What if all of it was a global warming hoax? It cannot be ignored that there is a portion of people who believe that this movement regarding climate change is nothing more than a rumor. If you are one of those people who understands climate change as a myth, this text is for you.
In the world we live in, called by some the post-truth era, it can be very difficult to know who to believe.
Often, discourses about global warming generate questions such as: who is interested in spreading news like this? Is global warming really real?
In this post, the Hourglass team came to clarify some points and help with this issue.
Where does the global warming hoax idea come from?
Before making any judgments, it is necessary to sketch an overview of how we interpret the world around us. With which look we are trained to face the news that reach our smartphones every day.
Following this reasoning, we all know the basics: we live in a market society, where consumption is greater than any other factor.
We grew accustomed to the media showing their ability to forge situations to build a point. Often, the facts can even be real, but it’s not necessary to lie to create a narrative: choosing the right angle is enough.
For example, if a headline about the electoral scenario announces that candidate A jumped from 25% to 35% of voting intentions, we immediately have the feeling that he has strength and that he is gaining public.
However, our view on the fact changes completely if the news tells us that “candidate B retains 65% of the voting intentions, against 35% of candidate A”.
In this second scenario, which uses the same data, it is clear that candidate A would have to double his electoral base to be able to compete with candidate B.
And so, public relations uses their ability to work with words to create the story that seems most interesting to them.
Speaking of politics, this is the second factor that can be the source of the distrust of many.
Although politics is a collective practice, with all members of congress, secretariats and ministries, in addition to lower-reaching positions, in states and municipalities, there is a collective tendency to personalize politics.
You can talk a lot about parties, but at the time of election, we vote for people, because we believe in them and in their ability to build a better country or, at the very least, defend our interests.
We do this because it is much easier for our brain to fit one person into a narrative than a group of hundreds of people into a complex structure.
In this respect, we are also used to collecting disappointments. With a long history of empty promises and contradictory actions, it is undeniable that there are shakes at this point.
For this reason, many people believe that the global warming narrative is just another excuse to cause fear, panic and generate a problem that only a hero (a politician, with sovereign power in a nation) could solve.
History also becomes, in this conspiratorial view, much easier to attack other countries, with the pretext that they are aggravating the problem, harming the planet as a whole, which would camouflage the true interests of an attack, such as dispute for a territory or trade war for some raw material, such as oil.
In this context, it is easy to understand how doubts naturally arise about the veracity of something.
In many instances, it’s hard to know if a story is true or if it’s just a rumor generated to destroy a competing company or make a candidate seem like the best option at that time, right?
Where did global warming come from?
You sure see about the climate crisis every day, in newspapers, websites, podcasts, and you see a scientist invited to talk about it.
I’m sure this gives you the same feeling we get when we see a weatherman saying that the weekend will be hot and, in fact, we get two cloudy and rainy days. It’s projections and more projections, which make you tired and confused.
As we talked about in the previous topic, the (super justified) fear of many people is that it is possible to find a study proving anything, as long as you find the bias that collaborates with your narrative.
So, since the goal is to clear up the global warming rumor, we want to talk about it more cleanly, starting at the beginning, at a time when there were no social media algorithms.
According to the timeline published in the American Institute of Physics, we were able to get a more scientific view of where this came from.
It all starts with Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier, a mathematician from 1768, who was one of the great responsible for the studies of heat conduction.
This was the subject of his life’s study and he understood, mathematically, how the transfer of heat from one thing to another happened.
He understood that radiation was a form of heat transfer by electromagnetic waves, that is, without the need for touch. That’s why when you put a pan on the stove, it doesn’t need to be leaning against it to heat up (unless you use induction heat, another form of heat transfer).
Fourier understood that it was this same mechanics that allowed the sun to heat the Earth, but he encountered a new problem.
Based on their calculations, which consider the total mass of the object, Earth should be much colder than it actually was.
Like every scientist, he began to conjure hypotheses to explain this fact, and one of those possibilities was the greenhouse effect. That is, that something removes the heat on Earth.
It was only 30 years later, in 1859, that scientific knowledge advanced in this regard.
John Tyndall, whom you may know for the “Tyndall Effect” of light scattering (the scientific explanation for why the sky is blue), was also a scholar of heat.
He investigated the absorption and transmission of heat and found that gases such as carbon dioxide and water vapor were able to absorb heat into themselves.
Around the same time, the American scientist Eunice Foote used sunlight in an experiment and concluded the same.
As there was no internet, scientists were unaware of the similarities in their research.
CO2 emissions (carbon dioxide)
It took more 30 years of studies until the next relevant contribution on the subject of climate change.
The Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius was responsible for a great advance in chemistry, and even received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1903, for the theory of acids and bases — or, more scientifically, the electrolytic theory of dissociation.
He also studied climate change over geological time and was the first to coin the term greenhouse effect.
Looking at chemical reactions, he realized that burning fossil fuels could increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as a whole.
To put you in time and space, at that time it was almost 200 years since the creation of steam engines through the burning of fossil fuels, which formed the 1st Industrial Revolution
In the publication of the Arrhenius studies, it was less than 30 years since Karl Benz presented what was considered the first automobile of humanity.
So, we were at the beginning of what would be the era of higher emissions and there were no worries about “tarnishing the image” of the competition, neither in the industrial sector nor in the automobile sector. It was still very, very new.
The first scare with the global warming
It was only in 1938 that we had the first observation of global warming.
The british engineer Guy Callendar discovered something hitherto unimaginable, which turned out to be proof of Arrhenius’ predictions.
Based on Eunice Foote’s studies from the beginning of our history, when CO2 could retain heat, he collected data on 147 meteorologicals and compared it with his history of CO2 measurements up to that point.
He realized two things:
- That the temperature of the planet was increasing.
- That temperature increases exactly coincided with carbon dioxide emissions.
In other words, the temperature was rising and we were partly responsible for that.
Today, with much more modern tools, the conclusion of some scientists is that more than 90% of the increase in temperature was caused by human actions.
Average temperature of the planet in each century
Last, but not least, in this American Institute of Physics chart you can check a real information: the Earth planet history of temperature over the last 200 years.
The blue spotfs as the annual average and the red line shows the five year average in Celsius degrees.
Look at this chart made by real scientis, who are not interested in feed in any commercial or political narrative, so that draw your own conclusions about global warming.