CO2 causes climate change: fact or hypothesis?


Lawyers in Cebu, Philippines, who are into anti-climate change advocacy are publicly claiming that carbon dioxide (CO2) as a cause of climate change is already a scientific fact that is beyond dispute.

Atty. Benjamin Cabrido of the Global Lawyers Against Climate Change (GLACC) had been repeatedly saying this before members of the local media.

I am sure many have already accepted this view. But something in me says there is something wrong.

Way back in our elementary and high school days, my science teachers taught that science is not a collection of undisputed facts that we memorized from science books. It involves testing what we believe things are through observation and experiments. Scientific knowledge is arrived at by meeting and passing rigid tests.

Thus we first make a hypothesis that is subjected to experiments. If it passes the tests, we treat it as theories. Over time and upon consensus by scientists who subjected the theories with more experiments, it may become a law.

But even laws could be changed later as new scientific knowledge emerges. For instance, Newton’s laws on gravity were modified by Einstein’s Laws on Relativity.

“Even the most persuasive scientific findings are, therefore, held to be incomplete and tentative — always subject to further investigation, revision and dismissal in the light of new scientifically tested discoveries … And it is fanatic certainty that science replaces with a recognition that even the most entrenched scientific findings are at best partial or temporary truths and hence uncetain,” wrote Alvin and Heide Toffler in their book “Revolutionary Wealth.”

My point is: it is wrong to claim that the scientific finding on “CO2 as a cause of climate change” is beyond dispute. One only needs to Google or search Youtube for “climate change” to be able to get a glimpse of the other side.

I am saying this because the climate change theory is already being peddled as an absolute truth and beyond question, much like dogma of religious fanatics. Those who disagree become lynching targets.

5 responses to “CO2 causes climate change: fact or hypothesis?

  1. CO2 as a cause of climate change – I would immediately agree, BUT as one of the major factors and not the ONLY reason. It’s hard to believe that just one solitary combination of 2 molecular particles (1 part Carbon and 2 parts Oxygen) can be the only cause of climate Armaggedon.

    What I would like to know is if these environmentalists has a practical solution to our power needs. As earlier pointed out, renewable alternative power sources that can be immediately replace the coal and diesel power plants is a decade or two away from reality. So what are they proposing ?

    It’s very easy to identify problem areas. It’s a different matter proposing a solution. What are we supposed to do. Shut down all our fossil-fuel based power plants and start using candles? What will these protestors do when factories and businesses shut down and jobs are lost because of the lack of power supply. I’d like to see these lawyer-protestors in a hospital emergency room, being told that they cannot save his life or that of a loved one because the power supply has been cut-off.

    I’m not saying that we should not immediately work on the reduction of our CO2 emissions from our power plants. What I’m saying is that we should focus on the development of alternative power sources as our main source of energy in the near future, at the same time, we should maintain and broaden our economic activities.

    If these protestors say that they only want to stop the worsening CO2 emissions from Cebu’s power plants, then I say that they don’t have a realistic perspective of what is good for the majority. Shutting down these plants or prevent an increase in power supply will directly affect our jobs and thus our capability to feed, protect, and house ourselves and our families. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that.

    If the government and these environmentalists are really serious in discovering a SOLUTION, then they should invest in the development and improvement of alternate fuel sources. Doing nothing (on the government’s side) and being impractical (on the environmentalist’s side) does not do any good to anyone.

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  2. I would find it difficult to understand if the protestors would say that their only concern is the reduction of CO2 emissions and that searching for alternative power sources is not their concern. Ditto for the government, who should not just meet power demands, but should also find other sources of energy that are replenishable and less pollutive.

    We have two problems as far as this issue is concerned. First is our lack of power supply so that we can continue and improve our economic activities and thus provide jobs – and second, the need to combat global warming and perhaps reverse it for the future generations.

    It’s a chicken and egg situation if the question is “which should have more priority”. It’s simply the wrong question to ask. The question we all should be searching an answer for is “how soon can we EFFECTIVELY REPLACE these fossil-fuel burning power plants with alternative power sources that is replenishable and/or less-pollutive, WITHOUT drastically or dramatically affecting our economy.”

    Options include transferring our future manufacturing and industrial estates to places or provinces were geothermal or natural gas deposits are abundant. These activities require the most power supply. National zoning laws needs to be passed to implement such a drastic but logical plan. Another solution (and one closer to my heart) would be the amendment of our current National Building Code that will require commercial buildings and structures to derive a certain percentage of their power supply from solar energy (afterall, solar power technology is already available).

    These are ideas that have been floated for several decades already. I think it is time to put some realistic muscle behind these options.

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  3. Has someone simple put CO2 into a container with air to see if additional CO2 can hold the heat, just add infa red lamp outside a enclosed glass container with thermometer inside. Measure added heat held over time? Thanks Marc

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  4. I did not nor I am now contesting that CO2 is not contributory to global warming. All I am saying is, in science there is no dogma. What we consider as scientific laws now should not be used as dogma. But this doesn’t mean we won’t act on global warming. In fact, I am glad that in Naga City,
    Cebu, the city government has set up a solid waste management system that converts waste into energy. Some 10 metric tons of alternative fuel is now used by the coal-fired plant of CEMEX. They are also looking forward to supplying alternative fuel to KEPCO although the volume of waste processed at the Naga MRF is not enough even to supply CEMEX.

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  5. Supplying fuel derived from waste is an excellent way of recycling trash into something that reduces CO2 in the atmosphere. We should all do more of this. We address global warming but our action won’t lead to widespread brownouts.

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