10 Myths About Climate Change

There is a lot of confusion and misunderstanding among people about climate change.
Over time people have developed certain myths about climate change. It is very important that we make ourselves aware of these myths and do not take things as they are told by anyone.

Let’s try to bust these myths one by one.


Myth No.1 – THE EARTH’S CLIMATE HAS ALWAYS CHANGED:
 

Yes it true that in the 4.5 billion years history of Earth, there has been a lot of changes in the climate. But the drastic rise in temperature and increase in severity of disasters cannot be explained by natural cycles of warming and cooling. The changes that would usually take hundreds of thousands of years are happening in decades. 

The global temperature is now at its highest since records began. To the extent that 17 of the 18 warmest years on record have all taken place since 2001. 

This could be explained by the unprecedented increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases which have been increasing since the industrial revolution. The concentration of carbon dioxide has crossed 400 ppm for the first time in history and that certainly cannot be due to natural causes.

So, when people talk about climate change and the warming of the earth; it is undoubtedly because of Humans. Human activities such as burning coal, oil and gas to produce energy to fuel our homes and transport and cutting trees to produce the food we eat.

If it continues to be the same and humans continue to exploit the earth resources, we will see the changes in climate worse than we are seeing today.

CO2 Concentration over time
Image Source: https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-atmospheric-carbon-dioxide

Myth No.2 – PLANTS NEED CARBON DIOXIDE :

Yes, plants need carbon dioxide (CO2) to live. Plants are the main source be it aquatic plants or terrestrial plants that remove and store the huge amount of carbon dioxide. If plants would not have been there then we cannot imagine what the situation would have been with such levels of carbon dioxide being constantly emitted. 

But we need to take into account that there is a limit on the amount of carbon dioxide that plants can absorb. The amount is also getting less day by day as more and more forests are cut down to produce our food.

One thing must be clear to everybody i.e. CO2 is not the cause of the problem (climate change). In fact, it is part of the natural ecosystem and we need a particular amount to maintain proper temperature because otherwise the earth would be very similar to what it looked like during ice-age.

The very high amount or concentration of CO2 and other greenhouse gases is the root cause of the problem. 

Myth No.3 – GLOBAL WARMING IS NOT REAL AS IT IS STILL COLD :

Global Warming is an increase in the earth’s average temperature due to the increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases. It is making heatwaves, droughts and other weather events such as bushfires, floods, etc more extreme and likely.

Considering the present time, the UK and Ireland are likely to get more rain and wind and New York will get more snow than normal as a result of climate change.

Talking about cold did you know that The Arctic ice pack reached a historic low in July (19.8% below average), as did the Antarctic ice pack, which reached its smallest extent for July in 41 years of observations.

Arctic ice melting
Image Source: https://metro.co.uk/2019/11/13/thickest-sea-ice-arctic-ocean-lost-95-mass-35-years-11089045/


Myth No.4 – CLIMATE CHANGE IS A FUTURE PROBLEM :

“ We are the first generation to be able to end poverty and the last generation that can take steps to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Future generations will judge us harshly if we fail to uphold our moral and historical responsibilities” – Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations. 

We are already seeing the devastating effects of climate change on global food supplies, increasing migration, conflict, disease and global instability, and this will only get worse unless we act now. Man-made climate change is the biggest environmental crisis of our time. It threatens the future of the planet that we depend on for our survival and we are the last generation that can do something about it. 

The climate scientists have warned that we must limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees C in order to avoid climate breakdown. Scientists have set the deadline to limit a 1.5 degrees increase in temperature by 2030. If we fail to do so then there will be irreversible changes in weather and we will not be able to do anything to stop the calamitous impact of climate change.

Agenda 2030
Image Source: https://www.climatecentral.org/gallery/graphics/limiting-global-warming-require-deep-emissions-cuts

Myth No.5 – RENEWABLE ENERGY IS JUST A MONEY-MAKING SCHEME :

People normally believe that renewable energy is expensive but this is not true. Solar power and wind energy are the cheapest way of generating electricity (per unit of energy produced) for a long time. They produce energy cheaper than nuclear, gas and fossil fuels.

The rate at which the cost of nuclear energy has fallen in the past decade in unimaginable. But can you imagine governments all across the globe are still backing dirty fossil fuels.  

The cheapest “green” measure of all is efficiency. Technology like double glazing and loft insulation may not sound glamorous, but it reduces our bills and helps save the planet at the same time.

WWF’s vision is that we need to and we can have 100% renewable energy within a generation. 

