Global warming; some say it's a fact, and have loads of data to back it up, others say the facts are "fudged" and/or it's not man made.
There's those who accept it, those who are concerned about it, and there is still a large minority of deniers who think there's nothing to worry about.
I'm kind of in the middle. As a retired scientist/educator, I know what John Robert Malthus (the father of "Demography" or population science)said over 200 years ago is coming true; "As the quantity of life (in a given area) increases, the quality of life decreases". Life is getting tougher for many, as our population continues to grow.
And we are growing at the ridiculous rate of over 150 more births than deaths per MINUTE, 200,000 more per day, over a million per week.
Search any population data page;
I recommend [worldometers.info]
So if more people means less room per person, fewer resources per person, more pollution per person and more struggle and competition for education and careers per person; Isn't it a logical conclusion to make - that it’s time to push family planning, at least?
It saddens me that climate change, or at least human-caused climate change, is being denied by too many. "Growth" still has a favorable ring to it, I'm afraid.
I know the reasons deniers "deny".
They don't see the beach getting smaller, they don't notice the increased frequency of warmer weather, they don't make the connections between climate change and food growth and water availability issues.
Or maybe they think it's real...but we can't do anything about it?
In general, the climate deniers are either under-educated, or they're in a business that requires one to ignore climate change.
Search "The Dunning-Kruger effect". It's a phenomenon similar to being religious. As an Agnostic, I adopted Bill Maher's excellent new word for these folk;
Mainly those who are climate change "deniers" are in the business of fuel extraction and burning, or making or repairing machines that use fuels. They’re often religious, and assume that climate change is “God’s will” ....as are the consequences.
But my position is that it's happening, it's affecting us - and it’s getting close (within a few decades) to becoming irreversible, and perhaps causing massive extinctions of most land life and a good amount of oceanic sea life as well.
And if there is a "god" then would (s)he want us to ignore the signs and accept our extinction?
I doubt it.
Indeed; we may be facing our own extinction.
But I’m optimistic; I think we can adjust and survive.
If we go extinct the earth will reset the evolutionary clock back a few million years; and mother earth will breathe a sigh of relief - so we might be gone; but not the planet.
So maybe we should just accept our fate.
If dinosaurs lived with year-round heat, so can we. Remember; they survived, thrived, and evolved over 100 million years with - according to best geologic evidence - little or no snow; and temperatures were 10-15º above what they are today.
Why deny climate change? "Big Tobacco" denied the effects of their product for decades. You may remember the ads posted in Life and Time magazine in the 1950's saying "Doctors Say smoking is good for you" and other absurd statements;
It took decades for "Big Tobacco" to fold; and they're still making a "killing" in third world nations, where cheap tobacco products are sold to youths throughout Asia and Africa.
So denying change keeps the profits flowing in.
But we need to remember; Big "Fossil Fuel" is 50 to 100 times bigger than Tobacco ever was.
Think about it; oil, coal, and gas miners, refiners, transporters and sellers, vehicle makers, sellers, and repair services, all make Tobacco's investment look small. Drive down any main highway; you will see muffler repair, transmission repair, car parts dealers, car dealers, gas stations.
All may be replaced in a decade by electric cars....but not without a huge fight.
So by denying climate change the politicians keep the constituency happy; more jobs kept in the fossil fuel consortium (F.F.C.). I'm sure you know that the U.S. politicians deny human caused climate change more than any other group;
And I'm guessing you know why.
So; we can count on decades of altered facts, twisted theories, and a general denial of the dangers and fading value of fossil fuels in the years to come; there's too many whose income depends on it.
But I say; let's go with the flow. Let's not deny climate change, let's just accept it. Dinosaurs lived for hundreds of millions of years with NO ice, no snow. Antarctica, as it separated from the supercontinent "Gondwana" and crept toward the poles, 180 million years ago (https://www.britannica.com/place/Gondwana-supercontinent) was a sub-tropical world whose dense jungles died and laid down many feet of coal beds.
Those who will suffer most, and much sooner, will be those living close to the ocean in the marginal/developing nations. India, South and Central America, Africa and China. These nations have far fewer building codes and residential restrictions; close to a billion folk live right on the water's edge; so they will suffer the most , and first.
A good storm will kill tens, if not hundreds of thousands per day in the near future; millions could die if a Saffir - Simpson (hurricane rating) "5" hits a major metropolitan area - especially in a marginal/developing nation.
And sadly, S.S."5"s will no doubt become more common as the planet warms.
In populated/industrialized/developed nations like ours, parts of Florida and the east coast of the U.S. will be subjected to rises in sea level of anywhere from a few inches to a few feet within the next few decades. Right now the rise in S. Florida is only a couple of millimeters a year; but that adds up. In addition, if a warmer ocean makes a stronger than normal hurricane that happens to hit a major metropolitan area, we could witness many skyscrapers going down.
The question remains, how fast will we grow? The critical question, the moral obligation question is how obligated are the “haves” to foster education and family planning to the "have-nots"?
To what extent will we rescue, allow, block, or welcome the immigration of the "have-nots”?
The overlying question will be how quickly we can adapt. We will lose a lot of species endemic to the poles; many species off Penguins and Polar bears will be preserved in zoos; because their habitats will be gone - but maybe that’s a good thing? As a child my exposure to zoos was the key to my developing a love for life-science.
Dry areas will become wet, wet areas will dry out, cold areas will become warm, some warm areas will become unbearably hot. And yes, if the gulf stream slows or stops, the arctic could re-activate an "ice age" for northern Europe as well.
For a good sci-fi "what-if" watch "The day After Tomorrow"
What about the evolution of Electric Vehicles, or E.V.’s?
I know that too many of us are entrenched in the fuel-burning business to switch to the E.V.; and as Al Gore pointed out in his movie "An Inconvenient truth" that "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." (a quote from Upton Sinclair).
So....we're stuck with this situation.
Developed nations will have relatively few problems for a number of years. The pre-industrial - Agrarian (agriculturally dominant) nations will be first to suffer climate change effects. Many island-nations in the Pacific are suffering sea-level rise now.
Those who live close to the shore, especially in South Florida, know the insurance rates and building codes have already reflected worst case scenarios. Insurance company pay demographers well.
It's not cheap living near the ocean; but many parts of South Florida can become so inundated with rising seas, that canal-bordered homes will become much more common.
The Venice of the West will be in Miami-Dade county and many other parts of South-East Florida in a few decades.
Land-fill companies who make swamp in to waterfront properties are booming; they not only pile the dredging higher, they sell it to road and government property re-builders who then make the road as well as new government buildings a few feet higher than they used to be, and to new home builders who also raise the foundations above the old standard, or who build "stilt" homes that have lower insurance rates - and are less prone to rising tide/ocean damage.
So the infrastructure planners are definitely not climate change deniers! Demographers who work for these folk are also well paid!
Solutions; What can we do?
We in developed nations will live well for the foreseeable future; it will be our role to push E.V.s alternative (wind, water, and solar) energy, family planning, and conservation. To not push it will be result in us getting pushed by immigrants, and the insanity - terrorism and mass migrations - that increased population density presents to us.
But we can, and will, live without snow and ice, and we will live with rising sea levels and shifting climate, in the foreseeable future.
At least those of us in developed nations will. Developing nations are about to see some serious challenges - and suffer the wrath of climate changes first.
As Malthus suggested, we have to decide how much reduced quality of life - and increased quantity - we're willing to accept.
Please check my data at this excellent data/website; full of important facts, with a running clock showing how fast we're increasing.