Arguments For and Against Global Warming

Have you noticed that the summers have been getting hotter and the winters have become increasingly colder? Or have you perceived the climate changes but failed to comprehend why these changes were happening? Many people either did not think about that too closely or even know about the changes until they viewed Al Gore’s documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. This documentary changed society’s mentality on the ongoing dispute about the legitimacy of global warming and many have come to believe that this crisis is the truth about what is currently occurring today. From this documentary to the many statistical research studies, there have been many ongoing debates on whether this controversial idea is correct at all. I had no idea what global warming was prior to viewing this documentary in my environmental science class. Now I believe global warming more than ever. Based on the data from the ongoing research, global warming is indeed, a valid growing disaster

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Global warming is essentially the average increasing temperature in the atmosphere as a result of greenhouse gases. These gases absorb and store heat in the earth’s atmosphere. The gases mostly consist of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, and water. These gases cause the greenhouse effect in which vapors insulate the surface of the earth to keep the Earth warm. Due to human activity, there is a large amount of carbon dioxide gathering in the atmosphere absorbing a lot of the heat coming from the sun. The atmosphere is supposed to emit most of the heat, but the atmosphere absorbs all the warmth which causes an increase in the amount of greenhouse gases. I am sure that many people, including myself not too long ago, do not realize what greenhouse gases are and how we are contributing to global warming. Before doing some research on my own, I did not know that human activities like driving cars led to a buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Statistics from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has shown that human made gases such as carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide have been the leading causes in temperature increases since the middle of the twentieth century. The IPCC has also shown statistics that global average surface temperature and the global average sea level have been steadily increasing while the northern hemisphere snow cover has been decreasing. On the contrary, there are people who decline to believe that global warming is true no matter how many studies occur or the data from statistics. Based on my knowledge, scientific experiments that can be replicated with similar results are correct most of the time. If similar results are reached every time, then there should be no doubt regarding the conclusion.

The average temperature has intensified by 1 degree Fahrenheit since the industrial evolution. This may not sound so bad because, after all, it is only one degree Fahrenheit right? Wrong, observations have shown that for every little temperature increase, a large amount of snow will not fall. This correlation shows how serious small changes in climate can be and the problem is only getting worse. There have been two occasions in the previous decade in which we have had the hottest average temperature recorded. In addition, Mt. Kilimanjaro has been losing snow rapidly along with many National Parks that feature glaciers as their main landform. There are other places that are facing the same results like the icecaps in Greenland which are melting at an astonishing pace. Melting ice falls into the ocean which raises the sea level. Research shows that the sea level will rise to approximate 23 inches within the next decade. The problems right now may seem minor, but they will escalate to disastrous levels if human activity does not change. I see the problem of people thinking they are just one person and do not contribute that much at all towards greater problems. For example, let’s say there are a million people who drive cars that know carbon dioxide from the cars cause global warming. Now imagine if every person had the thought that they are only one person and not really influencing global warming; now the situation does not consist of one person, but a million persons. This is one of the main reasons why scientists have predicted that global warming will only get worse.

There are various reasons as to why people in today’s society have come to accept or reject the idea of global warming. Some of the critics say that the entire “crisis” is a hoax like Y2K and global freezing. Others may think that global warming was influenced by environmentalists who want to mentally push people into traps in which donations would be sent. Also, the other argument is that the whole global warming idea is a scheme by liberals who want to give power to big government and further regulation. On the opposing side, people say statistics have proven that global warming does exist. To add on to that, there is mentioning of the melting of polar ice caps which will lead to the extinction of polar bear. However, this side uses more statistics to support their argument compared to the critics going against the existence of global warming. I personally think that people are against the idea of global warming for attention and because of their dislike for the Republican Party. This comes with another counterargument that says that global warming data is manipulated and inflated to get the public’s attention that there really is a problem with the earth.

