The 157 Year Old Infant of Climate Science

Technological fixes can be viewed as fifty percent of the solution to the issue of global warming. The IPCC mentions the uses of carbon dioxide removal technology to help cleanse the atmosphere of the harmful greenhouse gas. It also discusses how clean fuel, such as wind and solar power needs to be implemented in place of coal to help reduce the overall emissions of carbon dioxide. Furthermore, the fuel efficiency of cars, whether it be obtaining better fuel economy through more efficient engines or electric car technology can be used to help limit the amount of greenhouse gas being expelled. Social fixes are the other half of the solution, as getting everyone to believe in climate change is a necessity, as well as shifting the large number of jobs held in the coal industry. This approach to saving the environment, however, requires major shifts in global economy and technological advancements that may not be feasible in the next twenty or so years. A minor amount of progress towards more funding for renewable energy and studying the progression of climate change may be possible, but too much of the global industry is rooted in coal, and new technology in the form of vehicles is incredibly expensive, putting it out of reach for the vast majority of the world population.
The readings for this week show clearly that the study of climate change is nowhere near infancy. As Professor Reidy states, “In his paper to the Royal Society of London in 1861 . . . any changes to the constitution of the atmosphere ‘would produce great effects on the terrestrial rays and produce corresponding changes of climate,” (Reidy 12, 13) which provides clear evidence that there was scientific knowledge of the greenhouse effect hundreds of years prior to the present debates. Any statements that the study of climate change is in its infancy are inherently false. However, the statement that the mechanics of advancing technology in reasonable ways to mitigate the effects of or halt climate change is fairly new is not unreasonable.

1 thought on “The 157 Year Old Infant of Climate Science”

  1. I agree with you that climate science is not in its infancy. I do think that it is an “infant” in the fact that people don’t think about it until the late 20th century. I also agree with you that essentially everything has to change: society, fuel source, and fuel usage. As a society, we should move to renewable energy, but there are issues to them, such as the ecology. Hopefully, we can get to the point where we can use a energy source without destroying the environment in some way.

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