Global Warming Fact Or Fiction – Why It Doesn't Matter

Is global warming fact or fiction? Here's why the answer to that question doesn't really matter. Or at least it isn't as significant as you may think.

Like many other public discussions, the debate about global warming is a rather polarized one. People on both sides of the issue try to use scientific data as well as reasoning in order to prove whether global warming is real or not. And more importantly what role humankind plays in the grand scheme of things.

In the end, what the “irrefutable facts” of the matter are doesn't really matter. Using renewable resources and going green is still the right thing to do. There are many reasons for this, many of them mostly ethical in nature. But here are two very practical arguments:

1 – We only have one planet

Christopher Hitchens was once asked about his opinions on the issue of climate change. If I remember correctly, the person asking the question was under impression that Hitchens had “missed the boat” on this issue, or even joined the ranks of the climate skeptics.

Hitchens admitted that he hasn't really involved himself in this debate, and that he's no expert on the matter. But his view was that we should act as if the reports about man made global warming are correct – because we don't have another planet to experiment on.

Although it is a simple view, this aspect is hard to argue with.

If we make green changes now in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, to use energy more efficiently etc. And it later on turns out that this wasn't really necessary to “save the environment”. We will simply have erred on the side of caution, without any real harm done.

On the other hand, if we – despite all the warning signs – don't do anything to achieve a more sustainable lifestyle. And this leads to an environmental catastrophe on a global scale, then we will really have outdone ourselves in the art of arrogance.

2 – Many of the required changes aren't optional anyway

The western lifestyle, with its associated wasteful use of energy, has aptly been compared to drug addiction. Just like the drug addict we don't just need our daily fix to feel good, we also think we need stronger and stronger doses.

It certainly fits the profile to try and discredit anyone who point out that our lifestyle isn't very healthy in the long run.

To make matters even worse, what many of us think of as “our way of  life” is very much built around a limitless supply of relatively cheap oil. Contrary to popular belief we are probably never going to run out of oil, but sometime in the near future it is going to become too expensive.

No matter what we do it is likely that the price of energy is going to continue to go upwards. So the only sensible thing we really can do is to start using the energy and resources we have in a smarter and more efficient manner.

However, this doesn't mean that your quality of life has to suffer. Quite the contrary. If you dare to think a little bit laterally on this issue, you'll probably find that you actually have a lot to gain from the changes that are coming.