Should we be worried about global warming

Who's Worried About Global Warming?
November 11, 2015 – 04:07 pm

Photo Credit: Nigel Parry/CPi Syndication

Henry Paulson
Chicago, Illinois
Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury; Co-Chair, Risky Business Project

I’m deeply concerned that climate change is a brewing crisis—much like the financial crisis of 2008—that poses massive risk to our economy and the quality of life for future generations.

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There are some who believe that even if we took steps to diminish the manmade impacts of climate change, we couldn’t possibly do enough to curb its catastrophic effects. But we simply can’t throw up our hands and bury our heads in the sand.

I’ve spent my life managing risk, and I believe we need to manage climate risk the way we manage economic risk—and we need to do so before the excesses are so great that it’s too late.

The good news is if we act immediately, we can still avoid most of the worst impacts of climate change, and significantly reduce the odds of costly, catastrophic outcomes on the environment—and, in turn, our economy.

Also, we know that the most severe risks can still be avoided through early investments in resilience and other immediate actions we can take now to reduce the pollution that causes global warming. The bottom line is that we must start changing our business and public policy decisions today.

Photo Credit: Nigel Parry/CPi

Katharine Hayhoe
Lubbock, Texas
Climate Scientist, Texas Tech University

When I talk to people, I start with my values. I don’t bring out thermometer data and start hitting them over the head with it. I share what’s in my heart, why I care about this issue, why I think it’s important, why I think they might want to start caring about it, too. Then I talk about the facts.

As a scientist, I can say there are some absolute truths about climate change. You can have an opinion, and I can have an opinion. But whether the planet is warming is not an opinion. It’s a fact.

We’re being fed incorrect information all the time. People are stuffed full of sound bites, like “It’s freezing outside, where is global warming now?” or, “God’s in control, so it’s all going to work out in the end.”

The biggest hurdle is just getting people to listen. Many of us think that if we accept that the climate is really changing, and that humans are responsible, it threatens our worldview. And many people feel that doing something about it will—fill in the blank: will destroy the economy, will infringe on people’s personal liberties. Or it’s anti-Christian, it’s anti-conservative, it’s anti-Republican.

I think there’s a perception that we need to acquire a whole new set of values. But the reality is that to care about climate change we just have to be human, we have to live on this planet, we have to want a better world for ourselves and for our kids. And as a Christian, I believe the Bible is very clear that we are to love others as Christ loved us, which gives us even more reasons to care.

Nick Mullins
Berea, Kentucky
Fourth-Generation Coal Miner, Climate Change Activist

When I failed to secure a job that could provide the money I believed necessary to give my children a better future, I became the fourth generation to work underground.

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Popular Q&A
What are some of the short term effects of global warming?

forest fires, hot temperatures, droughts

What are the factors responsible for global warming - in short?

  1. Man digs up fossil fuel (coal, oil and natural gas).
  2. Man burns it in industry, transportation and to make electricity.
  3. Man cuts down great forests all over the world. Trees can no longer store carbon.
  4. Millions-of-years-old carbon dioxide comes out of the burning fossil fuels and shoots up into the atmosphere. It's a greenhouse gas.
  5. This extra carbon dioxide is too much for the natural carbon cycle to deal with.
  6. This extra carbon dioxide turns the natural greenhouse effect (which keeps us warm) into an accelerated greenhouse effect, making the earth warmer and warmer - Global Warming.
  7. The war…

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