Final Research Paper
30 April 2010
A Skeptic’s View of Global Warming
Is global warming really happening? Is it something that we should truly fear, and if so, why? Scientists and other climate experts have been trying to answer these important questions and many others concerning global climate change for decades. Before one can truly delve into the details of global warming, it is important to define the concept. The entire study of climate change is difficult to explain, and is not yet fully understood by scientists. However, global warming can be simply described as the process of the earth’s atmosphere increasing in temperature due to ...view middle of the document...
He goes on to state that global warming will cause terrible catastrophes, stronger storms, dangerously high sea levels, and even the eventual extinction of the human race (649). Extremists on global warming often use these scare tactics to shock us into action. However, it is important for people to learn the facts behind the matter and even question the methods used by scientist to measure and predict global climate change. By doing this, it is evident that global warming is neither a death sentence for mankind, nor a force to be feared. Rather, global climate change presents itself as a naturally occurring process that proves to be less of a threat than current scientists propose.
It’s important to begin by further considering the opposing sides of the argument. To one side, there lies the extremists of global warming with their belief that the world is in peril due to the threat of global warming. They often employ the use of pessimistic views and outcomes to reach the public. Through this they gain the support of millions who, not knowing the full details of the situation, blindly fall into a trap. These ones are only presented the negative facts and thus they provide their support, and funds, to these extremists in order to make the problem go away. Yet this solution is surely fallible. The public needs to be educated and then make a decision about their stance on global warming based on evidence provided. According to Penn State’s Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center, public opinion within this country is beginning to shift toward the side of skepticism (qtd. in Guterl).
Yes, skeptics realize the importance of reason and logic. They do not simply accept the fate portrayed by the majority. Many who are currently fighting the battle against global warming feel that skeptics are part of what is often called a denial machine. However, the denial machine is not an accurate description of this opposing view, for it suggests that skeptics are simply pushing the matter of global warming aside. On the contrary, skeptics take the information presented to them, analyze it, and formulate their own ideas, which may sometimes conflict. Judith Curry, the head of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech, states that “scientific skeptics criticize each other” (qtd. in Guterl). This shows the ability of these ones to keep an open mind with regard to the matter, rather than seeing global warming as a simple doomsday prophecy. In her interview with Discover magazine, Curry nicely describes a skeptic as “somebody who’s doing work and looking at the arguments,” and she then goes on to state that “we should all be skeptical of all science” (qtd. in Guterl). Her sentiments of scientific skeptics are ones that we all should adopt.
Yes, it is important for all to become somewhat critical of the information provided on both sides of this heated debate. Becoming a skeptic involves reasoning with the issues and raising...