes, tsunamis, and earthquakes everyday all over the world. What we can do to stop climate change, if it is caused by global warming, is to reduce how much carbon we release into the air by use of cars and other products or electronics that do so. Together we can save our planet!

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Ashley
11/23/2011 02:51:17

The skeptics believe that global warming is just a phase and the nature is just running its course. Also, that we humans can’t change what the nature wants to do and it cannot be controlled by us. They believe that Earth is going through its warm stage. The previous cycle for climate change of the years was cold to hot then back to cold. That’s why we had ice ages and then warmer periods afterwards, and it keeps going. They presume that we are just at the warm stage and soon, it will cool down.
The cons of global warming are clear and plentiful. The meltdown of ice caps will cause greater sea levels, which is quite alarming for the population living on the coastal areas. Extreme weathers such as hurricanes are more likely, during global warming. Extinction of species, which require cooler temperatures to survive in, is no doubt one of the major issues we face. There are many more problems we face because of global warming and barely any pros to look for in the issue.
I absolutely don’t believe that its nature running its course, and that humans don’t have anything to do with it. Humans certainly have a large part to play in this issue. Global warming is when the Earth as a whole is getting warmer than usual. What stops the rays from the sun to hit directly at earth, it’s the ozone layer. What we didn’t know while we were driving our cars was that we were, one by one, destroying the ozone layer. Not only cars, but anything that puts out greenhouse gasses into our atmosphere is responsible for global warming. The problem is very serious and has to be addressed by the whole world right now. While the Earth gets warmer, ice caps melt and create lots of water. Water heats up a lot quicker than ice, and therefore changing the environment around us. Soon, Antarctica will barely exist and sea levels would have risen more than ever. Mass population would move from their coastal areas to somewhere safer. We cannot let this happen and we must quickly join hands with the world and fight global warming together.

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