Throughout human history our frailties have been overcome and our basic needs satisfied by scientific advancement. We take for granted that we depend on and believe in science for food, travel, entertainment, communication and of course medicine. During this Covid-19 Pandemic, we believe in the science and the critical thinkers who tell us that an invisible virus is causing suffering and death. We believe in the science that helps us care for the sick in our hospitals. Can't we also believe in the science of self-isolation and mask wearing that helps us mitigate tremendous loss of life while we work feverishly on a vaccine? 
That being said, let's think anew about the cause of Climate Change. Most of us have already accepted that the earth is warming, the ice is melting, sea levels are rising, coral reefs are bleaching and storms, fires, droughts and floods are more intense. Disasters once rare are now commonplace. But critical scientific thought does much more than just show us the results of these measurements; it searches for the cause. Mitigation techniques like elevating sidewalks and building seawalls may help for a while but will ultimately fail if we don't treat the cause. If we don't agree on the cause, then we can't fix the problem and it will get much worse.

The overwhelming majority of climate scientists are telling us that the cause of climate change is as clear as the smoke billowing from every coal plant on the planet, every car exhaust on the highways, and anything that burns fossil fuel. Humans have been putting gigatons of CO2, the primary greenhouse gas that is warming the planet, into the atmosphere since the industrial revolution. Just look at what occurred after we self-isolated at the beginning of this Viral Pandemic. In just one month, CO2 emissions decreased, the air quality improved, and the skies became clearer in multiple cities. This alone tells us that humans can and do have an enormous impact on the atmosphere. This science did not develop overnight, but has been building steadily for almost 40 years since Dr. James Hanson did his first global temperature analysis for NASA in 1981. At his US senate appearance in 1988, he was 99% certain that the Earth was warming and that humans were the cause. Climate scientists from around the globe have been analyzing the data ever since and there is now overwhelming consensus. But don't just believe me. Don't just believe James Hanson, Al Gore and Greta Thunberg. Read the Report of the Secretary-General on the 2019 Climate Action Summit. Look at the 2019 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report. Look at the hard work of thousands of climate scientists together presenting evidence pointing to the cause of global warming and how we can treat it. 

If we believe in the science that built our civilization, the science behind our cell phones, the science behind space-flight, the same science that is aimed at saving thousands of lives during the COVID-19 Pandemic, then let us believe the vast numbers of climate scientists who are telling us that the rise in CO2 levels from our burning of fossil fuel is as real a threat as the tiny viral particles wreaking havoc on our civilization right now.  Self-isolate, wear a mask, commence widespread testing, develop the vaccine and stop the virus. Stop burning fossil fuels, transition to renewable energy, bring down the CO2 levels and stop Global Warming. Just follow the Science.


-Joe LoPresti