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The words of President Andrzej Duda on climate change are ill-considered and potentially harmful

The Let's get into the climate conference was organized by the Ministry of the Environment to summarize the initiative. Develop adaptation plans for climate change in cities over 100,000. residents . It was opened by the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda , who in a short speech stressed the need to reduce emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

Unfortunately, at the end, the President decided to add a few words about whether the observed climate change occurred as a result of human activity. The President said, among others:

I do not know how much humanity actually contributes to climate change. The voices of scientists are very different, we also deal with extremes. Climate change was in the history of the world and the reasons were natural - there was no man in the world at that time and this issue had to be carried out in a different way.

Although the president says he does not know whether a man contributes to climate change, his statement is clearly doubtful. He repeats a fairly common slogan of "climate denialists", about the fact that climate change also occurred without human interference. It also calls into question the scientific consensus, as if the matter was still undergoing widespread discussion.


Here's what we know for sure, Mr. President.

Are the voices of scientists "very different"?

Each scientist is an individual person and there are always those who have an opinion different from others. There is, however, the principle of scientific consensus - that is, the view that most of the world believes in, and which is supported by appropriate research and explaining the results of these research with theories (not to be confused with the hypotheses).

Examples of such consensus in the world of science:

  • Changes in organisms on a large scale on Earth explain the mechanism of natural selection.
  • The rise of the universe as a result of the Big Bang.
  • Bacterial and viral origin of diseases.
  • The organisms inherit their traits from the ancestors thanks to the genetic mechanism.

Another of such widespread consensus is the widespread agreement that the observed climate change has caused human activity.

Consensus in this matter includes the following basic facts:

  1. The Earth's climate has been significantly warmed since the end of the 19th century
  2. The main cause is greenhouse gases, with carbon dioxide at the forefront, derived from human activities
  3. Further emission at this level can have devastating consequences for our planet
  4. We can prevent these effects by reducing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere

The general consent of scientists on this subject is not just an illusion or a general impression. We can use a scientific tool called meta-research to help. Meta-study is a study summarizing and analyzing the results of other studies. There were at least several such meta-surveys, in one of them 12,000 were analyzed. papers on climate research published in scientific journals. 97 percent expressed opinions on the sources of climate change in these letters was consistent: the reason is human activity.

Here are the results of several other meta-surveys in this matter.

It is difficult to talk about any disagreements and discussions among scientists about the anthropogenic origin of climate change. And yes, there will always be scientists who have a different opinion than the vast majority. Maybe they are wrong, maybe they have carried out unreliable research, maybe they are looking for publicity - we do not know. However, they are in the minority, creating the so-called fringe science - like in every field of knowledge, exploring blind alleys, or being unable to part with the favorite hypothesis, for mere human reasons or for pride.

Can the observed climate changes be natural?

Here, too, the president is not right. The changes we observe now are a complete anomaly against the background of known data. First of all, the temperature rise has been confirmed by many independent tests:

Secondly, the increase in the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is closely correlated with the development of the human economy on Earth, and its graph is quite frightening. We are also able to determine how many of these emissions come from human activities (and probably these estimates are understated, because many countries do not account for them reliably), and to calculate whether without them would also increase their concentration in the atmosphere (spoiler: no) .

It is a pity that the president said such words - his authority may cause us to stop looking for information on this subject, relying on alleged doubts and believing that "in total one scientist says yes, the other one is otherwise unknown". We can also believe in nonsense about huge natural emission (eg volcanic), even if the head of the state opening the conference on climate seems to hesitate on these issues.

Once again - a great pity!

The words of President Andrzej Duda on climate change are ill-considered and potentially harmful

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