A friend of mine says global warming is a hoax because this winter is abnormally cold with incredible snows in northern Texas where he lives. How can it be warming if it is so cold? He has totally missed the point. Global warming means the rise of “average global” temperature, which results in abnormal weather conditions across the world. It means extreme winters, summers, droughts and hurricanes locally. Extreme weather will lead to crop failures and high food prices that nobody wants to see.
Another friend says he does not believe in climate science because it is not exact. Well, all sciences are never exact. Why? Because only some things we know and many others we don’t that are waiting to be discovered. A case in point: We can calculate when an object will touch the ground after falling from the 50th floor. Do we know exactly when? No, due to wind conditions and the shape of the object that are hard to predict. But we still believe in gravity, don’t we? What are the consequences if we don’t?
Global warming only becomes serious since the last few decades. Why? Because of rapid industrialization especially in populous countries like China, India and Brazil. It results in burning more fossil fuels (oil, coal and natural gas), and also faster deforestation that fails to absorb enough carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
People in the fossil fuel and related industries tend to disbelieve in climate change because their jobs are at stake. That’s the wrong attitude for they are denying three important facts at the same time. First, they refuse to accept the adverse environmental impacts of their industries on the environment. Second, denying climate change does not alter the polluting nature of their industries. Third, they refuse to see, and will miss the new opportunities in pollution control that other industries are trying to achieve.
What we are talking about is not how exact climate science is, but to view the phenomenon of climate change seriously from a practical angle. In other words, we should find a better way to protect the environment. This can be done without lowering our living standard as feared. Protecting the environment is a new opportunity that will create jobs rather than reducing them.