If climate science is an infant than climate change is an old man by now

I believe that trying to understand the maturity of climate science is a very subjective task. On one hand, you have experiments done in 1850 that show that carbon dioxide does create a greenhouse effect while on the other hand, you have modern scientists still debating what exact effects and consequences this problem will have. In a nutshell, it is very difficult to ascertain whether or not climate scientists have had a definitive grasp on the science behind climate change due to the unexpected changes and unprecedented conditions of the overall climate. Although there have been many opportunities for scientists to develop better understandings of the effects of greenhouse gas-emitting industries. The unfortunate truth is that these understandings have been delayed due to social, political, and coincidental factors. The article by John Schwartz highlights that the earliest knowledge of greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide affecting the temperature of the planet was over 170 years ago. With such a significant lead on climate science, it is frustrating to see the condition that the world is in currently. Unfortunately, these significant discoveries went largely unnoticed as their discoverers were either looked down upon for being women as in the case for Eunice Foote, or lost relevance over time as happened to Tyndall. As for the actions that haven’t been taken by cooperations and governments it’s the same story over and over again. A large company or groups of companies that offer the same commodity discover that their product creates some form of ethical, health, environmental, or social problem, do they come clean and find a new product? The financial loss would be significant and their chances of survival slim. Instead of taking the loss and saving lives or the environment, they delay the public’s knowledge of their negligence through advertising and the spread of misinformation as well as lobbying of government officials in order to slow the creation of regulations and laws.

2 thoughts on “If climate science is an infant than climate change is an old man by now

  1. I agree with you that corporations put their financial priorities over the general health and well-being of the public. The power corporations have over society is frightening on a number of levels. However, the negative effects that companies, such as Exxon, can have on the entire planet and therefore people across the world, not just in their own country, is even more frightening. Misinformation spread by Exxon and the denial of products’ effects on climate change is one of the many factors that have placed humanity in the troubling place we are today. By misinforming the public, these companies have contributed to the lack of, and delayed, action taken by politicians when it comes to climate change. Additionally, the power these companies have over politicians in the government is equally frightening, and, as you said, has also contributed to the harmful position humanity is in today in terms of climate change.

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  2. Your point about social, political, and coincidental factors affecting the science that has been done and is continuing to be done on climate is great. As we can see from the historical records and from many experiments in the past and in modern times, the science behind the fact that the climate is changing is accurate. Although the climate science (like all other science) sits in its own objective corner, while a million other factors are offering in their own subjectivity to either prove it right or wrong. I think it is important to note that the “unknownness” surrounding climate science is just as much due to people playing certain aspects of it out of proportion as for the people who flat out deny it exists. Science is science, and facts are facts regardless of opinions and politics; it is important that everyone starts to realize that.

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