Climate change suggests a long-term shift in typical weather patterns of a large area. These changes often occur naturally, but after industrialization, the earth’s climate has started changing at an alarming rate due to human activities. Over-usage of fossil fuels produces heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere of our planet. In today’s world, climate change has become one of the major existential threats. It has become a popular topic as well.
While many practical studies and constructive actions are taking place to curb climate change, there are also limitless misinformation and misconception spreading through word of mouth. We should detach climate change facts from fiction to take proper action. Here we shall discuss ten common myths about climate change that needs to be debunked.
In a sense, the myth is slightly true. For ages, the climate of the earth has been in a state of continuous change. If we look at the 4.5 billion years’ history of the planet, we will notice that our planet’s climate has really changed a lot. But the transformation in global climate which would normally take thousands of years to happen in the past is now taking place within a decade. Many places in the world are currently dealing with their hottest-ever temperatures. This much faster global warming is a result of increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
There are many causes of global warming. Some scientists in the 1970s claimed that global temperature is increasing by the increased solar activities. But the theory does not work correctly in the post-industrial era. Though the sun influences the earth’s climate, it is not responsible for the excessive global warming in recent years. Indeed, a small increase was noticed in the amount of coming sunlight from late 1800 to mid-1900s, but now the rate has been decreased. Scientists think that the sun is not the main reason for today’s global warming. They opine that if the sun’s energy output had intensified, it would warm all layers of the atmosphere of our planet. But we don’t see that happening.
It is a common belief that renewable energy cannot replace fossil fuels as it is too costly. But this myth is entirely contrary to reality. Renewable energy is way cheaper than other forms of energy. According to a study- report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency, “(in) most parts of the world today, renewables are the lowest-cost source of new power generation.” Onshore wind and solar power are inexpensive ways of producing electricity. Many people think that solar power plant functions only on a sunny day, and to operate a wind power plant, windy weather is needed. But many new techniques have now evolved to solve the problem. With the help of those techniques, it is easily possible to store electricity for the days when the sun is not shining or the air is not blowing heavily. If we lean toward renewable energy, it will save our planet from the detrimental greenhouse effect.
Often, people tend to believe that only the future generations will suffer from the consequences of climate change. This is not true. Nature has started showing signs of climate change in today’s world in the forms of diseases, increased rate of migrations, and lack of global food supplies. So, we must not excuse ourselves from taking action to minimize this problem. If we follow the world’s leading scientists, we shall come to know that we are only left with a few years for controlling climate change to escape climate breakdown.
It is a popular belief that every species will lead to a rapid change in the climate in the future. Indeed, several plants and animals have started adapting to global climate change. But we must not forget those animals that are facing the threats of extinction. Many are leaving their habitats in an attempt to survive for some more years. Many species have been extinct. If one species disappears from the planet, it creates a substantial negative impact on the ecosystem.
It is a myth that trees, plants, and crops require CO2 to grow. They will absorb all Carbon dioxide from the earth, it is true, but there is always a limit to their absorption power. A lot of forests are already annihilated by humans. On the other hand, CO2 emission is increasing day by day. All trees of the earth will not suffice to deal with the abundance of CO2 and other greenhouse gases.
Climate scientists often warn against climate change. They claim that by 2030 the effects of climate change will be catastrophic; we have only a few years left to save our planet. Media houses use these warnings as predictions in the headlines of their news articles. People without reading the whole news start to believe that they will have to witness the planet’s destruction in their lifetime. It spreads fear and anxiety among people. It is indeed high time to take measures to save the planet as climate change may cause devastating effects in the future. But the world will end in the next 10-12 years is nothing but a misconception.
There is often a claim that polar bear populations are growing nowadays. But this is not so. The Arctic is facing the consequences of global warming faster than the rest of the world. Sea ice is melting. The survival of polar bears becomes difficult in a warm temperature. Polar bears prey seals when they come to the surface of sea ice. But now the sea ice has reduced and become thin. The number of seals has also decreased. As a result, polar bears will have to starve in the coming years. Polar bear populations are supposed to decline by 30% within 2-3 decades.
China is often considered the largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Based on the measurement of CO2 emissions from 1751 to 2017, China contributed to almost 13% of global greenhouse gas emissions. But their per capita emissions are lower than in countries like US and Australia. Now the Government of China has become active in increasing the usage of renewable energy. Utilizing a carbon footprint calculator and other decarbonization measures 222and policies will presumably make China carbon neutral by 2060.
Though a lot of damage has already been done, yet it is wrong to think that climate change reversal is not possible. Without blaming our fate, if we choose a more sustainable and environment-friendly lifestyle by using renewable energy and planting more trees, we shall minimize global warming and slow the pace of global climate change.