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The Human Impact On Global Warming And Climate Change

Jennifer Kendall |
October 4, 2010 | 11:51 p.m. PDT


David Breashears (Photo by Jennifer Kendall)
David Breashears (Photo by Jennifer Kendall)
Award-winning filmmaker, photographer and mountaineer David Breashears spoke at the University of Southern California Monday about the dramatic reduction of glacier size in the Himalayas and the human impact on global climate change.

Breashears urged the audience to reduce global climate consequences starting with their own commitment, actions and reduction in personal use of energy.

While he used compelling photographs to show the changes in glacier mass in the Himalayas, he forgot to use facts to link climate change to human impact.

Breashears was extremely critical of U.S. government officials for failing to be proponents of climate change. “Our leadership has failed us,” said Breashears, later adding that, “our country is a mess.”

He pleaded his case that global temperatures were quickly changing with amazing photographs that show the ice of the Himalayan glaciers vanishing over time.

The photographs presented amazed Karen Hastings, who attended Breashears’ presentation. “I had no idea of the extent to which the glaciers were melting,” said Hastings.

Breashears said that the Tibetan’s were very worried about how this would affect their water supply. He also blamed the U.S. and China for their part in this revelation. “This is not a country that wants to make sacrifices,” he said about the U.S.
He explained that some countries were stagnant in their progress towards less dependence on harmful sources of energy. “We’re walking backwards,” said Breashears.

The problem is, Breashears never linked the melting of glaciers to human impact with any facts; he simply expected the audience to blindly believe his opinions when he said things like, “I think we’ve had an impact on the climate.”

David Breashears (Photo by Jennifer Kendall)
David Breashears (Photo by Jennifer Kendall)
But just one year ago there was a leak of emails between scholars at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England who worked closely with the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that countered Breashears argument.  The emails showed that scientists were destroying and hiding data that did not support global warming claims.

Dr. Kevin Trenberth, the head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and global warming advocate, was exposed to have written in an e-mail, “The fact is we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”

In 1974, Time Magazine published an article warning readers about an impending ice age. The article acknowledged that, “when meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades.”

The point here is, global temperatures change periodically. A few years of warmer temperatures can easily be followed by a few years of colder temperatures. People need to realize that the earth’s existence goes back 4.5 billion years, and during that time span there have been ice ages and periods of very hot weather that were just the natural processes of the planet.

Human existence on this planet, which is about 4.1 million years, only makes up a sliver of the earth’s life.  Studying the planet’s temperatures has gone on less than two centuries. I’m sure human impact is not good for the environment, but it is slightly ignorant to believe we understand the history of the earth’s climate by studying such a short period of its life. 

However, Breashears would still like to remind the public to “use less energy,” - or else they will be responsible for the destruction of the glaciers in the Himalayas.

Reach Columnist Jennifer Kendall [email protected] ">here.

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