Fall in cost of renewable energy
Image Source: https://www.windpowermonthly.com/article/1458026/windeconomics-renewable-costs-continue-fall

Myth No.6 – POLAR BEAR NUMBERS ARE INCREASING :

This is certainly not true. The artic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. The ice has been melting continuously. You can see the drastic change in the amount of ice in the image above comparing the arctic ice in 1984 and 2019 (it has reduced to 95 % in the past 35 years).

The melting ice makes it more difficult for female polar bears to get onto land in the late autumn to build their dens. Even more difficult for them to get out onto the sea ice in spring to feed their cubs. 

Their main source of prey, seals are also affected by climate change and melting ice. This means that in some parts of the Arctic, polar bears have to survive on less food than they did previously.

The condition is so worse there that polar bears are predicted to decline by 30% by the middle of this century. 

Polar bear starving
Image Source: https://polarbearscience.com/2019/09/12/these-starving-polar-bears-falsely-blamed-on-climate-change-have-scared-kids-to-death/

Myth No.7 – RENEWABLE ENERGY CAN ONLY WORK WHEN IT’S NOT CLOUDY OR WINDY :

Yes, it is true that we get solar energy when the sun shines or when it is not cloudy. Wind energy is available when it is windy. But with new technologies coming for storing electricity, the demand at peak times can be fulfilled even if the sun is not shining or the wind is not blowing.

Also, there are some energy sources that are advancing very fast and can provide us with clean energy without sun and wind and that too round the clock. I am talking about Geothermal Energy which provides clean and sustainable energy from the core of the earth.

Renewable energy storage technologies
Image Source: https://www.energy.gov/articles/energy-storage-key-reliable-clean-electricity-supply

Myth No.8 – ANIMALS WILL ADAPT TO CLIMATE CHANGE :

This one is not a myth. According to Darwin theory of Adaptation, also known as survival theory or survival of the fittest, is an organism’s ability to adapt to changes in its environment and adjust accordingly over time.

But we should make it clear that some plants and animals will adapt but not all. To survive, plants, animals and birds have two options: move or adapt.

Considering the speed with which climate is changing, it is impossible for many species to adapt quickly enough to keep up with their changing environment. Not only this, their habitats are being destroyed by roads, cities, and dams, etc. For those that cannot move or adapt, the future does not look positive.  

More species are getting extinct and there has been a huge increase in the number of endangered species.

Reasons why animals go extinct
Image Source: https://www.thoughtco.com/reasons-animals-go-extinct-3889931

Myth No.9 – GETTING RID OF HUMANS WILL FIX THIS : 

This is not true without a second thought. It is somewhat right that people are feeling we have gone too far already and that the planet would not be able to support the world’s growing population.

Getting rid of humans is not the solution or hoping that soon we would colonize Mars is also not going to happen. Then what is the solution? The solution is that we have to move to 100% renewable energy by 2045. We have to use the resources offered by our beautiful earth sustainably. It is urgently required that political and business leaders should stop making money and take bold actions towards these solutions to address the climate crisis and restore nature.

How to limit global warming to 1.5 degreed C

Myth No.10 – CHINA IS THE ONLY COUNTRY RESPONSIBLE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE :

Yes, it is true that China is the largest emitters of greenhouse gases. But this is also true that China is one of the largest investors in renewable energy. You will be shocked to know that out of all the electric buses currently in the world, 99% are in China. The increase in investment is because of the rapid growth of green business and the need to clean up air pollution in its major cities.

Blaming just one country for this would not be correct. Lack of awareness is responsible for climate change.

My Opinion:

It was necessary to burst all these myths because there are still a lot of people who do not believe in the reality of climate change. The sad thing is that the proportion of people who do not believe is very high in people who are leaders of countries. These are the people who make major decisions about the country, whether or not a particular country is going to invest in renewable energy or continue to use fossil fuels. It is very important that this article reaches these people and they actually do something to prevent climate change. Instead of assuring that they are going to do something about climate change in the United Nations meetings and then completely forgetting about it.

Climate change is a global issue and we all have the responsibility to step up to the climate crisis. We have to fight this war against climate change but the most powerful weapon is going to be our unity. If we fight together then only we can win this war, and do not forget the clock is ticking very fast…………… 



References: 

  1. https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/10-myths-about-climate-change
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Yash

Yash loves to read and write on issues such as climate change, renewable energy, SDGs, and other related issues. He wants to make people aware of climate change and encourage them to follow a sustainable lifestyle.

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2 Responses

  1. Pragya says:

    Amazingly, systematically pleased ❤️

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