False, there have been cases where scientists have fixed up statistics to cause a small problem to escalate into a larger problem. One example I found while researching articles online is the case where hacked emails from a scientist in the UK seemingly show that the global warming data was indeed changed. In spite of this case, the data was proven to not be exaggerated when viewed as a whole. The accusation that the data was false came from viewing certain pieces of information and not viewing everything available. In my opinion, this could have been a scheme pulled by nonbelievers in order to strengthen their argument against global warming. Just because there have a few cases of data exaggeration, this does not falsify all other data that has been collected over the years by various scientists. All the data collected over the years have been confirmed as valid and people who still decline to believe in global warming should give credit where credit is due; facts are facts and statistics are statistics. Critics cannot brush away what is true just because they want to or hope to believe that their side of the debate is true.

There are some people who say that global warming is a natural process and is bound to happen as long as humans are inhibiting the earth. To me, this viewpoint is basically saying that all inhabitants of earth are going to be wiped out in a matter of time. Some examples I see today are people saying that using oil is necessary to survive in this world, but the problem is that we are overusing oil. The human population has to realize that there is not an unlimited supply of ozone and small changes will make a difference in the outcome. I disagree strongly with this viewpoint because this kind of attitude is probably what caused global warming to become worse.

I believe that global warming is more of a scientific aspect of earth and human factors such as ethics and morals, these aspects should not play a part in debating that the crisis is false. I mean, human beliefs do not change the average temperature of the earth’s surface, so why then should the beliefs be incorporated into the argument? An example that can relate to this is the saying that “all men are created equal.” People can believe what they want to believe and they might not want to accept that everyone is equal. However, the fact is that everyone on this planet is a human being, no matter their home country, language, culture, and skin color. Beliefs and science should not be mixed when debating global warming. I say that just because someone’s belief goes against a scientifically confirmed fact does not mean that belief should be taken into account.

According to CNN, a U.S. survey consisting of approximately 3,000 scientists in January 2009, results show that a majority of the scientists agreed that global warming is real. Earth scientists surveyed acknowledged that the average global temperature has been rising for the past 200 years and that human activity is to blame. So the increase has a direct correlation with the increase in human activity over time. The survey consisted of multiple questions, but only two were of importance: Have mean global temperatures risen compared to pre-1800s levels, and has human activity been a significant factor in changing mean global temperatures? The results were that around 90 percent of the scientists said that the first question was true and around 82 percent agreed with the second. Some people like Peter Doran, associated professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, say that “the more you know about the field of climate science, the more you’re likely to believe in global warming and humankind’s contribution to it.”

Some scientists predict that there are 4 years left before a global average temperature rise of 2C or more. This would be catastrophic since every little increase affects the earth greatly. The sea level will increase a lot and more glaciers will melt. Based on the articles I have read in the past, polar bears will be wiped out soon as they are currently struggling for their survival today. As long as there are nonbelievers and people who refuse to understand that they make a difference, time will run out before our eyes to fix a problem that we humans have started.

Even though global warming has been going on for some time now, there are still ways to improve the situation of climate change if we act fast. The first step could be putting gas powered vehicles behind us and move onto electric powered vehicles. This will be expensive and time consuming, but if the climate were to improve, then people can really make a difference. Perhaps we can decrease the amount of oil, coal, and natural gases being burned and look for an alternate source of energy that is more eco-friendly. Deforestation plays a big role since trees absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen in return. Planting trees here and there will contribute to the efforts in relieving global warming. There are many differences in how to solve climate change problems and all of them require dedication and effort in order for us to see results.

Global warming is an ongoing controversial subject and some people want to believe that the crisis is false, but the truth is that global warming has enough facts and statistics to support the validity. From documentaries to data to surveys, they all agree with global warming really occurring. Whether or not the critics agree, the truth has been spoken and personal values should not affect something that has been scientifically proven. Yes, exaggeration has been used in some cases, but there is more than enough evidence to confirm the truth. On the contrary, personal values such as ethics and morals have not put up any sort of concrete evidence or statistical data. There is still plenty of time for people to improve the climate and every little step will pay off in the end. Therefore, people have to learn to accept that the truth is the truth and whether or not they agree will not affect the outcome – global warming is existent.