Climate Change – A Few Common Misconceptions

                Climate change is a very serious issue for not only the well being of our planet Earth but the well being and survivals of us, as a species. Chances are that, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade or so, you are aware of this. Heck, even if you’ve been ice skating with some emperor penguins in the Antarctic or fishing with a few polar bears in the Arctic you’ve would’ve noticed the melting ice and glaciers slowly breaking down. Though not as heavily publicized and valued, maybe rightfully so, as cancer awareness, the AIDS epidemic, or even the rising population paired with dwindling resources, climate change has been gaining notoriety at fairly quick pace.

                In my opinion and I’m sure many people would agree with me, one of the biggest problems facing the battle against climate change is perhaps the transfer of essential information regarding the topic. Scientists, most of whom have exclusive background in the sciences do not always have the easiest time conveying the information concerning climate change to politicians and policy makers, most of whom usually have very little to no formal training, especially of higher level, in the environmental sciences. Perhaps, in their attempt to “dumb down” the stats and details of climate change, they accidentally downplay the importance or even severity of the problem. This is why it is important that every student, no matter field of interest should be exposed to sciences as well as other fields.

            Now, so far I have said that we have a bunch of smart scientists with their lab coats, their stats, and details facing a bunch of politicians in their thousand dollar suits and ties with matching cufflinks trying to figure things out. But, I want to bring it down a step to the everyday citizen who either knowingly or unknowingly faces the consequences of not only climate change itself but the results of the decisions made by those in authority concerning the issue. Let’s me start of by asking you, the reader, how much do you know about climate change. Never mind whether you are concerned, aware of, or even dismissive of the fact, just ask yourself how much you and even the people around you actually know about climate change. Then ask yourself, of what you do know, how much of that is fact and how much fiction. Now before you go into deep thought about this allow me to ask you this: How can people in society really push towards combating and bringing about change regarding climate change if we aren’t aware of the basics, the simple facts about the issue? How much can you trust politicians who have their own agendas on mind when they inform the public or even the media which are a part of huge media conglomerates which too have hidden agendas?  Maybe now you’re thinking that this all seems like too much work for you in your busy lives so I will tell you what. I’ve gone and done the research and I want to present to you some misconceptions and facts about climate change. I hope that in doing this I bring not only awareness but also some good information so that you can come to your own conclusions. As I said before, “The more you know the better opinions you can form!” So with that being said let me present you with what I promised.

Climate Change is causing global temperatures to rise at a rapid rate.

 Well I’m pretty sure you’ve heard someone exclaim, probably during a harsh winter storm, “If there is global warming, how come the weather isn’t warming up?” To be honest, I admit to naively wondering the same thing. The truth of the matter is though that on average the Earth has only warmed up by around 0.6 degrees Celsius over the last century and only 1.0 degrees Celsius in the past two decades. Even the record highs that are glorified on the news are only based on records kept since the 1860’s. But wait, before we start jumping for joy and running back to your local Hummer dealer, let us remember that although there has not been a huge change in temperature, global warming and climate change are still very real and even a slight change in temperature such as this can disturb the balance of the Earth.

For information on temperature tracking organization click this link!!

Global warming is the main cause behind extreme weather.

                Yes it seems to make sense that global warming be the sole cause of the extreme weather since it is an extreme phenomenon but there have not been enough documented studies or proof to provide a definitive answer.  The El Nino Oscillation is a major cause of bizarre weather and not really connected to the climate change. Although it is quite possible that the warming of the planet could possibly affect the El Nino effects, this phenomenon has been cause of bizarre weather in the past.

Pollution, nuclear power, and toxic chemicals are the cause of climate change.

                Although most people agree that pollution and toxic chemicals are generally not ideal for life, it is only Carbon Dioxide that is the principal pollutant in causing global warming. In fact, aerosols actually block the sun’s rays from hitting the ground and actually cause cooling. Now, I know you’re thinking that I’ve found the solution to global warming, but the truth is that aerosols not only cause ozone layer depletion but the long term side-effects of these chemical s are still not known.

 Final Thought!!

                If you’ve come this far down my blog, it means you are interested in the topic, or maybe not interested but are wooed by my writing style (which I doubt), or maybe you just scrolled down to the end (I hope not L). Anyways, what I’ve presented, in an attempt to neither overwhelm nor downright bore you, is to present only a fraction of the misconceptions that are out there. I encourage you to post a comment stating whether you liked it and want to hear more, or that you think I’m doing a poor job and I should not quit my day job (although I don’t have one). I have tons of other misconceptions ready to roll and I hope to post more about climate change in some upcoming blogs. Remember, you can make a difference, but the first step is informing yourself so you can make the best decisions!!


