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Climate Change – Bill Nye Explains Why It’s a Problem

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Aside from our disagreements on some things, Bill Nye “The Science Guy” has an exceptionally valid point when it comes to why this climate change is different from those other climate changes. Here’s the thing: Some people look at climate change history, particularly carbon dioxide levels, and point out at least two correlations with modern climate change.

Human Impact on Climate Change - that Small Spike at the End of the Graph
Human Impact on Climate Change – that Small Spike at the End of the Graph

Climate change deniers say carbon dioxide levels have been this high before, and there are natural cycles of carbon dioxide concentration, which is both true and false. Carbon dioxide levels over 400 ppm (parts per million) are no longer unheard of today, but the last peak, some 320,000 years ago, was only 300 ppm! Also, in the natural cycle, carbon dioxide levels range from 150 ppm to 300 ppm in about 25,000 years.

Bill Nye is right, because the data is showing us a big huge glaring problem. Not only are carbon dioxide levels far beyond the last peak, when it broke 315 ppm in 1958, but has since peaked at over 400 ppm, in less than sixty years. Put another way, pre-Industrial Revolution carbon dioxide levels were just 280 ppm. So, in the last three hundred years, we’ve managed to make up for twenty-five thousand years of natural climate change cycles.

In the last 300 years, mankind has managed to outdo what the earth managed to do without mankind in the last 4.5 billion years. Can we undo 300 years of *cough* “progress” before it’s too late?

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1 COMMENT

  1. What Bil Nye and others don’t acknowledge is that only in our “modern” era has man burned fossil fuels and used nuclear energy at such a rate. The rise in CO2 is simply because fossil fuels are 80% of the tremendous use of energy and have increased 20-fold during the 20th century. The real problem comes from the heat emitted by this energy use. Heat emissions are more than four times the amount attributable to the rise in air temperature, and it doesn’t matter whether they come from transportation, factories, or power plants, or whether air cooling or water cooling is used. No one questions whether forest fires heat up the atmosphere, so why is it so hard to accept that heat emissions from energy use is a much more important contributor to global warming than CO2? The scientists who correlated the rise in air temperature with the rise in CO2 concluded that CO2 was a cause rather than a by-product of the real cause. Their focus was based on changes in composition of the atmosphere and I am unaware of any attempt they made to compare the affects of CO2 from fossil fuels with the heats of combustion.

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