Certainly, everything has its reason and purpose: while environmental experts and climatologists are discussing the problem from the scientific point of view and looking for ways to change the situation for the better, politicians sometimes occupy the “green” side only to enhance their own image. And needless to mention, there is also the business side of the matter: new technology, useful in relation to the environment, can be a very good source of profit for deft hands and minds.
But let‘s get back to the planet and its climate. According to NASA experts (and not only), climate change is a normal thing, which in the history of our Earth can be observed more than once, and wildlife has successfully coped with these serious fluctuations with the help of powerful “built-in” adjusting mechanisms.
«Climate is constantly changing. We have had periods of ice and warmer times during which alligators lived in Spitsbergen», says Richard S. Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (via Skepticalscience.com). So, on the one hand, you should not overestimate your own importance on a global scale.
On the other hand, man’s stubborn desire for progress and a bright future could not but leave its mark.
«Climate change is already happening: the temperature is rising, the spatial and temporal distribution of precipitation, melting glaciers, decreasing snow cover, and the average depth of the world’s oceans are rising – proclaimed the European Environment Agency in a February press release. A significant contribution to climate warming is most likely to be seen in the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere due to emissions from human activity. To mitigate climate change, we need to reduce or prevent these emissions».
Such unambiguous but undramatic evidence of the consequences of human carelessness is supplemented by a mass of much more picturesque materials. So, for example, Norwegian scientists, as iDnes.cz writes, have linked changes in the diet of polar bears (which suddenly began to feed not only on seals, but also on dolphins) with climate warming. The rise in air temperature and a period of drought, as stated in an article in Novinky.cz, has also influenced the yield of the vines in the Beaujolais region. The truth is that in such cases, the reader should be more than attentive: an attention-getting title may not necessarily have been based on verified facts; moreover, single observations do not always serve as conclusive proof of the existence of a global problem.
Scientists in the climate debate are divided into two camps: those who completely deny the existence of the problem, and those who scream its risks at the top of their voices. The NASA observations are in favor of the latter.
«The warming of the climate system is unambiguous, and since the 1950s many changes that have no parallels over the past decades to millennia have been observed. The atmosphere and the oceans are warming up, snow and ice quantity is decreasing, sea levels and and greenhouse gases concentrations are rising» – reports the Summary for Policymakers, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2013.
This sounds clear enough.
So the question is not whether the change exists or not. It is more important to answer the question of how humans have to behave in this situation, and not only to respond, but also to start taking meaningful action. Although the official results of the last climate conference in Paris sounded promising, in practice little has changed, as Ekolist.cz reports with reference to the latest data from the International Energy Agency. If however actions were taken, then in some places there is a feeling that these actions might be directed to the wrong address. „I do not understand why we should stuff billions of euros into the green energy of developing countries, while their contribution to climate warming is minimal» – molecular biologist Omar Šerý writes in his Twitter. And then he receives an answer from one of his subscribers: «It’s not about logic, it’s about profitable contracts for a number of pre-selected firms. This is a reliable business in which you do not risk losing money».
For all the ugliness of the picture, you should not be skeptical. The main thing is to remember that we have only one house – our planet, and it would be nice to start at least pretending that we care about it. And in this case, everyone’s contribution is important.