The AP reports today that there is a big debate inside the scientific community on how to break the news that global warming has been slowing since 1998 despite an increase of carbon emissions. The UN has asked for a full report on global warming but in a leaked draft of the report, it indicated a dramatic slowdown in the increase of temperatures the past 15 years. The increase was only half of the average rate of what had been recorded for years between 1951 and 1997. The scientific community has always argued that the more carbon emissions, the hotter the planet would become. And the last 15 years have seen far more emissions globally with China and India and other 3rd world countries building factories and using automobiles.
The U.S. has urged the authors of the U.N. study to include the "leading hypothesis" that slowing is due to more heat being transferred to deep waters in ocean. Germany and Hungary don't want to deal with at all! They have asked that the entire section be deleted, saying 15 years is too small a window to judge global temperature trends. Belgium states that 1998 was a particularly hot year for the earth and that if you looked at 1999-2012 you would still see the curve up in temperatures. Some scientists argue the same point that some deniers of global warming argue. That there are natural cycles of heating and cooling. The earth according to some of these scientists entered a cooling stage, but is still increasing in temperature because of emissions.
This is creating a problem for governments who want to charge taxes for carbon emissions. "So we've put out more emissions than ever before into the air and the heating has slowed down" comes the cry from business. "All taxing emissions will do is drive up costs on citizens all over the world and expand government" says others.
I understand that when I talk to conservatives I am in a tiny minority on this issue when I say humans are contributing to the destruction of our planet. Immediately I hear things like "this is the coldest summer on record". Actually it was the 3rd coldest, tying 1948. But global warming isn't about Columbia getting hotter. According to National Geographic it's about making floods and droughts more common. It's about making storms stronger. It even may flip weather patterns so here in the south we get more snow and up north gets warmer weather. It's also impossible to attempt to judge if things are getting better or worse around the planet by how things are going in South Carolina.
Some respond that the planet has been through so much that there is no way humans could ruin it. It's true that the planet has survived a lot of things. The inhabitants however did not. Scientists document 5 mass extinctions that have happened on earth. So you're right if you say "don't worry about the earth because she can take care of herself". No one should worry about the earth, worry about what is living on it.
A lot of my Christian friends argue that God is in complete control and the earth was created for man. In Genesis God gives the earth over to man. "Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground." So we are in control of the earth. God as always in control of everything, but He told us to take care of this. It doesn't appear that we are doing a great job of keeping His creation up. And if you don't think man is capable of ruining it, look how the Bible says we are responsible for the introduction of sin, and it's effects. Then God said to the woman, "I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you." And to the man he said, "Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it.
If you are a Christian you should understand that we helped introduce disease, death, pain, and all things evil because we rebelled against God. So if God would give man the power to introduce misery and even death to the earth, why do you think God would stop man from contributing to his own demise? God allows people to commit suicide either quickly, with a jump or slowly by abusing their bodies with food or drugs. We can cry ignorance but there are thousands of the brightest people on the planet, warning us to turn around. You can say their motives aren't pure, which is what people said to scientists in the 50's who warned that smoking was killing them. They were being bought off by liberal groups who just wanted to raise taxes on cigarettes. The same was said of the scientists in the 1910's and 20's who warned of the dangers of alcohol. It might have been said around 750 BC by the people in Nineveh when a foreigner named Jonah came to their city (after a 3 day detour through a great fish's belly) to warn them that if they keep doing what they're doing, then doom was coming. I'm sure some in Nineveh was saying "Be smart people. Ask yourself what is in it for this guy Jonah. Probably some church is paying him off to scare you to come give them money. We're the best city around and this guy from podunk Gath-heper is supposed to be smarter than us? If you've got all the answers smart-guy go fix your crappy town up".
There are a number of scientists who say humans are not contributing to global warming. That number is 24. There are a number of scientists who say humans are contributing and that number is 13,926. Here's how that looks on a pie chart.
And for those of you who believe the 13,926 have been paid off by governments to manipulate their research, what makes you think the 24 scientists on the other side weren't paid off by big business? And if all this research was bogus, why would we ever know when there is a problem with it? They could have prepared a report for the U.N. that said the rate had increased at the same pace as emissions, and then told you artic caps were almost gone and the rain forest is dying and there would be no way for any of us who don't have the ability to fly and see those things to know if they were lying or not.