A Satirically Serious Piece on Global Warming

Do you like penguins? I like penguins. They’re pretty cool. I think that’s one thing we can all agree on.

At the end of the day, I don’t lose sleep over whether or not you like guns. If I wanted to stay up all night, I’d increase my already high caffeine intake, not stress about whether you’re voting for Hillary or voting for Trump or not voting at all because you think this election sucks. And I don’t give one shit, two shit, red shit, blue shit about if you think my writing sucks. I certainly appreciate it if you enjoy it, but if you don’t, well I don’t really care.

But here’s where I draw the line: our planet is seriously screwed. And that’s not an opinion, it’s a fact. And if you think it’s not, you’re wrong, and pretty stupid. I hate to be rude, but that’s just how it is.

Let’s start off simple here: the small handful of society that is at the top of the intelligence pyramid, formally known as Doctors, tend to agree that climate change is a thing. In fact, 97% of them agree that humans are causing it (Vaidyanathan 2014). Now I don’t know about you, but they seem like some pretty smart people. But let’s look at some stats here:

  1. 70% of Americans believe that “the world’s climate is undergoing a change leading to more extreme weather patterns and sea level rise.” (Monmouth Poll, 2016)
  2. 9% of Americans think it’s not a serious problem. Nine.
  3. 22% don’t believe climate change is occurring at all.
  4. To build off that number, 43% of Republicans don’t think the climate is changing.
  5. Only 27% of Americans (compared to 97% of scientists) think that humans are the cause for climate change.

Stats from: http://www.monmouth.edu/assets/0/32212254770/32212254991/32212254992/32212254994/32212254995/30064771087/bbab2f4a-3eef-4772-9b82-8fbdd996452a.pdf

Well, aren’t we a bunch of f*cking idiots? How logical does that sound? 97% of scientists, NINETY SEVEN, believe humans are the cause of climate change. Evidently, a whopping 73% percent of Americans give that claim a resounding “nah.” Now I don’t know their arguments for why humans aren’t causing it, but I think it’s safe to say there’s a flaw or two in them. That flaw most likely stems from just a wee bit of overconfidence, I’d say, because it’s a pretty ballsy move for an average citizen plucked off the street to look at the work a doctor has put years of research into and say “no.” What world do you live in where you know more than a doctor who is specializing in climate change? Seriously, what world? Because I’d like to go there. It must be nice to be so smart.

And then we have Republicans. And I don’t mean to stereotype because I am well aware that there are still a small handful of Democrats who could care less about the climate changing, and I’m also well aware that 57% of you believe it’s changing. But, and that’s a fairly large, Kim Kardashian-sized but, 43% is a big number. Hell, Mitt Romney would be all over that.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say the 43% of Republicans who think scientists are stupid are also voting for Trump, who tweeted the following in November, 2012:

“The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” (Jacobson 2016)

Brilliant.

Now, I know what they say about assuming, but, I’m going to assume that when this nutcase goes around screaming about how global warming is a hoax and is nonsense and how the Chinese created it…that sounds good to you? Because the words of a TV reality star/fairly unsuccessful business man are more accurate than the words of Ph.D.’s around the world?

Again, what world are we living in here people?

I’ll briefly address the 9% of you who think climate change is happening but is not serious: if the ocean levels continue to rise because of increasing temperature melting the ice caps, you can kiss New York City goodbye. Seems pretty serious to me.

The world’s ice is melting, guys. And it’s not like the ice you put in your water: you can’t just put it back in the freezer after it melts and wait ten minutes and then poof! You’ve got ice! That’s not how this works. And there’s this incredibly obnoxious group of morons who stroll around like they invented the wheel, telling scientists to piss off left and right because the ideas in their own heads are better than the years of work and research put in by those scientists. I mean it’s not a puzzle here or anything, it’s pretty straightforward. We’re in trouble.

For those of you who really, truly need some convincing through simple fact, allow me to run some things by you here. I found these on NASA’s website, and I don’t know how much you know about NASA, but they tend to be pretty smart. Kind of a requirement for doing studies on and putting people in to outer space.

Fact #1: In the past one hundred years, sea levels have risen 6.7 inches, and that number is climbing faster and faster.

