The nature of the carbon footprint is to examine human use of carbon and to try to apply it to how much greenhouse gas (converted to a scale based on CO2) is used. By discussing this, and viewing how "Climate change and infectious diseases in North America: the road ahead" discusses climate, it becomes obvious that the science and the opinions that guide discussion on environmental issues are rich and varied. Any and all predictions of what the global carbon footprint is doing to the planet involves conjecture. There are measurements and there are theories, but much of the "Climate change and infectious diseases in North America: the road ahead" study by Greer, Ng and Fisman involves hypothesizing and estimation because they do not give specific temperature estimates, though they do use some data based on temperature from other sources. This is not to say that their work is grounded on faulty science as much as to call it firmly entrenched in debatable science and estimations. Using this to talk about disease possibilities gives the article a hypothetical feel.
[...] The conventional wisdom for reducing a carbon footprint, as discussed, if one is to take the idea as sound and to accept that it sidesteps or overlooks the concept of causality and is more a direct and empirical measurement that is then used to imply damage or a cause and effect relationship to the environment via the greenhouse effect, is to take the measurement of the footprint and look for the easiest ways to decrease it. Minimizing it, then, is a matter of paring down one's energy usage to the basics. [...]
[...] At what rate will the human population--and its carbon footprint-- grow?" (Baird, 2006) This is interesting because it shows how unpredictable it is, even from a pro-environmentalist slant. Through the lens of carbon footprints, many people appear to be unaware that the increase in the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases over the past century has been exponential. The idea that merely reducing the rate at which we burn fossil fuels can amount to a significant mitigation is, in itself, one of the potential problems we face. [...]
[...] (2002). Spatial Forecasting of Disease Risk and Uncertainty. Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 363+. Retrieved November from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5000637603 Goklany, I. M. "Richer Is More Resilient: Dealing with Climate Change and More Urgent Environmental Problems," in R. Bailey, ed., Earth Report 2000: The True State of the Planet Revisited New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Greer Ng Fisman D. Climate change and infectious diseases in North America: the road ahead. CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal.2008; 178(6):715-22. Houghton, J.T., Callander, B.A., and S. [...]
[...] The existence of the greenhouse effect itself is indisputable and irrefutable: Without it, the Earth would be too cold to inhabit, though naturally this does not confirm that altering one's carbon footprint will actually change the temperature of the planet, but believers in climate change think it does and will. The latest assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a scientific body set up to link studies and assess overall knowledge and research in climate research, concludes that accumulating greenhouse gases have already produced a discernible and mathematically significant effect on today's climate. [...]
[...] It is saying that things that are likely to occur if the carbon footprint is changing the climate without considering what is actually happening at all. It is as hollow a statement as to see that major changes in the climate and weather are likely to cause major changes in things that can be changed by the climate and weather. "The close relation between climate, environment and infectious disease in the developing world are well recognized." (Greer, Ng & Fisman p. [...]
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