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Global Warming: Is There Any Hope?

Updated on August 14, 2013
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The Big Picture

There has been so much controversy over the years about global warming, it has made many people’s heads spin. Some consider it a conspiracy theory, others think that experiments are being done in the weather arena, and others are firm believers in what they see.

When many of us were being raised in the northeast, I recall snowstorms that were so heavy and lasted so long that you could build snow tunnels and have tracks for your sleds under them. Now decades later, the opposite is happening. There are good snow years and other years where very little is received. What is the anomaly?

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Carbon Footprint? What?

The present days global warming is attributed via the carbon footprint. It is being blamed on drilling for oil, gas, and even the breach of the ozone layer. Then we must take into the account the burning of these carbon based fuels and what is happening in the atmosphere after years of this activity. But what about a century prior, when we weren’t relying so heavily on fossil fuels? Woodburning also releases detrimental carbon-based gases into the air. Compound this with modern day heating fuels and bet that it has caused more than we bargained for. Has the process for global warming increased in the past fifty years? You bet it has!

What Does This Mean to Me?

Now let me expound a bit on life surrounding us. Just as an example, the winter of 2012-2013 appeared to be a remarkable winter. For some, snow had increased, due to high moisture content in the air, which also showed an increase in rain for others that weren’t experiencing snow. Spring of 2013 in Oklahoma was very warm, save for one two week period where there was a cold snap, and that caused a marked decrease in how fast vegetation was growing.

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How This Affects Birds

Birds also experienced a hiatus in their spring migration. On average, according to various sources all over the country and around the world, spring migrants arrived about two weeks late. Canada Geese were laying eggs roughly two weeks to seventeen days later, and there were not as many of them in the plains states.

Is global warming a threat to birds and their populations? Unquestionably. Both spring and fall migrations times have been changing a day or two over the past ten years, which is all that this writer is able to account for at present.

This year alone, our southern birds coming north were about two weeks late, and the northern birds coming south right now are two weeks early. Climate changes affect what birds eat, and migration cycles are clearly based on this evidence. If a bird has no food to sustain itself, it will simply move on, and some of these birds are travelling thousands of miles, and there is no room in their cycle for any error on their part. So many birds die due to starvation during migration, so their lives hang in a critical balance. Thankfully, many people enjoy feeding birds, and many birds are known to arrive as rarities at many feeders, especially this year. Insectivores must also rely on their food sources, and again, it is critical that they arrive when insects are on the scene. Planning is the key to survival, which is due to nature’s balanced inner clock. But does that clock continue to keep the correct time now and will it in the future? Some birds are adaptable, but some are not, and eventually it could cause extinction. Life could well be hanging on a very thin piece of spider silk for some.

What Does Moisture Have to Do with It?

To cite an example in Oklahoma, we had plenty of rain in the late spring, as well as in mid-summer. This will likely bring more ducks to this area in the winter of 2013-2014, and we had a fairly good population of Canvasbacks and Redheads during the winter, as well as a few Cackling Geese, Ross’s Geese, and Dark Morph Snow Geese. I was out and about on January 16 in the fog when a half dozen Snow Geese passed overhead at Boomer Lake in Stillwater. There were some days in late January where we experienced days in the 70’s, the 50’s and 30 mph winds, all within a one week period. Talk about confusion for the birds.

Traditionally, Washington state gets a lot of rain, but not this year. Sea levels will make a big difference in what birds arrive in that state during fall migration. Will it be the same birds, as usual? We’ll have to determine that, won’t we? But I’ll bet you that Washington’s birds might well be visiting land-locked Oklahoma for the rain that we have had and are having now.

Deforestation in the Amazon
Deforestation in the Amazon | Source

And Then What?

Also, as the air warms, more water is held within, hence high humidity. Temperatures have been rising for more than a century. Rains have already been heavier than normal all over the world, and dry spells will be hotter worldwide that normally have experienced good rains.

What do you suppose the prediction is for birds and butterflies over the long haul? Let’s face it, it doesn’t help matters any when we have been involved in deforestation. Many species of birds are at an all-time low as it is. If we lose many more, it certainly won’t be telling us, as humanity, that we won’t be suffering any grave consequences from the effects of global warming.

What Do You Think?

Is Global Warming a Real Concern?

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What Can We Do?

Now is the time to act, but is it too late? There are many schools of thought on this matter, and quite honestly, we don’t have time to debate these issues. Please begin positive action, if not for yourselves, do it for future generations. Do you want to be telling your grandchildren that there used to be beautiful birds on this earth like the American Goldfinch?

Species of least concern today could well be endangered species of tomorrow. I don’t want to close my eyes and “remember” what butterflies used to look like.

