Should We Really Do Something Now?

As we’ve discovered in class, global warming is a HUGE elephant. At first we thought it was all about science, but after watching a few movies, we realized that global warming was more about politics than just science. Then we talked to former economics teacher, Chad Laney, and realized that things aren’t too simple in the world of the economics of global warming. Just a few days ago we had brainstormed about things that interest us about global warming, and we came up with a list of over 10 completely different categories. To me, this elephant just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

When we zoom into the heart of the elephant, what exactly causes global warming, I think things just become too polarized. When it comes to the cause of global warming, either you’re right wing or left wing—global warming anthropogenic or it isn’t. Out of all the movies we’ve watched in class, each one takes the another movie’s point and dismantles it. The world of global warming has become much more competitive with regards to being right instead of actually trying to educate the world about a global issue. So I did a bit of research about some aspects of global warming and I’ve realized that some movies got some things right and some things they got wrong, especially when it comes to the causes of global warming. Why can’t there just be a middle ground on this issue?

The cause of global warming may not seem like a huge issue, but it is. If we don’t know what is going to cause the potential demise to life on earth as we know it, how are we going to fix the problem? Take the rise of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice for instance. If too much sea ice melts, instead of the white ice reflecting the sun’s rays, the dark ocean absorbs them, making the seas warmer, speeding up global warming. All in all, this would be a pretty large impact if it were to continue. A lot of people think that the sea ice is melting because humans are emitting carbon dioxide, hence heating the earth and melting the ice, but this may not be the case. Studies have shown that the reason for the melting of sea ice is a natural phenomena called the Arctic/Polar Amplification Effect.

Ok, so I have just put this new potential cause for a controversial issue in your face, but how does this connect to our emitting carbon dioxide? Lets get a few things straight: First, lets say hypothetically the Arctic/Polar Amplification Effect is the only cause of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice fluctuations but instead, scientists believe that it is caused by anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions . If this is the case, then chances are at some point before we all die, there is going to be some worldwide effort to cut human carbon dioxide emissions. Lets say this is done by cutting the world’s oil demand in half.

This relates back to what Laney had said: so many people in the oil industry would lose their jobs just because we are trying to solve a problem that doesn’t even exist (and when I say that I mean Arctic and Antarctic sea ice changes that are caused by carbon dioxide). And think about the magnitude of this change—the whole world. Thats a lot of jobs lost. I’m not much of an economist, but I do know that if many jobs are lost, that means less money into the economy, and more economic hardship, possibly a global depression. I don’t know, but right now, global warming needs a lot more thought before we do something about it. Risking a global depression, at this point, isn’t worth it.

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