Over ONE CENTURY of Climate Science Later and We Are Still Killing Our Planet

Climate science is certainly not too young to be reliable. Eunice Foot’s discoveries in the 1850s (Schwartz, p. 1) and John Tyndall’s discoveries in 1861 (Reidy, p. 13) prove that climate science studies have been around for over 100 years. Therefore, one cannot argue that this is a new topic. Tyndall explicitly said “…that any changes to the constitution of the atmosphere ‘would produce great effects on the terrestrial rays and produce corresponding changes of climate…’” (Reidy, p. 13). Additionally, Foote “…[made] the direct link between the variability of… atmospheric constituents and climate change” (Schwartz, p. 2). These discoveries occurred in the latter half of the 1800s, allowing humanity plenty of time to be warry of its climatic impacts. According to Hall’s article on Exxon, private industry scientists, such as those for Exxon, understood the impacts burning fossil fuels had on global warming in 1977 (p. 1). According to Garvey’s article on the Coal Industry, there was an awareness in 1965 on the implications of fossil fuels and climate change. The fact that Exxon fueled misinformation and aggressively continued promoting fossil fuel use, despite their awareness of the effects their products had, puts humanity in a very dangerous position today (Hall, p. 3). 

I don’t think much has been done politically because it is a reality that politicians don’t want to confront. It’s an area that they cannot see significant change in during their terms. Additionally, it is viewed as messy and controversial, despite it being one topic that should be anything but controversial due to the science backing up all of the claims. All of this leads to politicians focusing on other issues. However, this is an issue that will impact generations to come and should be dealt with as much seriousness as politicians deal with war. Acting on climate change should be a top subject among politicians, yet so many shy away or flat out deny the reality of global warming.

2 thoughts on “Over ONE CENTURY of Climate Science Later and We Are Still Killing Our Planet

  1. Hi Ashley,

    I think another reason that climate change is not dealt with on a political matter with more seriousness, is the fear of taking responsibility for such an important and controversial matter. I also strongly believe that the science we have to back up the reality of climate changes damaging impacts has been presented clearly, but plainly ignored. I see this fault as a social failure to fix such a present and overhanging problem. Politics is already balancing on a thin line of pleasing those who deny climate change and those who are calling for action. This reminds me a lot of techno-fixes in a way, but it seems to be the one thing that cannot be fixed quite yet.

    I found your headline very funny!


  2. I completely agree with you when you said that politicians don’t do much about climate change because it is an area that they cannot see a significant change during their terms. Since politicians’ terms are relatively short, we are constantly jumping from one person to another with often very different opinions. The health and at this point I should say healing of our planet has to be something that is dealt with in a continual way, with politicians passing on the task as they end their term. Unfortunately, our political system rarely allows this type of cooperation to happen. Climate change has to become an issue that is our top priority and that is believed by everyone.


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