Fact #2: The ten warmest years since 1880 have all occurred in the past twelve years, and the twenty warmest years have all occurred since 1981.

Fact #3: Along with surface temperatures, the ocean temperatures are rising, as well.

Fact #4: Greenland, which is way, way, way up north if you didn’t know (because no other country matters, right?), lost 150-250 cubic kilometres of ice annually between 2002 and 2006.

Fact #5: Antarctica, way down south with all the fluffy penguins, lost roughly 162 cubic kilometres of ice during the years 2002 through 2005. We’re really screwing the penguins, guys.

Fact #6: The amount of ice in the Arctic sea, as well as the ice’s thickness, have been on a downward spiral as of late.

Fact #7: Glaciers all around the world are packing their bags and taking a road trip.

Fact #8: The United States has seen an increase in both record high temperatures, as well as “intense rainfall events” (Shaftel 2016) (i.e. hurricanes), while also seeing a decrease of record low temperatures since 1950.

Fact #9: The acidity in the ocean water has increased 30% (!!!) since the industrial revolution began. What does this mean? It means we’re polluting. Like a lot. We put this gas known as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and when it rains, it goes straight to the ocean. While we need carbon dioxide to live, you generally don’t want a lot of it.

Fact #10: I saved the best for last. Or NASA did, I guess. Snow! And the lack there of. Remember how we Pennsylvanians used to get a lot of snow? Yup! Good times. Not so much anymore, which is a real bummer if you like snow. And guess what? Over the past 50 years, the amount of snow has decreased, and the snow that we do get is melting earlier.

All of these stats came from: http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

In the interest of remembering what high school history taught me about persuasive writing, and maybe in the interest of losing some brain cells, I thought I’d take a look into some of the arguments that go against global warming, and laugh at them. Hysterically.

The very first thing I noticed is that when you Google “arguments against global warming,” you get a bunch of fairly unreliable websites that I’ve honestly never heard of. On the contrary, when you Google “global warming” you are greeted with articles from National Geographic, the New York Times, and Natural Resources Defense Counsel.

Now, for the skeptics, or jackasses, as I prefer to call them. I found a website called “Townhall” and read an article titled “5 Scientific Reasons That Global Warming Isn’t Happening,” and then I threw up a little.

The first argument of the article was, and I quote, “There hasn’t been any global warming since 1997.” (http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2014/02/18/5-scientific-reasons-that-global-warming-isnt-happening-n1796423) Well that’s just not true. Refer to fact numero dos.  In the past twelve years, we’ve experienced the ten hottest years since 1880. So right there, that argument is flushed down the toilet. Not only has there been an increase in global warming since 1997, there’s been a record amount of global warming.

Moving on. Argument two, perhaps my favorite. Again, I quote, “There is no scientific consensus that global warming is occurring and caused by man.” (Hawkins 2014) 97%. That’s all I have to say.

Argument three is “Arctic ice is up 50% since 2012.” (Hawkins 2014) This one is an interesting one. Per the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), the arctic ice was at 5.6 million square kilometres in August 2016 (NSIDC, 2016), which is up from 3.41 million square kilometres in September 2012 (NSIDC, 2012). Once again, we have ourselves a very large but, and that but is the fact that that is still significantly less than the average of 1981-2010, which was a little over 6 million square kilometres (NSIDC, 2016). Furthermore, in March 2016, the arctic ice cap hit a record low for the maximum extent of winter ice. That number was 14.52 square kilometres. In fact, the top thirteen smallest maximum extents of winter ice have all occurred, you guessed it, in the past thirteen years (NASA, 2016). That’s a lot of melted ice.

The fourth argument is perhaps the only semi-reasonable one in the article, but when you stop and think about it for, like, two seconds, you realize it’s fairly irrelevant. It is argued that the models used to predict climate change are inaccurate. Okay, first of all, I thought the article was titled “Reasons Global Warming Isn’t Happening”? Last time I checked, projection models don’t actually cause something to happen, they just predict the time it will take and the severity. So the accuracy or inaccuracy of the models neither causes nor deters global warming. With that in mind, the models can say whatever the hell they want, it doesn’t matter when there is data out there that continues to prove that global warming not only is occurring, but is a threat.

