Global warming seems to have to do with CO2 emissions as well as with emissions of other gases which have a green house effect on the earth, methane (CH4) being another example.
While one can argue whether the majority of those emissions is caused by mankind (and are not naturally ocurring), there’s little doubt that the presence of these gases have an effect on the climate on earth.
The problem begins where you find feedback loops, emissions leading to more emissions:
the seas start to get warmer. As they get warmer they can carry less CO2, which in turn starts leaving the seas and going into the atmosphere.
Frost melt (caused by rising temperatures) in permafrost areas sets CH4 free.
The “good” news for the earth and people living on it is: our ecosystem seems to have an impressive resilience. The global temperature has ever been going through relatively hot and relatively cold phases. The impact that lead to the extinction of the dinosaurs roughly 65 million years ago made the earth a cold dead place.
The earth recovered.
Supervolcanic eruptions (say hello to Yellowstone) have (in geological terms) frequently devastated the earth.
Still there’s life on it.
The earth has been a terribly hot place in the beginning and has started to transform to a place where things can live. The first organisms seem to have lived when the earth was just 1 billion years old (and no place where you and I would have liked to live).
In between the earth was several times completely frozen.
Still we are here.
I’m not going to say we don’t need to care, on the contrary. But we need to do it with a sense of proportion, do the right things.
Which leads me to this question:
can you tell me why we still mainly operate on electric energy from nuclear reactors?
Roughly 4 generations of people will have electric energy generated in those reactors. 40,000 generations need to take care of the nuclear waste, although they won’t have any energy or anything else from it.
Wise choice? Yeah, those 4 generations have quite cheap electricity. Who cares about the next 40,000 generations of people…
what would mankind do during the next ice age? The last ice age caused by a supervolcanic eruption almost lead to the extinction of mankind (“normal” ice ages seem to be a lesser problem ).
Maybe the global warming can postpone the next ice age until mankind can survive it without millions of people starving and freezing?
I’m not saying we shouldn’t care about global warming. I’m trying to say that we might need to focus on other things first: nuclear energy, starving people, war, etc.
It’s horrible what happens in Syria and so many other places.