By Frances Van Den Berg
Global warming is generally accepted as a given. The concept is part of most school syllabi and people are urged to reduce their carbon footprints in an attempt to save the planet and stop global warming.
However, some experts in the field have their own ideas about global warming and point it out for what it is - a scientific theory and not based on indisputable evidence. There are too many factors to be able to prove or disprove global warming conclusively, but many factors (such as evident temperature change) convince us that this theory is as close as you can get to fact in the realm of future predictions.
Professor Ian Plimer, Australia's most eminent Earth scientist, has dismissed current global warming theories as 'primitive' in his new book, 'Heaven and Earth' which was published in April this year. Plimer's book cannot easily be dismissed because it is the result of 40 years of hard scientific research. According to Plimer, in order to understand climate change patterns, you need to understand almost every specialist branch of earth science, including oceanography, geology and glaciology, as well as earth's long history. He argues that the earth's climate has been changing continually throughout its history and that climate change is part of Earth's natural development, and not due to carbon emissions.
Former US vice president and advocate for the global warming theory, Al Gore, would disagree with Plimer. His documentary, an Inconvenient Truth, which premiered in 2006, was aimed at educating the world about the causes and adverse effects of pollution and global warming. Whatever the truth about global warming, the adverse effects of pollution cannot be denied, as they are being seen on a daily basis. Plimer would probably agree that drastic changes are needed in order to combat pollution and stop the wastage of Earth's precious resources.
The term, global warming is slowing being replaced with 'climate change', as scientists point out that the earth may, in fact, be entering an ice age, and so the global warming theory has become a global cooling phenomenon. Despite the theories, we cannot really predict what the world will look like in a thousand years. All we can do is minimise the parasitic damage we are causing to planet Earth and not buy too easily into doomsday theories.