There are things that we can do to preserve what we have right now. Think about getting in your car to go to work. Perhaps if you are in an urban area, you could walk or bicycle to work. Consider public transportation. We might not be able to reverse the effects of global warming, but it would be a wonderful thing to slow it down. Future generations might thank you for that forethought, for the children of today just might be able to save the world of tomorrow.

A Quote from My Friend and Fellow Hubber, Suhail

Suhail and my dog

I am sure you are already aware of the following, but for your readers, here are some links:

David Suzuki's website describes reasons for global warming here:

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/climate-change/s

He advises who are the global warming skeptics and deniers and what are their ploys here:

http://davidsuzuki.org/issues/climate-change/scien

Excerpt from Wikipedia on David Suzuki:

"David Takayoshi Suzuki, CC OBC (born March 24, 1936) is a Canadian academic, science broadcaster and environmental activist. Suzuki earned a Ph.D in zoology from the University of Chicago in 1961, and was a professor in the genetics department at the University of British Columbia from 1963 until his retirement in 2001. Since the mid-1970s, Suzuki has been known for his TV and radio series and books about nature and the environment. He is best known as host of the popular and long-running CBC Television science magazine, The Nature of Things, seen in over forty nations. He is also well known for criticizing governments for their lack of action to protect the environment."

© 2013 Deb Hirt

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    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Pharmc699, thanks so much. Your comment was buried in the spam folder, and I just found it. Didn't mean to appear rude by not answering you.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Skin-care-nautural, I found this is the spam folder, too, just now. You're right, the changes will be pretty drastic, but it is doable, especially now that we have cars that are partially battery powered. There's a lot more that we can do...

    • profile image

      Pharmc699 3 years ago

      Hello! ebdefdc interesting ebdefdc site! I'm really like it! Very, very ebdefdc good!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Without a doubt, JPS. It will be difficult for many to curb this matter, and even harder to try to stop the harm that has been done. Every time we start up a car, it hurts the environment, every time trash ends up in a body of water, particularly the ocean, we weaken our planet, permitting horrid things to infiltrate...

    • JPSO138 profile image

      JPSO138 3 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      I am really concerned on this. Despite that fact that some experts does not seem to agree. We should be alarmed and take measures perhaps to solve this issue. After all, we only have one planet earth.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks for your approval, Jatinder. By reaching otters and explaining concrete evidence, perhaps we can manage to educate people to try to do what's right. I certainly hope so.

    • Jatinder Joshi profile image

      Jatinder Joshi 3 years ago from Whitby, Ontario, Canada

      Thank you for sharing this great hub. Your thoughts and views are very down to earth practical. We have all witnessed the changes taking place in the environment; you have linked our excesses to the other species on the planet, and how it is affecting them - sadly, they have no say in the matter.

      I personally believe that we owe it our future generations and the other species to leave a planet that is better than when we came upon it. We all need to do our part individually, and collectively too, through our governments. Your suggestions are practical and actionable.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This has really been going on for a couple of hundred years, mbuggieh. The writing is on the wall, whether or not is is accepted. The root cause is debatable, certainly, and like many root causes, it is generally more than one. Thanks for reading, visiting, and making yourself known to me.

    • profile image

      mbuggieh 3 years ago

      I cannot understand the motivation of those who claim that global climate change is not real. The science is clear; the facts repeated over and over again; the consequences visible.

      I wonder if it will take a "silent spring"---this one caused not by chemical pollutants, but by the greenhouse effect, to make some people understand the reality of climate change here and now.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      KoffeeKlatch Gals, there is no doubt about it...look at the polar caps. I rest my case. Unless of course, the earth has shifted its axis. Then it is even worse.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 3 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Global warming is real. All the denial in the world is not going to make it go away.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Funny you should ask that , Hollie, and I will provide you with my take on it. This has been going on for centuries, and we didn't have the pollution and technology back then that broken the ozone layer, etc. HOWEVER, it managed to get worse naturally, as everything moves, including the earth. One viable theory is that the earth has shifted on its axis, which would cause the oddities that we experience today. Relatively speaking, climate change got increasingly worse due to natural gas, and petroleum byproducts, as well as all the other poisons that have been polluting the earth, so the answer, I think, is both.

    • HollieT profile image

      HollieT 3 years ago from Manchester, United Kingdom

      I absolutely agree, global warming is real. But what really, really angers me, is those people who deny global warming. The truth is, there is absolutely, 100% agreement among scientists that global warming exists, there is no doubt about this. The debate is not whether GW exists, but its cause; natural cycles, or man made?

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thank you kindly, thelyricwriter. I have been making observations for too long not to know that something is definitely amiss with our earth and its standards. I truly appreciate your thoughts, and perhaps if we all are able to fight hard enough, we can continue to keep the balance.

