In 2006, a documentary film titled “An Inconvenient Truth” took our nation by storm, bringing the dangers of “global warming” to the public’s attention. Directed by Davis Guggenheim, the film presented the efforts of former United States Vice President Al Gore to educate Americans on the effects of climate change.

Many of my peers left the theater feeling like they were now experts on the subject and decided to immediately dedicate their lives to stopping this global crisis by investing in the methods the film suggested.

But I walked out asking myself, “How do I know all of this is true?”

Many people claim that global warming is obvious and all arguments against it are flawed. However, “obvious” and “true” are two completely different things.

While I do firmly believe that people generally treat the environment terribly and that changes should be made to make this planet a better place to live, I also believe that the concern over global warming is exaggerated and misguided.

More than 31,000 American scientists have signed a petition circulated by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine saying “there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”

Satellite readings of temperature in the lower troposphere show no warming since the readings began two decades ago. Only land-based temperatures show any sort of warming trend, and these are often contaminated by heat generated by nearby urban development and are subject to human error.

Decreasing our country’s carbon dioxide emissions would require higher energy taxes and regulations causing the nation to lose more than 2 million jobs and 300 billion dollars in annual economic output.  America’s average household income would decrease by more than $2,700 and state revenues would decline greatly as well.

The best way to go about dealing with “global warming” is not to invest in all of these methods of preventing it. The best way is to invest in atmospheric research, and to invest in emission reduction only when it makes economic sense.