From what I have learned, Scott Pruitt, the newly appointed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, publicly acknowledged that the Earth is getting or has gotten hotter; if not in those exact words, then something along these lines. What Pruitt at this point is not completely sure of, apparently, is how much of an influence on a changing climate we humans are having. But one never knows, right? – his changing his view on this in time or over time is certainly within the realm of possibility.
By expressing one’s beliefs that global warming is real, in order for one to accept that position, to me it means that such a belief is arrived at based upon: 1) personal observation or having first-hand knowledge or evidence of such; or 2) data/evidence gathered via scientific study or analysis supporting such a finding that world warming is, in fact, fact. For a few it could involve a combination of points 1 and 2.
Okay, if Earth is warming, there’s a rational explanation for this happening, right?
Also based on what I’ve learned, CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has gone from much below the 350 parts per million (ppm) threshold (considered by at least one highly respected authority – Dr. James Hansen – to be the maximum safe concentration) during pre-industrial times to right around 401.5 ppm – which is what it is currently.
Something has to be responsible for that rise, obviously. What is more, as a greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere traps and retains heat, hence the reason it and other greenhouse gases have been and are presently being referred to alternatively as heat-trapping gases.
So, where is all this “added” or “extra” CO2 coming from? The thinking here is that it is all on account of the burning of fossil fuels, the process itself, being an air-polluting one.
Now, assuming that an increase in the degree or level of fossil-fuel combustion is what’s behind the rise in concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, it is probably safe to say that if the former is reduced, so too will be the latter, but only after a certain length of time has passed; this conclusion reached using sound scientific observational methods. Even so, this is an area where consensus is still lacking.
So, I have a question for the EPA: Since the agency has maintained (and for quite some time I would suspect) the position that global warming and/or climate change is real (the new EPA Administrator on board also as evidenced with his declaration of acknowledgment of such), is it not the prudent thing to do to act in a manner “protective of the environment” (hint: environmental protection is what the EPA is about, right?) by working forthrightly if not exhaustively toward reducing the concentration of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the air?
We know absolutely that we can do this, irrespective of whether or not we humans are the reason behind our planet’s temperature warming. Doesn’t following that particular path, practice, protocol not make the most sense? I mean, doesn’t it?
Not only do I think so, I know so.
Image above: NASA