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 3 years ago from West Virginia

      Deb, you've really struck up a chord with this article. Global warming is real and we need to do something about it. Very good article Deb, voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, and shared. Great resource of information.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, girishpuri! There are a number of important things in this world. We do so need to take care of what we have a lot better than we have, or this planet won't last for future generations. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 3 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      Global warming is a matter of great concern, thanks for raising this important topic through hub pages.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Suhail, there is no question about that, whatsoever. Your material is very helpful to the cause and greater good.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Colin, thanks so much for coming by, and I do hope that all will soon be well with you. I understand your perspective on the nature issue, and perhaps some day, that will improve. I hope that is not wishful thinking. Here's to lookin' at ya, kid!

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 3 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Hi Deb,

      I just noted that you added my comments to your article. I thank you for this. All of us are Team for protecting our environment.

      Regards,

      Suhail

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 3 years ago

      Seriously I am not worried about nature I am worried about human nature. I am not worried about global warming . I am worried about people warming up.

      I love nature, people I'm not too sure of.

      Thank you for choosing a provocative hub subject and putting it all together in your usual impeccable world class style.

      12:13am

      will post and madly and glady with a link on my FB page to get people thinking

      I've been away lately with problems of my own but I hope you are well , happy and free

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Leslie. I put my money where my mouth is, too. My photo blog says that I will donate half of what I make on the photos to organizations for animals. I HATE money, but it is a necessary evil. I just worry that if I end up in Africa that I will just STAY there, just like Dian Fossey...

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 3 years ago

      Oh, Deb, i do adore your love of the world you live in - and the creatures that share it with you! I remember being in Alaska, up close and personal to the glaciers, which were breaking away at an alarming pace. And then, off we went to the next tourist attraction. There wasn't a WORD about global warming and the danger to the wildlife! On the other hand, that Dole character who got rich off his global warming book? Has a bigger carbon footprint than TEN FAMILIES COMBINED! Grrrrr...i hate hypocrisy!

      great job, my friend. You are an amazing and courageous writer!

      sharing

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      There are so many more things that we can be doing , Alicia, but those are just a few simple things that we could all try. I know that people are dependent on oil products, and I'm just grateful that car manufacturers have alternative vehicles now. However, there is a very grave concern about those that are making money with oil. Our earth and future means nothing to them.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, dreamseeker, and believe me, I understand about delays. Glad that this piece made sense to you. I just blew it out off the top of my head,seeing what was happening with birds this year. It is just too strange not to be noticed.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an important hub, Deb. There is something very strange going on with the climate and the environment! Thank you for the interesting article and for the practical suggestions at the end.

    • profile image

      dreamseeker2 3 years ago

      You always write such interesting and informative hubs! Educational and ones I can understand. : ) I live in WA...we do get a lot of rain here. I think this summer has been one of our driest for rain in awhile. So, you might have that right...about the birds, migrating to Oklahoma this year. Voted it up, of course...sorry it took me a spell to get here!

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      This is such an important issue to all of us and one that isn't going to disappear.

      You have raised a lot of interesting questions in your hub about the causes of global warming. Then you also highlight positive action we can individually take to slow it down.

      A great job on something that urgently needs addressing.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      cdeAlmeida, thank you for reading, and every little bit helps, as far as awareness goes. It will be difffcult to lose what we have, so we must be especially aware.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Cris, I do appreciate your support and views on important matters such as this.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Excellent, Suhail! Thanks for looking up this material and I will add this comment in its entirety, as well as attribute it to your research. Thanks for saving me the time and trouble, as everything that I wrote was off the top of my head.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Connie! I don't think what has happened up to now will change back to what it was. I believe that this has been going on for two centuries, if not more, and it took a better part of that time to realize what was happening. Technology only exacerbated the events.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, ChitrangadaSharan . This has been on my mind for a while now, I just needed to gather evidence and include specific points on this matter in order to clarify the matter at hand. I appreciate your comments and reading this piece.

    • cdeAlmeida Rego profile image

      Christian de Almeida Rego 3 years ago from Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro

      Thanks for the great and thorough article--there is hope if we share the facts about global warming.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Hi Deb! We didn't feel much of summer here in my part of the world my friend but I'm doing what I can to help fight this issue off and to protect my friends specially in the sky and in the water ...those lovely creatures. Great well thought hub and to spread on awareness, I am definitely passing this hub along.

      Love from the sky~

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 3 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Deb,

      I am sure you are already aware of the following, but for your readers, here are some links:

      David Suzuki's website describes reasons for global warming here:

      http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/climate-change/s...

