Winter is a time for snow and cold temperatures. And sometimes, winters in my area don’t even have that. However, whenever some kind of blizzard and sub zero temperatures ravage some part of the US, the only people who seem happy are children and global warming deniers. Of course, with kids it’s because school is cancelled and they can play in the snow all they want building snowmen, going sled riding, and having a snowball fight. And those sick with the flu don’t need to worry about catching up with their homework. Still, that doesn’t mean their parents will be so lucky since many will need to go to work, shovel snow from the drive way, or brave the harsh road conditions. Still, at least kids have a reason to love snowstorms which pertains more to their routine than their own convoluted scientific understanding.
Which brings me to the other group, global warming deniers. You see these people on Fox News who try to make any excuse as to why global warming doesn’t exist despite being a broad consensus in the scientific community that it does, especially among climate scientists. Of course, global warming does pertain to the unequivocal and continuing rise in the Earth’s climate system mostly due to man made carbon emissions and greenhouse gases trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere. However, many of these global warming deniers tend to use cold and increment weather as a way to disprove global warming’s very existence as if the scientific community consists of a bunch of idiots. Unfortunately for them, global warming doesn’t work that way. Just because the average global temperature may increase doesn’t necessarily mean warmer winters or warmer weather in general. It just means that global temperature increases may lead to a more disruptive and unstable climate which will lead to long term ecological destruction and consequences from region to region be it rapid melting of glaciers in the polar regions, heatwaves, droughts, heavy rainfall, ocean acidification, the presence of more destructive storms and hurricanes, rise of sea levels, expansion of subtropical deserts, and mass species extinctions. Oh, and the global temperature doesn’t need to increase by that much either (since the early 20th century the air and sea surface temperature has increased by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit) and that more serious snowstorms and record low temperatures may also be a leading effect of global warming.
Of course, there have been increasingly warmer winters in recent years and over the past century, but that doesn’t mean that one winter may be warmer as the last. Nor can you disprove the existence of global warming by a single weather event and may make even winter weather events like a polar vortex even worse which may be caused by the exact same weather phenomenon responsible for other extreme weather patterns: melting sea ice. Now as the planet warms, Arctic sea ice melts the northern polar region equalizes a bit with temperatures farther south. This causes the northern latitude jet stream usually holding the far colder Arctic air in place with 100mph winds to slow down. When this happens, pockets of cold are more prone to escape to the south. This year, it’s said that the amount of cold air leaked past the seal is much larger than usual and has pushed farther south. So this means global warming may be the reason why it’s cold outside and not it’s non-existence.
Now many global warming deniers may go on and on how humans can’t change the climate and that climate change may be a natural phenomenon. Of course, there have been plenty of natural climate change phenomenon as we know from prehistoric times. But can man made environmental destruction change climate and weather patterns? Absolutely and it has even in our own time. Non-sustainable agricultural practices in the US and Canadian prairies created the conditions for the large scaled erosion associated with the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Widespread wolf hunting in Yellowstone National Park led to an overpopulation of elk and nearly diminished the park’s ecology and natural beauty for years until the wolves were brought back. Invasive species have been known to kill many natural wildlife particularly on islands while deforestation can lead to more floods, drought, and soil erosion. CFCs have resulted in a hole in the ozone in Antarctica leading many near the place to be exposed to higher levels of ultraviolet radiation. And pollution not only leads to species endangerment and habitat destruction but also to increased risk of respiratory diseases and possible economic ruin. If you ever think why people would devote their lives to saving a particular animal species is ridiculous, then you don’t understand ecology, my friend. And if humans are capable of disrupting entire ecosystems and environments, then they’re certainly capable of causing climate change which can bring it’s own share of ecological destruction as well. Since global warming leads to more disruptive and unpredictable weather patterns, then its impact on the environment will affect our lives as well. And if we don’t acknowledge its existence or resolve to do something about it, then we might as well plant the seeds of our own destruction.