The scientific consensus that human actions first began to have a warming effect on the earth's climate within the past century has become part of the public perception as well. With the advent of coal-burning factories and power plants, industrial societies began releasing carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases into the air. Later, motor vehicles added to such emissions. In this scenario, those of us who have lived during the industrial era are responsible not only for the gas buildup in the atmosphere but also for at least part of the accompanying global warming trend. Now, though, it seems our ancient agrarian ancestors may have begun adding these gases to the atmosphere many millennia ago, thereby altering the earth's climate long before anyone thought.
New evidence suggests that concentrations of CO2 started rising about 8,000 years ago, even though natural trends indicate they should have been dropping. Some 3,000 years later the same thing happened to methane, another heat-trapping gas. The consequences of these surprising rises have been profound. Without them, current temperatures in northern parts of North America and Europe would be cooler by three to four degrees Celsius--enough to make agriculture difficult. In addition, an incipient ice age--marked by the appearance of small ice caps--would probably have begun several thousand years ago in parts of northeastern Canada. Instead the earth's climate has remained relatively warm and stable in recent millennia.
For the sake of comparison, the early global warming effect due to our agriculture acitivties caused 0.8 degree C elevation just before the industrial revolution, while our condamned post-industrial revolution lifestyle contributes to 0.6 degree C increase over the past century. It simply indicates that the early farming on climate rivals or evn exceeds the combined changes registered during the time of rapid industrialization.
What are we going to do about it then? One thing for sure, the incoming ice age is inevitable, as soon as human deplete the fossil fuels, the nature (i.e. the precession
) will turn the earth into another ice age, just like the previous one that happened every 22,000 years. I don't think I have to emphasize the catastrophic impact of ice age on the human civilization. Simply put, it's going to be a grim one. Are we going to sabotage our chance to survive the ice age by holding back our civilization development through limiting the most effective energy source-fossil fuel? or we are going to do what we are supposed to do-keep relying on the fossil fuel and, through hardwork and perseverence, hopefully new type of energy source will take over then take our civilization to another level?
Our human civilization is precious, considering how hostile the environment the planet earth has provided us, our ancesters unintentionally shaped the world for us to live in. Global warming has been a part of human civilization. Without it, human would've still competed with wild beasts, instead of dominating them. Knowing who we are and how we got here, doesn't it give you some prospect which path we as human beings should take to extend our civilization, for the sake of humanity?
Your choices are clear: be myopic and reject who you are by keep bashing the global warming, or be constructive and efficient by keeping utilizing the most effective energy source--fossil fuel, then let the civilization to take its own course to come up with the solution.