Is Climate Change a Reality – And Does It Really Matter?

Whether you believe in climate change or not, the awareness it has raised has generated positive results.

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Despite all of the scientific research available to support it, and physical evidence of changing climate conditions across the world, there are still naysayers out there who consider global climate change an elaborate hoax. Just this past week, a response to a recent post on the Sustainable Construction Facebook page proclaimed “Global warming is a lie!”

Clearly, the debate over global warming – a misnomer that causes confusion in itself – rages on, both on an individual and international level. Detractors point to not only the thermometer where they live, but to the lack of comprehensive historical data on weather patterns beyond the past century. While the existing data tends to favor climatologists, the arguments have a certain validity on both sides.

Regardless which side you're on, the question to ask yourself is “Does it really matter if climate change is a real or not?” Clearly, if it is true, action is required to stem the negative impacts humanity has placed on the environment. But what if it isn’t – so what?

My point is the discussion on climate change has raised awareness in a powerful and meaningful way. It has focused attention on environmental conditions that could ultimately reduce our quality of life, and has made us more conscious of the potential risks of depleting what we now realize is not an endless supply of natural resources.

Admittedly, there is a cost to governments’ reactions to climate change warnings. Reducing emissions output, researching alternative energy sources, lowering vehicle and equipment fuel consumption and other initiatives come at substantial expense. Yet, consider the benefits. Across the globe, people are breathing cleaner air, driving more fuel-efficient cars and machines, utilizing more readily available public transportation systems, recycling more waste, installing renewable power systems, reducing the level of deforestation, etc.

The issue of climate change has raised public awareness in a manner that is ultimately generating positive results that will hopefully preserve the environment and its resources for generations to come. Surely, even the detractors can’t argue that this is a good thing.