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6 Responses to Climate Change – A Few Common Misconceptions

  1. Nuclear power is a cause of climate change too!? How so? And toxic chemicals? 8)

    I think you are blurring together a number of topics for which you have a dislike. Nuclear stations have a large water appetite, but that’s a different problem.

    One thing to keep in mind as you learn this material is that the scientists are not the sole source of the information being used to raise the alarm. They are dependent on other fields of study like economics to make reasonable projections for the climate.

    • avatar Pratheep says:

      Hey Alfred,
      Thnx for bringing up some things i gotta work on for my draft. I will definetly take into consideration what you have said and apply it for my final draft. Take care!

  2. avatar Abayomi says:

    Appropriate use of pictures. Great topic! I love it! I think though that it might not be so much that scientists down play the situation, but that they are unable is to effectively communicate the information as effective communication is not their area of expertise. Which is fine. I think it is difficult to become expert in several areas at the same time, ie climate change and effective communication. It’s like being the best salsa dancer and the best computer programmer. It’s a little difficult. Perhaps we need an intermediary person or body to transmit the message effectively from scientists to policy makers and the public. Who do you think can be this intermediary? Is there already an intermediary? If so, is the job being done effectively? How can it be improved? You have raised and excellent topic of discussion.
    Interesting idea: “every student, no matter field of interest should be exposed to sciences as well as other fields”. How do we propose this be done? I agree it needs to be, but how? Tony’s post, just above yours, talks about the biological aspect of climate change on mutations of species. Perhaps you and him can work to think of how to get biology students interested in climate change. Not just give them information but keep them interested.
    Pratheep you have a good approach to this issue of awareness. A little more research and work on your phraseology and wording and you can make an effective writer for speeches. Perhaps you and Aron should work together to educate the media and hence the public and politicians.
    You are a fairly good writer, be more confident in your writing. You are not the best, neither am I. The great thing you don’t have to be, just try to improve daily.
    Great ideas, however besides giving people information about this topic, how can you get them to be stimulated each day to make a bigger and bigger difference in their daily lives? How can you do this for young people and for their parents?

    • avatar Pratheep says:

      Hey Abayomi,
      All i got to say if wow!! Thank you for reading our blogs so carefully and giving such encouraging yet critical and insightful comments. Your adivce will go a long way in improving the blog for my final draft. I know my writing skills could use some work. To be honest I haven’t done an essay or even paper for school in two years so I’m a bit rusty but thanks for the nudge in the right direction. Thanks again and I honestly look forward to hearing from you again. Take care!

  3. Do you think “We are destroying Earth” a good expression about our scientific understanding of climate, or a misconception, or something in-between?

  4. avatar jp says:

    Hi Pratheep,

    Feedback for you.

    Choice of topic:
    – Resolving misconceptions of climate change is a great topic. A significant portion of your post is your opinions about what causes of those misconceptions (the communication of science and public awareness), and so I’m left feeling like your topic isn’t clear. You might consider splitting this post into two posts, and elaborating on each topic separately.

    Use of resources:
    – Your discussion about the communication of science and public awareness definitely needs to be sourced. Find studies or other sources to support your statements that scientists have trouble communicating the science, and that this is why the public is unaware.
    – Similarly, in the second on misconceptions you have various statements of fact (e.g. “on average the Earth has only warmed up by around 0.6 degrees Celsius over the last century”) which need to be sourced.
    – As well, you will also need to cite your reference for the chart and comics included.
    – The sources you have linked to lack credibility on the whole — youtube and wikipedia are decent starting points for your research, but try to dig deeper.
    – You might also consider finding sources for the myths you state as being wide-spread, otherwise I just have to take your word that these are “common misconceptions”.

    Style / Coherence:
    – Your style and writing are overall really engaging… It feels conversational and enjoyable to read. It’s maybe a little too conversational for my liking in parts (e.g. “I hope not L”), but I’ve seen other bloggers do it successfully.
    – The paragraph that begins “Now, so far I have said…” is a tad verbose I found. Consider shortening it.
    – Your conclusion doesn’t refer to your earlier discussion about the communication of science. If you are going to keep both discussions in one post, consider tying them together in the conclusion.

    Understandability / Clarity:
    – Very readable, but overall I was left wanting less chit-chat and more technical detail (e.g. a deeper explanation of what each misconception is, before you move onto explaining the truth).

    Insights / Originality:
    – You’ve got the start to a nice piece that explains misconceptions and why they occur. It might be a bit much for one blog post though, as I’ve said above, unless you’re willing to elaborate more on the connection between the (lack of) communication of science and the myths themselves.

    Good use of blogging features:

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