According to a post I read on Facebook earlier today, global warming being caused by human-made atmospheric emissions was once and for all debunked. I thought, "hrm... that's curious," so I clicked on the link the post was referring to and came across James M. Taylor's article, New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole In Global Warming Alarmism, about how NASA data apparently prove that global warming is not a big deal. The article is an interesting read, and obviously an op-ed piece, full of the same sensationalized language he chastises "alarmists" of having. What gets me is not the data Taylor cites, which doesn't say much aside from the fact that the more apocalyptic-leaning predictions of scientists may be wrong since the earth's atmosphere lets a significant amount of energy into space. As far as I could tell, the data did not say that global warming is an hoax nor did it say that we should stop caring about carbon emissions. One can read the press release here or the abstract or full article here.
The article does not make conclusions about what is causing climate change, but merely says that as of right now we do not know whether or not the climate is changing as a result of human-made emissions. The data also does not explain continuing data and observations about climate change that show that the climate is changing (the article I linked to I found on NASA's very own website on climate change, http://climate.nasa.gov/). In the end, the article really does not say much other than computer models were wrong because they did not take into account this new finding on earth's atmosphere's ability to adapt. It does not say that global warming is a hoax, nor does it chastise what Taylor calls "alarmists."
But here is the interesting part. This is how Taylor ends his article:
"When objective NASA satellite data, reported in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, show a 'huge discrepancy' between alarmist climate models and real-world facts, climate scientists, the media and our elected officials would be wise to take notice. Whether or not they do so will tell us a great deal about how honest the purveyors of global warming alarmism truly are." (Emphasis Mine).
What I find most interesting about the article, as I said, is not the data it points to. What I find most interesting is Taylor's call for global warming alarmists to be honest. I say this is interesting because Taylor is the senior fellow for environmental policy at the Heartland's Institute. I find Taylor's call to honesty interesting because the Heartland Institute, a non-profit organization, received more than $600,000 from Exxon-Mobile. How can Taylor ask honesty of the scientific consensus when the company he works for received significant funding from Exxon-Mobile? A call to honesty, indeed.
There will need to be more research to see how much of a negative effect human-made emissions are making upon the planet, certainly. And I'm sure it will cause climatologists to adjust some of their findings. And, although the vast majority of data I've read and come across suggests that global warming and climate change is at least partially (if not primarily) caused by human activity, I know that carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases damage local ecosystems. Even if global warming really were once and for all debunked, as my friend's facebook status declared, it would not change the fact that humanity is having a negative impact on the earth. You need only look at polluted streams, disappearing ecosystems, rising cancer rates in urban areas, and vast islands of plastic in the ocean to see that.