Yes, Virginia, there is Climate Change. In fact, there’s been steady climate change for millions of years, on this poor tired and embattled Earth we inhabit. The one thing constant about life on this planet has been constant change.
The answer to the question, “Does human industrial activity contribute to global climate change?” is most certainly yes. We add millions of tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere each year and we know that carbon dioxide allows solar energy to enter the atmosphere and prevents it from leaving: global warming.
The big, and as yet unanswered question, is “Does the climate change caused by human industrial activity pose a threat to human life and all life on this planet?” The answer is: “We don’t know.”
That being said, it’s important to examine the consequences of making a wrong decision, as a society and a species, with regard to human caused climate change.
If we decide that human effects do not pose a threat to life on this planet and we are right, we go on about our business. If we are wrong, we boil in the pot with the proverbial frog.
If we decide that human effects may indeed pose a threat to life on this planet and we are right, we change our lives for the better in the long run creating a sustainable society that can live indefinitely within its biological and geophysical means. If we are wrong, we’re still ahead because we are living in a sustainable society that can exist indefinitely within its biological and geophysical means.
It doesn’t seem to take an Einstein to make the right choice here. Unfortunately, instead of Einsteins, our world is run by economists and politicians, who are incapable of making a decision based on logic and data, relying instead on profits and poll results.
So here we are, drifting toward the waterfall in a boat made of papier maché.