Climate Change is a topic that seems to be constantly before us–in the media, in politics and popular culture. But what is it? While many people seem to weigh in on the subject, very few explain what is meant by the term. In reality, many people have different definitions of this essential term, Climate Change, and as a result, there is little agreement about what, if anything, can be done about it.
Q: What is a balanced definition of Climate Change?
One way of looking at it is that the changing climate has exceeded the capacity of our current infrastructure to sustainably support life.
Q: This seems like a simple concept–so why is there such division over this subject?
- Conflicting data continues to fuel the divide between Climate Change believers & deniers. Both sides can reference studies that affirm their positions.
- Vague and generic information about the changing climate is taken as fact and doesn’t answer the deeper questions of the skeptics, or even those who simply want more detailed data.
- Our current societal appetite for shaming, humiliating and exposing those who disagree with our point-of-view has given rise to click-bait advertising and sensationalism over journalism, that actively looks to fuel conflict between groups of people, because there is money to be made in the conflict. Many are trying to make the Climate Change discussion a debate between liberals and conservatives, but let us remember that Earth Day, the icon of modern environmentalism, was founded by Democratic senator Gaylord Nelson in partnership with Republican senator Pete McCloskey. Politics shouldn’t be a consideration in environmental matters like this.
- There is conflict over extreme measures that some wish to implement to curb Climate Change, that would directly and negatively impact the survival of certain communities, like coal mining towns, where there is no other way to earn an income. Eradication of coal mining–without job replacement for the miners–would have devastating impact on many rural communities.
- The most divisive part of the conversation, however, seems to center around whether or non Climate Change is man-made. As you explore the resources on this site, what you will find are many categories of study that demonstrate how our planet is in a state of constant change. Is Climate Change happening? Absolutely, but it always has been. But, is mankind having an impact? Yes, we certainly are. What is difficult to determine, however, is how much impact humanity truly has.
- Finally, the Climate Change conversation has unfortunately centered almost exclusively on the concept of carbon. We are told that more carbon is being produced than our natural resources can appropriately sequester and convert. But reality is that this is only one perspective, and it is speculative, and emerging voices in the scientific community are presenting a different theory. Beyond carbon, there are many other evidences and concerns regarding human-influenced Climate Change.