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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Point counter point: Is global warming hot air? (Kirk)

The research done on global warming is indeed inconclusive. I’m never ceased to be amazed how scientists can use numbers, which most people don’t understand, to conclude anything they want.

They’re rarely held accountable for irresponsible research because few other people are smart enough to catch their manipulations.

A topic with so much at stake, like global warming, is sure to inspire zillions of spurious reports educating the public on the “real data” supporting whichever side that scientist supports.

Fortunately for us, unfortunately for scientists, if global warming is occurring and will have disastrous consequences, the consequences should be observable regardless of what spectacled people in white coats are saying the “data” is.

This month, National Geographic magazine dedicated the bulk of their publication to this very subject with three full articles on the observable consequences of global warming despite what the “science” says.

“Ice is melting, rivers are running dry and coasts are eroding, threatening communities,” wrote Tim Appenzeller and Dennis Dimick, senior editors over science, environment and technology for National Geographic. “These aren’t projections, they are facts on the ground.”

The three full articles, “GeoSigns: The Big Thaw,” “EcoSigns: No Room to Run” and “TimeSigns: Now What?” examine the indisputable effects global warming has had on the planet’s geography, wildlife and future.

“Human activity almost certainly drove most of the past century’s warming, a landmark report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change declared in 2001,” the editors wrote.

Because of the confusion caused by all the “scientific research” supporting both sides of the warming debate, National Geographic shows us what its people see on the ground through interviews and pictures.

“GeoSigns” begins with melting glaciers. Apparently only 30 glaciers in Glacier National Park in Montana still exist out of the 150 recorded when it was made a park in 1910. Of these, most have shrunk by nearly two-thirds and they may all be gone in another 30 years.

Ice sheets all around the globe are changing from Antarctica to Greenland. You can dispute missing ice with scientific research.

People who don’t believe in global warming like to joke that even if sea levels rise a bit, the consequences won’t be dire.

But “more than 100 million people worldwide live within three feet of the mean sea level,” wrote “GeoSigns” author Daniel Glick.

The island of Tuvalu will disappear. Its inhabitants already have an evacuation strategy as reported by not only Glick but also by Leslie Allen for Smithsonian magazine.

Shanghai, Bangkok, Jakarta, Tokyo and New York are also at threat, Glick wrote.

Even if the inhabitants of Tuvalu can be disregarded, think of the impact it would have on the Netherlands, which is already mostly at or below sea level.

In “EcoSigns” writer Fen Montaigne highlights dying sea coral as an ecosystem at threat by global warming.

The polar bear, gelana baboon, pygmy possum and monarch butterfly are currently threatened by climate changes in their ecosystems.

These might seem like minor losses for all the benefits to a warmer climate. But as Virginia Morell points out in “TimeSigns,” “A warming world will harm some-and benefit others.”

The people, places and things that fit in the category of “some harmed” will affect everyone across the globe.

The National Geographic justified its decision to run these three articles despite the massive disputes over the real threat of global warming by saying it could not justify being silent.

Whether or not one agrees with the scientists who say the Earth is heating up, people who live near ice sheets are saying they’re melting and people living on the beach say the tide is rising.

This is certainly not the first time the magazine has favored one side of a highly contested international issue. One should not suppose because National Geographic said it is therefore true.

But if the international community continues to sit idly by and argue over climate research, what will happen to Tuvalu, Louisiana and the Netherlands?

If the international community is going to continue siding with the naysayers, which is definitely cheaper and an easier sell, then I think industries and governments should begin using a fraction of the budget proposed for reducing carbon emissions to strengthen Holland’s dikes.

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