My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

Global Warming: The buzzword of the 2000s

Graph showing the inverse relationship of pirates and global temperature Perfectly valid scientific theories have the unfortunate tendency to become conflated and overladen with inaccurate information after becoming generally accepted public fact.

Let me start off, however, with a few disclaimers. I do believe that the "global warming phenomenon" exists to a quantifiable degree, that the Earth's temperature is slowly rising, that humans are contributing to it (although not necessarily as much as some claim, but probably more than most would like to admit) with our dependency on fossil fuels, and that it does pose a threat to the future of our species.

Up here in Canada we're experiencing an unusually mild winter. As a result, the term "global warming" has become one of the decade's top buzzwords: words that people use even though they don't actually apply. It's liked "Web 2.0". It's a term that at one time had a valid definition, but the public has seized upon it, gutted it mercilessly, and taken it so far out of context that it no longer means anything at all. The same is happening to global warming. Once a fine scientific theory, people are blowing it out of proportion.

"Oh my God, he's gone conservative!" you start screaming at me. "How dare you say that global warming isn't a threat?!"

Yeah ... uh ... right. Whatever you say. The fact remains that both sides are throwing "global warming" about as a keyword without really treating it with any respect. And you know what? Global warming called. It demands its dignity back.