I just recently saw the movie An Inconvenient Truth and thought it was great. The evidence is amazingly strong now, which surprised me. I agreed it was an issue many years ago so stopped looking for more data. I guess I thought it was still kind of questionable, but we’re past that point now.
The most obvious piece of evidence is related to CO2 levels. Critcs have been claiming for years that CO2 and temperature fluctuate cyclicly and that we’re currently on an up-tick right now due to this. Humans haven’t been able to impact CO2 levels on a planetary scale yet, they say. Wrong.
The most moving, and scary, data point I got out of the movie is the current CO2 levels. I’m not talking projections or trends here. Take a look at this graph of current data: CO2 levels. In summary, CO2 levels have naturally fluctuated cyclicly between about 200 and 275ppm over the last few hundred thousand years. It’s never been above 300ppm. We’re currently at about 375ppm.
What’s the implication of this? No one (that I know of) disputes the fact that temperature and CO2 levels are correlated. A chart of CO2 levels and temperature plotted over 400,000 years shows this. This doesn’t say anything about cause and effect, but the fact is that they almost always move together, irrespective of the reason.
Given that, and the fact that we already have 25% more CO2 than the previous high over the past 400,000 years, how can anyone conclude we’re not in for some tough times ahead?
So, my next task is to find out how to have more impact on the subject. My family has done quite a few things to reduce our personal environmental impact like replacing lightbulbs with effecient ones, not running the A/C constantly, only owning one car, biking and walking when possible, etc. I’m going to start writing to my government representatives too. I’d love to hear other ideas for improvements as well…