The White House released a big climate change report today. I’m skeptical. But I’m also skeptical of climate change skeptics. I really don’t know what to think about all this.
Some highlights from the report:
- A regional breakdown of climate change’s effect on different parts of the United States.
- Explicit blame for drastic climate change on “human activities, predominantly the burning of fossil fuels.”
- Special emphasis on water quality, water supply reliability and agriculture as potential victims of climate change.
- Of course, the inadequacy of current “adaptation and mitigation” and the need for better preparedness via federal laws regulating emissions for vehicles, appliance and building efficiency and financial incentives for alternative fuels and technology.
The report uses temperatures from 1895 onward. This seems like a pretty small sample size to me. 100 years is a long time, but the climate has been changing since the planet was formed. That said, the report states temperatures were not recorded until 1895…oh well.
Another recurring question I have in response to news of climate change regards the possible benefits of a warmer planet — more farmable land, longer frost-free growing seasons, etc. Climate change poses a threat to the status quo, but what are the possible benefits of “global warming”? Maybe the benefits pale in comparison to the dangers, but aren’t they at least worth mentioning in a “scientific” report?
I’m a beginner when it comes to climate change. I know that anything resembling an “objective” analysis is almost impossible to find given the political ramifications inherent in the issue. But I’m also hesitant to dismiss evidence of global warming considering the disastrous outcomes its proponents predict.