And finally, after suffering through an article that does not use data provided from scientists (despite containing “Scientific Reasons” in the title) but instead from unreliable, fairly unheard of, and certainly biased (Right Wing News, I can only imagine which side they’re going to take), we come to the fifth and final (thank god) argument against global warming, which is that predictions about global warming, like the models, have been wrong. And to that I say, you, good sir, are the one who is wrong. As he continues to praise the Arctic’s 50% ice increase since 2012, he consistently fails to mention how a) the amount of ice is still down significantly from the 1981-2010 average, and b) how there has been a record low of arctic ice in the winter each year for the past thirteen years.

So, where does this leave us?

Well, I’ve just rattled off ten non-negotiable facts to you all and then went ahead and used more facts to debunk the “theories” against global warming. And if you want to argue them, well, I mean I don’t know what to tell you. They aren’t opinions, they’re facts. Yes, you may have the opinion that global warming is a hoax. You’re wrong, and you’re pretty stupid, but you are entitled to that opinion I guess. I figured if you’re angry with me, well, it’s because I just made a lot of very good points. But hey, I was just the one spreading the research in a harsh yet honest way. The truth hurts.

I’ve been fairly sarcastic this entire post, because I’ve found that that tends to be a way to get a point across. But this is a serious issue. The planets in deep trouble, and we’re the cause of it, and there’s no way around that. Together, we can all chip in to try to help. It will take years and years and years of effort, and maybe someday the world will be fixed for our grandchildren’s grandchildren, but we have to start somewhere. I’d much rather have my generation be known as the ones who tried to fix global warming, not the ones who let it get out of control. Animals, the landscape, and yes, even humans, are going to be impacted by global warming. As that ice continues to melt and storms continue to brew stronger and stronger, we’re really going to start to feel the results. Maybe we don’t now, but it’s only a matter of time. Stop making this into a debate, because it’s not. It’s just facts: the world’s in trouble. Let’s do something about it. Let’s do something about it for ourselves, for future generations to come, and for the animals out there whose homes and ecosystems are being destroyed because of our actions, and our lack of action to fix it. I’m not a doctor, nor am I a person who has done extensive research on it. Even the research I did for this post was nothing more than searching through databases to find out as much as I can, from the most reliable sources possible, about climate change. When it comes down to it, all I’m doing is sharing what research has proven, not suggested, with a slightly sarcastic touch to it to keep everyone entertained. At the end of the day, I’m not asking you to listen to me, I’m asking you to listen to the people who have devoted their life’s work to this. The people who know more about it than anyone else on this planet. Don’t listen to your politicians or your parents or your friends or people who write rants on the internet with no real data to back it up, regardless of what their views on it are. Take ten minutes, read up on it from NASA or National Geographic or any reliable website, and find out what you can do to help. It’s happening, people, and there’s no way around it.

And for those of you who were wondering, it’s currently 12:45 A.M. and I have class at 8. So yes, I do lose sleep over this issue.

Let’s make the world a better place. Please.

 

­—D.G.

 

Resources

“2016 Arctic Sea Ice Wintertime Extent Hits Another Record Low.” NASA. N.p., 28 Mar.      2016.Web.

“Arctic Sea Ice Extent Settles at Record Seasonal Minimum.” Arctic News and Analysis. National Snow & Ice Data Center, 19 Sept. 2012. Web.

“Arctic Sea Ice Nears Its Minimum Extent for the Year.” Arctic News and Analysis. National Snow & Ice Data Center, 7 Sept. 2016. Web.

Hawkins, John. “5 Scientific Reasons That Global Warming Isn’t Happening.” Townhall. N.p., 18 Feb. 2014. Web.

Jacobson, Louis. “Yes, Donald Trump Did Call Climate Change a Chinese Hoax.” Politifact. N.p., 3 June 2016. Web.

Public Says Climate Change Is Real. Poll. Polling Institute, Monmouth University. Monmouth University Polling, 5 Jan. 2016. Web.

“Climate Change: How Do We Know?” Global Climate Change. Ed. Holly Shaftel. NASA, 12 Sept. 2016. Web.

Vaidyanathan, Gayathri. “How to Determine the Scientific Consensus on Global         Warming.” Scientific American. N.p., 24 July 2014. Web.

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