Skeptic Sunday (The Climate’s Changed Before)

We’ve all seen Ice Age. (Note: If you haven’t seen Ice Age, go watch it now. We’ll wait. Don’t bother with the sequels.)

…Back? Ok, now we’ve all seen Ice Age. And fine films such as these raise an interesting question: If the climate has changed before, why is it such a big deal that it’s changing now?

Well, it’s a big deal because we are causing the climate change (via greenhouse gas emissions, primarily from burning fossil fuels). Studies of past climate fluctuations (like the Ice Age) show that the climate is sensitive to seemingly small factors that can drive temperature up or down. The current rate of climate change promises to cause major changes in the climate and to our lives.

It’s true, humans have made it through some fairly drastic climate changes in the past (Ice Ages), but that doesn’t mean that living on a much warmer planet won’t present major problems. Apart from driving other species (polar bears) to extinction, climate change could be very problematic for humans — it’s not fun to live on the coast when sea levels are rising as our hurricane rates, for example.

What makes this climate change different is that we have control over it; we essentially have the power to choose whether or not we want to live in a greatly altered world. We know our choice. What’s yours?

For more info, go here.


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