Al Gore won a Nobel Prize and an Academy Award for his dire warning that the world is about to be doomed because of the increase in global warming. This documentary frightened a lot of people. But the scientists are divided whether there really is that serious a problem. It is worth examining both sides of this debate.
First, there are many renowned scientists throughout the world who are firm believers in the potential disaster of global warming. They show that such radical changes as melting glaciers and even the volcanic eruption in Iceland are proof that their global warming theories are accurate. “Every national academy of science, long lists of Nobel laureates, and in recent years even the science advisors of President George W. Bush have agreed that we are heating the planet. Indeed, there is a more thorough scientific process here than on almost any other issue” (McKibben 32). The article also points out that those who want to wait and believe there is plenty of time to worry about, and take action against, global warming are wrong. “That melting Arctic ice is unsettling not only because it proves the planet is warming rapidly, but also because it will help speed up the warming” (McKibben 32).
Many more conservative scientists and realists feel that some of these warnings are fear-mongering. Some scientists are alarmists. So, here is the other side of the global warming debate. One example: “Human-made global warming has been cited as the reason for every imaginable alteration on the globe, and is claimed to be the opinion of every climate scientist out there. The fact is, there is no ‘scientific consensus’ that extreme or damaging carbon dioxide-induced global warming will happen or that humans are the main cause or even a small contributor to climate change. In fact, as carbon dioxide has increased, temperatures have fallen over the past 10 years” (Weaver 398).
There is no doubt that there are problems with the atmosphere of our planet. Those problems are man-made. Too many cars. Too many factories with smoke. Too much aerosol sprays. Too much plastic. Too much use of coal. Too much neon lighting. All these surely affect our atmosphere and cause that damage to our climate. But, on the other hand, the world is not going to end up doomed by Alaska having the temperature of the Sahara or Florida totally under water by the middle of the 21st Century. Yes, we can cut down some of the problems. But, this global warming fear campaign is a lot like the threat in the 1950’s of Russia attacking us with A-bombs and causing schools to have “hide under your desk” drills and people to build bomb shelters in their back yards, expecting an explosion any day now.
The current economic crisis has turned off a lot of Americans with more and more articles and publicity about global warming. To many Americans who are afraid of losing jobs, or finding new ones, or losing their homes and the value of their stocks, global warming is not a priority. “Americans tend to dismiss the scare tactics that environmentalists and global warming skeptics use to shape public opinion. “If you really want to scare Americans, it’s not about glaciers that are melting or the struggle of the polar bear,” he said. “What scares Americans is the idea that this great technological industry will be developed in China or India rather than here in America” (Hobson para 8).
The debate will continue. There are valid points on both sides. Yes, there is global warming. Yes, it will be a threat in the future. But, one is not sure when that catastrophe will occur, if ever. And right now most people the world over are concerned with today and tomorrow, not a hundred years from now, or even farther into the future. When hundreds of thousands of new jobs are made available with solar and wind-power alternative energy and cars that don’t run on gasoline- then people will wake up and see that global warming is both real and can be halted or serioously impeded from increasing. There just is no real proof that global warming is danfgerous today and affecting everyone on earth.
Hobson, Margaret Kriz: “Reframing the Debate” Washingto:
Congress Daily/A.M. (Online). Jan. 27, 2010
McKibben, Bill: “Climate Change” Washington: Foreign Policy
Jan/Feb 2009. , Iss. 170; pg. 32
Weaver, Roger: :”Sensory Overload over Global Warming”
Bethesda MD: Journal of ForestryOct/Nov 2008. Vol. 106,
Iss. 7; pg. 398