Global warming: ‘lets act on solid science’

By Dr. David Dunbar
March 15, 2007

Mr. Lindros’ position is that many of the current proposed solutions to combat global warming probably will not stop it or drastically reduce it. My hope is that as more and more people begin making choices to reduce carbon emissions, efforts will increase exponentially to tackle this pressing problem.

The Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steve Chu, head of the world-renowned Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, states that “what’s needed is the will to face the crises and to break it into component problems.”

I am in complete disagreement with Mr. Lindros’s views about whether there is a crisis at all. If one reads the most widely agreed upon credible scientific articles closely, those that have been published over the last ten years in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, the effects of global warming will have catastrophic environmental effects regarding human habitation.

Several prominent scientists even predict that if current trends in human carbon emissions continue, without increasing in rate, then human civilization will be reduced to a few breeding colonies at the North and South poles due mainly because these places will be the only ones left hospitable for humans. This legacy is not the type I intend to leave behind for future human civilizations.

Mr. Lindros is wrong to suggest that there is a problem with the weight of the scientific prediction that the IPPC report cited in the article “making interesting reading to the discerning.” If one reads the actual IPPC report closely, it states that “there is a greater than 90 percent chance that global warming is human induced.” The report further stipulates that the average global temperature increases over the next 50 years will rise anywhere from two to five degrees Celsius.

True, sea levels have not risen drastically due to global warming, not yet that is. A mere five degree increase in temperature would inundate most areas of the Earth that lie at sea level. If conservative scientific predictions are accurate, in 50 years, millions of people around the Earth – those who live near the world’s great oceans – are in peril. Science magazine, the premier science magazine in the world today, states that the IPCC report “is overly conservative when it comes to the fate of the world’s great ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica.”

Mr. Lindros is partially right when he notes that there have been other warming trends over the last hundred thousand years. But more importantly he is completely wrong when he fails to notice that these historical warming trends tend to be “a blip on the radar” when it comes to their magnitude of destructive power as compared to the current warming trends.

Furthermore, there have been numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles indicating current global warming is human-induced. There have been zero peer-reviewed articles refuting global warming, either human-induced or otherwise.

To me, to choose to do nothing to attempt to “slow” down global warming is a morally indefensible argument. On the basis of the overwhelming scientific evidence and with concerted, collective effort we may be able not simply to slow down global warming, but even to reverse it.

To me, society’s best defense against climate catastrophe depends on all of us arguing in good faith and acting on solid science.

As far as my daughter is concerned, I am proud that she feels she has an obligation to do something to save our planet. Megan is not scared, she is empowered.

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Dr. David Dunbar

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