[Adapted and updated from a post I wrote about this five years ago.]
Whenever I write about climate change, I always feel obligated to mention that I’m not a climate scientist, and thus my opinion doesn’t count for much.
But then, climate scientists are automatically dismissed by surprisingly large segments of the population as part of a massive liberal conspiracy. This has the effect of making scientists’ opinions not count for much, either.
So, I like to take a different approach–forget using data or climate models, and use common sense instead.
The world’s human population is around 7.5 billion–meaning there are more humans on the planet then ever before. The planet has not grown to accommodate them.
Now, the typical human body temperature is around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. That means the planet now has more 98.6 degree furnaces on it than ever before. If you add furnaces to a room, does the room become hotter?
Obviously, it’s a big planet. It can take quite a bit, so maybe this isn’t going to have major repercussions. Maybe it doesn’t even register. Or maybe it will eventually destroy the world. Beats me. I don’t know the first thing about biology, chemistry or physics. But still, I assume it has some effect. It would be kind of weird if it didn’t, right?
When you add in the fact that humans have started engaging in activities over the last century that had never occurred previously in the history of the planet, you again have to suspect that this has some effect on the atmosphere. Again, if it’s not, that would be kind of bizarre.
For this reason, I’ve always thought the burden of proof is on those who claim it has no effect.