A scientific approach to understanding the climate change that the Earth is currently experiencing needs to accept reasonable doubt. Reasonable doubt is not of the variety funded by ExxonMobil, of course – that’s commercially interested spin.
However, there are reasons to question the prevailing scientific models of how climate change happens. One question has arisen with the release of a study this week that finds that, with current understanding of what happened, a major global warming phase 55 million years ago cannot fully be explained by increase in carbon dioxide at the time. Other factors must have been in play.
We’ve been focusing a great deal on the role that carbon dioxide plays in the global warming that’s taking place right now, but the fact is that other chemicals are known to operate as greenhouse gases as well. For example, the pesticide sulfuryl fluoride, which Dow AgroSciences is seeking to spray on farmers’ fields, is nearly 5,000 times as potent a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide.
When we talk about anthropogenic causes of climate change, we need to think beyond our carbon footprint. We’ve also got a methane footprint, and a sulfuryl flouride footprint…