When you were a kid did you ever have a little fish tank that you didn’t regularly clean out? How did the little goldfish do? Well, think about Earth surrounded by her atmosphere as a little human tank. As we continue to be fruitful and multiply and continue to devour more of nature’s bounty, spew more of our effluence into the environment and otherwise disregard the state of our surroundings it seems more than just plausible that we will be create a future for our children that is like the fish tank you had as a kid.
The debate over climate change has been going on for quite a while now. On one side are an overwhelming majority of scientists who have concluded that human activity, particularly the burning of fossil fuels, is causing global warming. On the other side are the fossil fuel industries, the polluting industries and their loud-mouthpieces like Glen Beck who deny that anything humans do can affect the environment. So there are two camps. Camp A suggests that we are damaging the environment and our activities can lead to serious and irreversible damage to the Earth. Camp B suggests that we should continue on happily ignoring such possibilities since such concerns are just theories. Now, let’s consider the outcomes which occur depending on which camp is correct. If Camp A is correct, we have massive flooding of coastal areas due to the melting ice caps and crop devastation due to rising temperatures. If Camp B is correct, we may have less economic growth. Pay your money, take your choice.
There has recently been an interesting twist in the debate. After a two-year review of climate change data, Richard Muller ― the preeminent physicist climate change deniers love to trot out to show lack of consensus in the scientific community ― has concluded that global warming is real. One-quarter of his $600,000 research funding came from the Charles Koch Foundation, whose founder is a major funder of skeptic groups and the tea party. The Koch brothers, Charles and David, run a large privately held company involved in oil and other industries, producing sizable greenhouse gas emissions. It will be interesting to see who Camp B is going to rely on now to discredit the scientific community.