Global Warming: Is it scientifically and logically man’s responsibility? Do we know all the facts about Global Warming? We get told one interpretation by the media and by lecturers, but is this right? The argument here is whether man is responsible for the increase in world temperature, or whether it is entirely coincidental with scientific findings and that we have no, or little, impact. Oxford Brookes University has a web page marking its notable contributions to the growing problem of climate change: ranging from the planning of environmentally sustainable buildings to gaining its Fair Trade status in 2003. This is commendable, but in light of the science behind global warming, doesn’t it just add climate change to the band- wagon of Green issues and hope for the best? The science behind Global Warming states that there has been a rise in temperature over the last 40 years. Similarly, there has been a rise in carbon dioxide emissions over the last 100 years. Anyone would therefore assume that the two are linked in some way or another and that carbon dioxide causes an increase in temperature. The BBC website predicts that summers will become hotter and winters will become wetter as a result, and “over the next 73 years the temperature will increase by 4 degrees”. The problem underlying all of these results is that despite a correlation between carbon dioxide and temperature increase, there is no scientific link that shows how one causes the other. Those who believe that man has a direct impact on temperature are in the majority. The Green Party of Oxfordshire has been in existence for around forty years, making it an authority on the subject. They argue two very plausible points related to climate change: that Global Warming has caused fisheries to decline, and that soil productivity has decreased as a result. Moreover, the February Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on climate change maintains that “greenhouse gases are twenty times more responsible than solar activity in causing a rise in temperature”. You might think therefore that because the Green Party has been in existence for so long, and that governments in the western world are intent on reducing carbon emissions, that there is a clear problem and we can do something about it. Our local MP Andrew Smith seems to think so; he has stated that he is “pressing strongly in Parliament for the Climate Change Bill, which will make it a legal requirement for the UK to cut emissions”. But does this mean we do have an impact? On the other hand, those who oppose man’s impact on Global Warming are in the minority. The main premise of this argument is that there is a distinct lack of evidence, and the evidence we do receive is filtered through the media, who use it as propaganda. For example, we are told of the correlation between carbon dioxide and temperature change, but what we are not told is that carbon dioxide lags 800 years behind temperature change, showing how temperature cannot be caused by carbon dioxide. It is true that over the past forty years, temperature has risen, but history has proved a rise and fall in temperatures since the ice age. During the middle ages, the temperature increased, and then for two-hundred years there was a decrease in temperature which saw the Thames freezing on several occasions. It is generally contended that the “problem with climate change theory is that it is unfalsifiable”. Essentially there is no scientific link showing man’s impact on climate change, for how could we have caused the rise during the middle ages without the factories and cars of today? The answer is we didn’t, it was nature. It might be best to hedge our bets with the issue, by reducing carbon emissions we probably will stop other problems from occurring, and might even decrease the rate of Global Warming. Nevertheless, it is not fair that the other side of the argument is so quickly dispatched, in light of evidence that suggests otherwise. No-one is suggesting that what the Green Party, government and Oxford Brookes University stand for is morally wrong, but the way they present their findings is not logical.
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