The Bar-On Brief: Global warming should be a hot topic

Climate change is very real, and we’re doing very little about it

By Shauli Bar-On, Columnist

The Bar-On Brief: a weekly column
The Bar-On Brief: a weekly column

“The world gets hotter and colder… it’s just the course of nature,” I’ve heard critics of global warming say in ignorance.

It pains me to hear there are still those who don’t realize how real global warming is.

The statistics and the scientific community have, since as long as I can remember, urged people to recognize the catastrophic condition of the ozone layer.

And most recently, the weather data is proving they were right all along.

Last month was the warmest April in the history of the earth, and the last seven months all showcased record-breaking average temperatures since climate could be measured.   

Scientists, who have been recording average temperatures since 1800, have noticed weather patterns that have substantially increased ocean temperatures. This year, since records were smashed by a long shot, average water temperature increased by about two degrees Celsius.

Courtesy of Real Climate
Courtesy of Real Climate

Heat leads to more severe weather storms, hurricanes and droughts. Rising temperatures also increase the likelihood of the the Arctic melting, the rise of ocean levels and the endangerment of several animal species. These changes in the environment cause a severe problem in the world’s ecosystems and food chain.

These outcomes mean the Paris climate talks earlier this year were unsuccessful and simply did not do enough. Actions speak louder than words, and as of now, there have been little to no tangible, proven outcomes that reduce carbon emissions and decrease the amount of other greenhouse gasses from being released into the atmosphere, which consequently trap earth’s heat.

Climate talks without enforcement don’t do all that much.

The modern-day prediction, as reported by the BP Review of World Energy, is that oil will last for another 53.3 years. But we cannot rely on nor wait until oil “runs out.” Predictions become obsolete as technology is made more efficient to reduce oil consumption and extractions are refined to be carried out at much deeper levels, allowing more oil to be discovered.

Even if dependence on oil were reduced by generating electricity instead through natural gas and coal burning, 60 percent of the United State’s energy production still emits carbon into the environment.

The most talked-about solution to coal burning is nuclear energy. Countries such as Japan and France, which is 75 percent nuclear-powered, have already refined their energy sources. In the US, solar, wind and hydro-energy companies are making large strides and companies such as Tesla have shown the potential for energy conservation in their products.

But right now, neither the United States nor the world is united in the fight against climate change. So long as multibillion-dollar companies and trusts such as OPEC exist, opposition to global warming will persist.

Until politicians endorsed by multimillionaire oil kings look to the future of humanity rather than their job security and campaign funds, it’ll be very difficult for the government to enact regulations against harmful energy production.

Sure, money-backed skeptics will argue global warming is a natural course of earth’s progression. They contend natural selection will allow the survival of the fittest and not disrupt life on earth.

It’s just that these carbon emissions aren’t natural. And humans may very well be selected against because of it. I don’t want to find out the hard way when nature declares us unfit.

And with that, I rest my case.