Why Climate Change? Don't We Have Enough to Worry About Already?
At a time when societies around the world are coping with the results of financial shenanigans and rising unemployment, there are even weightier matters confronting future generations. The economic crisis and the problematic job markets will eventually be sorted out, but do we also need to urgently deal with issues of climate change?
There is a lot of noise about global warming, but very little common understanding is being achieved. While we are focused on immediate concerns, we might be ignoring a looming future catastrophe. It is important to transcend our obsession with short-term gains (that's what forced the world economy into a tail-spin, after all) and carefully consider long-term consequences.
What are the actions of today that will affect the world of tomorrow? Because of our current behavior, what will our descendants be dealing with? Let's separate fact from fiction and face the very real effects of global warming and the extremes of climate change.
Recently there have been extensive revisions in the assessment of climate change issues by many scientific organizations. Greenhouse gasses are increasing dramatically due to huge industrial growth in China and India. Plus, with the thawing of the poles, rising sea levels are eminent (possibly 55 inches by the end of the century) and this puts the highly populated coastal areas in danger.
Changes are happening, but how do we know what they are?
Of course, our planet has been experiencing weather's ups and downs and highs and lows for billions of years. What makes us think the climate is changing more drastically now, and what could be causing it?
The invention of the Morse electric telegraph in 1837 made it possible to gather reliable observations over wide areas. In 1849, the Smithsonian Institution established a surface weather observation network across the United States, and similar systems were begun throughout Europe.
By the end of the 1800s, many countries had established national meteorological services that added to our store of scientific information regarding the world's dynamic weather patterns. So, as far as record-setting climate events are concerned, at least we have accurate information to review throughout the 1900s.
We also have reports spanning all of human history that document weather patterns for thousands of years. In addition, we have excellent geological evidence that provides data encompassing millions of years. It is clear that this exciting little planet has been going through extreme upheavals ever since it began.
Considering known cycles of the past, some say we are overdue for another ice age. Research suggests that the earth's magnetic field has been diminishing lately, and this could be a sign that a magnetic shift is eminent. The North and South poles might actually flip, causing catastrophic upheavals that could rearrange continents and severely shake up all forms of life. We know that such things have happened in the past, and they are sure to happen again -- but when?
We depend on the planet's magnetic field to protect the surface from deadly solar radiation. If it is currently becoming weaker, that won't help us much if the sun starts blasting us with extreme killer flares. Records indicate that our old reliable sun has recently been behaving in radical, unexpected ways, and it could fry the entire planet at any moment!
There are also more exotic views of upcoming earth changes...
Many researchers insist that ALL of the planets in our solar system are heating up, and climate change is not just a local condition, it is a far reaching cosmic development. There are those who speculate about a buildup of hyper-dimensional electromagnetic forces that will influence not just our own planet's weather, but the future evolution of our entire solar neighborhood.
Daring to behold an even larger perspective, some say that our solar system is going through a cycle that causes it to bob up and down through the disk of our Milky Way galaxy, and we are soon to come into alignment with the galactic plane of the ecliptic. This could result in a surge of unknown energy and particle phenomenon that has been repeatedly experienced before by our planet, but it is something that modern humans have not had to deal with before. Nobody knows how such a development would affect our civilization.
There is also a growing movement of doomsayers who insist that the world will endure some sort of significant transformational event on December 21, 2012, as suggested by the famed end of the Mayan Calendar and the puzzling prophecies of Nostradamus, as well as other metaphysical sources.
Yikes, it looks like fun times are ahead for planet Earth! But before we get too stressed out, let's settle down and confine ourselves to reliable, factual information. With a new emphasis on non-ideological scientific inquiry, we are getting a flood of studies that must be seriously considered. Clearly, we must deal with this matter now... along with all the other problems that can no longer be ignored.