Scrutinizing the science of climate change
Posted April 15, 2015
In a government laboratory tucked away under the Flatirons of Green Mountain in Colorado, scientists study the earth's climate. Air samples taken from around the world – including Barrow, Alaska – are sent to the lab to be analyzed.
The science of climate change being done here is also being scrutinized.
Meteorologist and author Robert Henson says climate change is not a politically generated issue.
“It’s a real concern and a real problem,” he said. “The science of it is, what happens when you put a little molecule called carbon dioxide that you can’t see, you can’t smell, you can’t taste, what happens when that goes in the atmosphere? There’s so many ramifications as to what will happen as the CO2 burden increases, so much to learn still.
“There’s a lot we do know, all those are separate from what are we going to do about it. And that’s where the economics and politics come in, and that’s where the politics should come in,” he said.
In his book, Henson has looked at the divide between climate change skeptics and believers.
“It’s not easy because our political system encourages polarization. You’re either with us or against us,” he said. “A lot of issues are more broad than that, and I think we can come to agreement on the basics of what’s happening.”
Henson is a thinker; he's not predicting extinction of the human race.
“I guess I call myself a worried optimist,” he said. “Ultimately, I’m optimistic about humans, our ability to adapt. I’m not worried the world is going to end. I don’t think we need to save the planet. I think the planet will be just fine. I do think if we want to save the world as we know it, and preserve coastal cities and preserve the way we know the world, then we do need to think about some actions to take.”