AOH :: GWARM.TXT|
Global Warming: Bad Science
University of Virginia Libertarians
Global Warming: Bad Science
OK, here's the doomsday scenario. Mankind is responsible for the increased
release of chloroflurocarbons (CFCs) and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The
CFCs eat away at the protective ozone layer, allowing more hot, radioactive
ultraviolet rays to strike the earth. The carbon dioxide forms an insulating
layer which prevents additional heat from radiating into space. The result?
Global temperatures rise, the ice caps melt, coasts are flooded, and general
Will the above scenario take place? Thanks to the efforts of a few scientists
and a media with a penchant for disaster, most people believe so. This belief
has led to costly environmental legislation. For example, U.S. automobile
manufacturers are now required to maintain carbon monoxide (which combines in
the atmosphere to form carbon dioxide) emission standards by installing
catalytic converters in their cars. The state of Connecticut requires that each
car owner pay approximately $50 annually to have their emissions checked.
Pressure has also been put on the lumber industry to cut back on the number of
trees it fells, because trees absorb carbon dioxide.
But is all this justified? Not really. The evidence supporting global warming is
weak at best.
It is generally agreed among most scientists that worldwide carbon dioxide
levels have been on the rise. In the past 135 years, they have increased by 20
percent. This increase happens to coincide with the start of the industrial
revolution, implying that man is at least partly responsible. It is also the
case that global temperatures have appeared to increase slightly in this same
period. But have global temperatures really risen? And if they have, is it
because of increased carbon dioxide levels? The answers to these questions
Those studies which show an increase in global temperatures appear to be biased
and unrepresentative. This is because the measurements are taken at weather
stations in urban areas which are normally warmer than other areas. These
weather stations are also located primarily on land, and most are in the
If we accept the fact that global temperatures have gone up, it may be due to
causes other than carbon dioxide. The increases may be due to increased amounts
of volcanic ash in the atmosphere, or to increased solar activity. It is also
possible that global temperatures fluctuate naturally. This explanation has
already been proposed to account for the large hole in the ozone layer over
antartica. Such phenomena may occur periodically, without any impetus from human
Rather than increasing global temperatures, or having no effect on them, carbon
dioxide levels may actually decrease them. According to Kenneth Watt, at the
University of California at Davis, increased levels of carbon dioxide cause an
initial rise in temperatures. This rise evaporates tropical oceans which leads
to increased cloud condensation at high elevations. This cloud cover then blocks
sunlight from heating the earth, resulting in cooler global temperatures.
Before we implement expensive and burdensome legislation, let's make sure we are
doing it for a good reason. This means not jumping to conclusions and hearing
all sides of a story. In the case of global warming, and in environmental issues
in general, the thought of potential disasters facing 'mother' earth seems to
make us over-react first, then think later.
Being intelligent is not a felony
But most societies evaluate it
as being at least a misdemeanour
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