2011-02-21 01:54:46Bringing the Argument Home: Making the Connection Between Health Trends & Environmental Trends
KristaPeterson

krista.peterson925@gmail...
74.173.98.96

Bringing the Argument Home: Making the Connection Between Health Trends & Environmental Trends

Establishing the impact of human emissions on global climate change involves the use of some very basic logical reasoning skills, which skeptics conveniently seem to have forgotten. However, for the sake of those skeptics, the following data detailing the impact of just one human trend on global emissions will be presented as explicitly as possible. With skeptical scientists' continued refusal to accept sound evidence proving that our actions directly impact the world around us, it becomes necessary to adopt different tactics to prove climate change, which in this case involve the simplification of an argument into indisputable data and trends.

A common tactic of these skeptical “scientists” has been to use the scale of the Earth as a defense, calling the ballooning human population too insignificant to possibly impact something as large as the global ecosystem. Therefore, what follows is a straightforward example of how our global population is directly contributing to the obvious trend of global climate change, which scientists cannot sully with claims that the data remains too hypothetical or short-sighted.

As the world population increases, which remains indisputable, more housing is required. When more housing is created, more indoor climate control systems are needed to regulate the temperatures of said housing. This simple formula doesn’t even take into account the rapidly-accelerating standard of living in nations like China, with a population that increasingly utilizes modern conveniences like electricity and heating oil. With an increase in the number of heating and cooling systems taxing power grids and fossil fuel supplies, consumption of this energy likewise increases, which leads to a swell in emissions, most notably carbon dioxide used in fuel-burning homes.

If such a clear cause and effect illustration fails to satisfy skeptics, scientific reports back up this phenomenon. The Environmental Protecting Agency’s Fifth U.S. Climate Action Report concluded that from 1990 to 2007, greenhouse gas emissions increased by 17%. In that same period, the EPA explains that the U.S. population grew by 21%. Carbon dioxide emissions are called the “dominant factor” in that increase in greenhouse gas emissions. This evidence does not even address nations with populations growing at a higher rate.

With the recognition of these disturbing trends, the next logical question is what to do about it. Although alternative forms of renewable energy coupled with greater home energy efficiency offer the ideal way to fight this frightening emission increase, which is only anticipated to worsen in the coming years, these changes might take decades to implement. However, responsible homeowners can decrease their home energy use by ensuring they live in the most environmentally responsible homes possible. While recycling and limiting unnecessary energy usage have long been recognized as an environmentally beneficial practice, replacing antiquated forms of home insulation is a long-term action that can reap even bigger results, for both the globe and homeowners.

Besides making sound fiscal sense for homeowners to invest in more efficient forms of windows, roofs and wall insulation, replacing these inefficient forms of insulation can have further benefits as well, including a reduction in household toxins. With the modern awareness of indoor pollutants contributing to a number of “sick building” conditions, even climate change skeptics must recognize chemicals like asbestos deserve careful attention for the health impact they have on individuals. In addition to mesothelioma symptoms, which are the indications of the cancer asbestos causes, the global impact of poorly-insulated housing might provide the moral inspiration needed to motivate individuals to improve their homes.

As the global population continues to skyrocket, expected to reach nine billion by 2040, the appearance of mesothelioma symptoms in individuals mirrors what this population increase is doing to the planet. Like homeowners suffocating in noxious indoor environments resulting from toxic insulation, the planet continues to choke on devastating levels of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases. Both examples result from refusing to recognize the impact of chemicals introduced into the environment through faulty insulation. While numerous scientific studies fail to sway those that feel an inability to disprove a theory validates it, shifting the argument to objective data with a clearly-defined relationship might be the next step to convincing these skeptics that our actions do indeed impact the environment around us, indicating we can combat these changes.

2011-02-21 02:39:36
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.102

The last sentence of your first paragraph should probably read (revision in red):

With skeptical scientists' continued refusal to accept sound evidence proving that our actions directly impact the world around us, it becomes necessary to adopt different tactics to prove climate change, which in this case involve the simplification of an argument into indisputable data and trends.

2011-02-22 00:26:38Fixed!
KristaPeterson

krista.peterson925@gmail...
71.43.74.139
Thanks Daniel
2011-02-22 03:42:51
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.62.32
It is actually quite unclear what the major point of your argument is. Can you state your point in a couple of sentences?
2011-02-22 05:58:53
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.202.136
Krista, I don't follow either. There seems to be a disconnect between the title and the article itself. 
2011-02-23 01:04:36
KristaPeterson

krista.peterson925@gmail...
71.43.74.139
I was attempting to connect the ideas that there is indisputable evidence that toxins damage our health therefore it makes sense that toxins damage the health of our environment as well. I was also trying to provide some sort of solution for this problem to add a positive twist on the negative subject of the article. Such as when I discussed how having proper home insulation that is free of toxins is not only beneficial to our individual health, but in turn benefits the overall health of the environment. Perhaps I should change my title for a better fit.
2011-03-03 13:02:36Feedback
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.186.229.6

Apologies for the delay in posting feedback. There are two questions I have about this article:

Firstly, I think the anti-skeptic tone is a little combative - which yes, often sometimes happens at SkS but ideally, we aim to adopt a more neutral tone. For example:

"Establishing the impact of human emissions on global climate change involves the use of some very basic logical reasoning skills, which skeptics conveniently seem to have forgotten." I would suggest foregoing this text - you're immediately alienating skeptics in your first line.

Secondly, you make a strong point of using objective, indisputable data. But what is the indisputable data presented? If it's that CO2 emissions have increased in the U.S., just to play devil's advocate, skeptics will say CO2 is a naturally occuring gas unlike other pollutants. I know, the "CO2 is not a pollutant" argument is a crock but you have to anticipate likely responses.

2011-03-03 19:07:24
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.101.51

KristaPeterson,

Sorry, but you don't seem to have a clear message or a straightforward argument. And your language is convoluted.