      He advises who are the global warming skeptics and deniers and what are their ploys here:

      http://davidsuzuki.org/issues/climate-change/scien...

      Excerpt from Wikipedia on David Suzuki:

      "David Takayoshi Suzuki, CC OBC (born March 24, 1936) is a Canadian academic, science broadcaster and environmental activist. Suzuki earned a Ph.D in zoology from the University of Chicago in 1961, and was a professor in the genetics department at the University of British Columbia from 1963 until his retirement in 2001. Since the mid-1970s, Suzuki has been known for his TV and radio series and books about nature and the environment. He is best known as host of the popular and long-running CBC Television science magazine, The Nature of Things, seen in over forty nations. He is also well known for criticizing governments for their lack of action to protect the environment."

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Climate change is a very real happening. I believe in the cycles, and that we have tipped the balance. Whether the Earth will be able to recover and adapt to the new changes is yet to be seen. It will indeed be interesting to witness history in the making, but I fear for the migratory birds and their habitats. Deforestation and strip mining practices have displaced or totally eliminated whole species. That, sadly, is not reversible. Thanks for sharing this extremely important information ;) Connie

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Excellent hub on a topic of serious concern for mankind all over the world.

      Global warming is the crude fact of today. Every one expresses anxiety, but our habits are spoiled so much that no concrete steps is taken to solve the ever increasing problem. Well steps have been taken, but they are not enough. You have made some important points here.

      Thanks for drawing attention by means of this hub! Voted up!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Suhail, riddle me this: why is climate change happening? Obviously, SOMETHING is going on. Another theory that has been tossed out there is that the earth has been shifting on its axis, which would also cause undue reaction in what is making such anomalies. As far as I know nobody has been out to either or both polar axes to determine is there iss a radiant effect or not.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 3 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Deb,

      I support the theory that it is 'Climate Change' rather than 'Global Warming' that is posing threat to our planet. This is one reason why countries like the UAE are now seeing winter snow, which was unheard of before.

      Climate Change will result in warming over the colder regions of the world and cooling over the warmer ones. In addition, increased winds will have negative impact, especially on the flowering plants.

      I am worried about two other factors that pose extreme threat to the survival of many plants and animals.

      1. Many conservationists believe that under Climate Change / Global Warming, plants and animals will eventually adapt. For example, polar bears, who were actually grizzly bears thousands of years ago, can revert to foraging on seabird colonies. This is already happening, but I don't think that seabird colonies can provide sustainable nutrition to polar bears over a long run. IMHO, the climate change is too fast paced a phenomena for animals and plants to cope with quickly.

      2. The unethical hunting of animals like gray wolves by pseudo hunters and poaching of animals like rhinos, tigers, elephants, etc. coupled with Climate Change / Global Warming, will increase the rate of decimation of wildlife many-folds.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Rock on, whonu. There was one story after another about the poor honeybee. Our natural life must be given its rights and respect.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Jackie, it is basically propaganda, I think. As long as the problem is denied, it does not exist. When you have seen what I have over the years, it is time to alert each other.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      skin-care-natural, it worries me so to see how officials can deny these problems, knowing full well what is being done. t's almost like saying that as long as we continue to be scapegoats, it's all right.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 3 years ago from United States

      Nicely written and well expressed my friend. We nay already be seeing the demise of our honey bees. We should unite and write more to expose this dilemma. whonu

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      It has certainly been the oddest summer where I live in NC. Although the temperature is in the 80s which is normal it is a humid hot, almost unbearable and the rain is sopping everything. Mosquitoes are horrible and although a few weeks ago the birds seemed to be everywhere I am hardly seeing any now, or hearing. The butterflies are abundant though! I got more shots of them today.

      So many lives have been lost with weather related things I don't see how we can deny it is a problem. I am surprised the media is so hushed about it. Seems newsworthy to me.

    • skin-care-natural profile image

      Clara Myers 3 years ago from USA, East Coast

      For so many years officials denied global warming was even happening. It could be reversed but only by drastic changes that very few want to make.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Sadly, Billy, I don't believe it can be reversed, but perhaps we can keep it at the present level before it gets worse.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You know, Rebecca, I did this purely from an objective standpoint. I watch birds every day, know their patterns, and what I have been seeing for years. It only points to the facts that I have cited, plus what other hubbers have been telling me about their areas.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      The changes that you suggest take generations to enact, and that is the sad reality. Most people acknowledge that global warming is happening, and that it is a concern....but ask them to bike to work or walk to work and suddenly global warming is not that important....and that is a tough nut to crack my friend.

      Nice job of detailing the problem...now for the solution. :) I hope I live long enough to see this reversed.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      THANKS for this.It really bothers me when I hear groups say that global warming is not real.

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