• Rommel Bezerra de Andrade

IS CLIMATE CHANGE A HOAX?

Not exactly; but the issue is grossly exaggerated by an openly biased media hungry for "apocalypse" fake news and overcharged with leftist political leanings.


Global climate changes in the past were caused primarily by movements on the Earth's crust, with consequent sea-flooring spreading, increased volcanic activity and higher concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide.


Four major glacial periods occurred between 1000 and 540 million years ago and at least three more periods of glaciation happened between 360 and 290Ma (million years). The formation of glaciers at the South Pole, the position of the South Pole in relation to Gondwana (old super-continent at the southern hemisphere), the formation of Pangea (another super-continent, approx. 300Ma), mountain building episodes, large-scale decrease of atmospheric carbon dioxide - associated with colonization of the land by plants were the main factors for climate change. Throughout geological time there have been several variations in the Earth's geomatic field, including polarity reversals where the magnetic North Pole has become the South Pole and vice-versa.


When we include time on this issue, our perspective can be very different. Our planet was formed about 4600 million years ago and has obviously gone through several major geological changes. Cellular life took approximately 1800Ma to evolve. Life time scale is difficult to grasp. Earliest plants are here since approx. 543Ma, while human lineage separated from chimpanzees only about one million years ago. Hominids have developed over 200,000 years ago and modern humans are settled in for only about 50,000 years. It is hard to assume that we are truly capable of promoting major climate change in such a short period of time.


Now, with the obvious over-population of the planet, we are told that man-made activities are causing irreversible climate change. It may be, but probably not as much compared to the major events of the past. At least five big mass-extinctions in marine life and three in terrestrial faunas have happened before, (although there is no evidence of mass-extinctions with plants), but the real impact of humankind on the planet is still not clear.


Even when considering our almost super-powers, we are way behind plants in the evolutionary scale. They are the real dominant life form on the planet. It is estimated that the amazon forest has over 600 billion trees, and we probably have over 2 trillion(!) trees on the planet. Quite a difference to our own population, we must admit, especially when taking into account the trees clear superior ability to withstand climate stress and their varied reproductive mechanisms (hybridization, polyploidy and asexual reproduction). We do not even know how to do photosynthesis, something that plants are doing for million

of years and is the main reason why we are alive and thriving.


No, it does not look like we are on the verge of extinction and must move to another planet (if we can find a suitable one) as soon as possible. Humankind is apparently learning from past mistakes and we may very well find sensible ways to minimize our impact on this beautiful planet.


Note: Much of the scientific information presented above comes from the textbook "The Evolution of Plants", by K. J. Willis and J. C. McElwain - Oxford University Press.


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