More and more often, you hear climate change deniers voice their views along the lines of: “Earth has always been in a constant state of change. I am not saying that the climate doesn’t change, it’s been changing for millions of years. I just dont think humans are causing climate change”. Although this can be extremely frustrating, over 40% of Americans (much less in other countries) believe that climate change is not a result of human activities. In their defense, it is very difficult for humans to grasp the actual timeline of earth and the fact that humans can impact Earth on such a magnitude. 4.5 Billion years is an unfathomable amount of time. It’s hard enough being able to relate to how life must have been like during the last ice age (~12,000 years ago). During our last ice age, New York was under a mile deep glacier that stretched across North America. Can you imagine how that would have looked like?! Well, thankfully to glaciers, scientists (and I want to stress Climate Scientists, who study climate as a full time job) have been able to drill into ice core samples dating back to over 800,000 years which can show us the amount of greenhouse gases that were in the atmosphere at any given time. This has shown scientists a direct correlation on the amount of greenhouse gases and climate of the earth. The earth essentially breathes, where there are periods with higher concentrations of GH gases and other times where it is lower. What climate scientists have discovered is that climate trails the rise and fall of GH gases. The higher the GH gases, the warmer the climate. When GH gases are lower, the climate is cooler. As you can see in the graph below, the sharp rise over the past 50+ years seem to directly correlate with the rise of the industrial revolution where there was a sharp rise in greenhouse gases such as carbon from the burning of coal.
Over 99% of Climate scientists accept that humans are rapidly accelerating climate change into dangerous areas. Signed in 2016, the Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation. The United States is the only country that has refused to be a part of it… Sadly, climate has become more political than science based. We encourage you to form your own opinion on this and how to speak to friends/relatives who still deny the scary truth. But you can start small and support organizations who care about the environment.