Is Global Warming Skepticism just Smoke and Mirrors?

 

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Paper Outline

  1. Is Global Warming Skepticism just Smoke and Mirrors?
  2. Introduction
  • Global warming is a reality
  1. Global warming is skepticism
  2. Conclusion

 

 


Is Global Warming Skepticism just Smoke and Mirrors?

Introduction

The debate about the causes of global warming has been going for a long period of time and many nations have united to solve the problem. The causes of global warming have been said to be caused by human beings and scientists have done a lot of research to proof this. However, some organizations have doubted this and have blamed the expansive spread of the effects of global warming on natural systems which are out of man’s control (Cunningham & Cunningham, 2008). Despite the criticisms leveled against global warming by various individuals and institutions, it is a reality that global warming has adversely affected social, economic, political and cultural systems in the world and adequate measures should be taken to reduce or eliminate the effects of global warming. Human beings are the main cause of global warming and much blame should be placed on the activities of man which cause the emission of greenhouse gases.

Global warming is a reality

The debate about global warming was minimal before 1980’s but after the great drought of 1988 happened, people started to link the drought to the changes in climate which had been caused by global warming. A lot of research has been done about the causes of global warming and most findings claim that increase in concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere might be the main cause. However, other gases have been said to cause global warming through a process called greenhouse gases effect. Global warming occurs when greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere causing excess heat to accumulate on the earth surface. When the heat from the sun is released to the earth surface, it is later reflected back. Greenhouse gases form a shield and restrict the reflection of the excess heat. The excess heat is retained in the atmosphere and causes the earth surface to overheat (Cunningham & Cunningham, 2008).

Global warming has caused the earths temperatures to increase leading to death of many plants and animals. Human activities have caused the increase in the number of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere for example; when fossil fuels are burned they release toxic gases. Other activities include deforestation whereby people cut trees and this reduces the number of natural gases in the atmosphere. Deforestation increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and hence causes greenhouse effect. Plants are known to use carbon dioxide to carry out their metabolic activities and this reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. When trees are felled down in massive numbers, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases and cause the greenhouse effect. Therefore, man’s activities which lead to reduction of the number of trees on the earth surface can be said to cause high concentration of greenhouse gases and resultantly causes global warming (Cunningham & Cunningham, 2008).

Burning fossil fuels releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere leading to destruction of the ozone layer. The ozone layer acts as a shield against excessive heating of the sun on the earth surface. Destruction of the ozone layer is harmful because it causes excess heat which leads to global warming. Fossil fuels emit harmful gases when combustion takes place leading to destruction of the ozone layer. The activities of burning fossil fuels have been done by man and he is to blame for the depletion of the ozone layer. It can therefore be said that global warming has been caused by man rather than natural occurrences (Timings, 2004).

The effects of greenhouse gases have been realized on earth for example, the rising of the sea levels. This has been caused by melting of ice that is found on the earth surface. Ice melts when temperatures rise and this result from global warming. Man continues to destroy the environment and that is why there have been incidences of rising sea level. The rise in sea levels has negative impacts such as tsunamis, submergence of the coast and death of many plants and animals especially after rise in water levels. It is predicted that some years to come the dry lands will be absorbed by waters. It will cost man a lot to recover the land that has been submerged into the waters (Cunningham & Cunningham, 2008).

Precipitation patterns have changed after climate change took effect. This has caused the extinctions of many plants and animal species. In addition abnormal rainfall patterns such as the El Nino have been experienced in the world due to changes in the climate. These changes are attributed to global warming and there have been a lot of debate about controlling the activities of man which may cause such events. On the other hand, some areas have turned into deserts due to changes in precipitation patterns and this creates a major problem to agricultural activities (Easton & Easton, 2009).

Man continues to experience accidents resulting from impacts of global warming. Mitigating these occurrences can be done by controlling the activities which have a negative impact on the environment. Therefore, it can be said that man has control over what happens to him because he can alter the natural systems for his benefit. When some accidents resulting from climate change occur, man tends to blame the natural systems but a lot of blame should be placed on the activities happening in the world. Deadly hurricanes have been experienced in several parts of the world and many people have been affected. For example, the Katrina hurricane killed more than 12,000 people. This event happened as a result of the changes in climate which have been happening for a long period of time. It is still susceptible that more hurricanes are expected to happen due to the increasing damage to the environment by man’s activities. Despite the death of many people, there has been a lot of damage caused by the hurricanes (Longshore, 2008).

There have been political as well as public debates about reduction of greenhouse gases as a measure of reducing global warming. The Kyoto protocol was established to stabilize the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. By November 2009, more that 187 states had accepted the ratification of the Kyoto protocol. The protocol is a global treaty to fight against global warming. Stabilizing the level of greenhouse gases has been found by the members of the treaty to be the best option of reducing global warming. The main cause of establishing Kyoto protocol was to reverse the climate systems which have been affecting natural systems in the last few decades (Kyoto Protocol, 2010).

Member countries of the Kyoto protocol have promised to commit themselves towards reducing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. The members have agreed to reduce some gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulphur hexafluoride) released from the atmosphere from industries. In addition, they have also agreed to reduce other groups of gases such as hydrofluorocarbons as well as perfluorocarbons. There are limits about the amount of carbon that should be emitted by member countries. These limits restrict human activities which may lead to emission of greenhouse gases. The Kyoto protocol has been effective in reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (Easton & Easton, 2009).

Global warming is skepticism

The causes of global warming can be said to be as a result by natural systems more than man-made systems. Man has been accused of causing weather changes due to his activities but this is not correct. The atmosphere is a complex system and man has little effect on the changes which occur in the atmosphere. The use of carbon footprint as a tool to control how the planet response to man is not a complete method of regulating global warming. By controlling the amount of carbon in the atmosphere is not a complete answer to the changes in weather and climate taking place on earth. Regulate the amount of carbon in the atmosphere has little or no effect in reducing the damages caused by weather changes. Controlling weather or climate is not possible and man must accept some natural phenomena that are out of his control (Sattenspiel, 2009).

Other planets are experiencing warming and earth is not exceptional. Since other planets are not inhabited by man, the warming being experienced in these planets cannot be attributed to man but natural systems. Global warming is therefore a natural occurrence which is out of control by man. According to Sattenspiel (2009) “The polling of U.S. voters found that 44% of respondents think that long-term planetary trends—not anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions—are causing the planet to warm, while only 41% blame climate change on human activity” (para. 3). Most of the information about the causes of global is drawn from the public domain rather from scientific evidence. Most people in the public domain are misinformed about the causes of climate and weather changes and they tend to blame it all on the activities of man. Nature has its own way of regulating all systems and in most cases man has little or nothing to do with the causes of natural happenings (Sattenspiel, 2009).

The causes of global warming have been said to emanate from industrial activities. Industries release gases which are harmful and which damage the ozone layer and this leads to excessive heating. Industrial activities have been claimed to cause a lot of damage to the environment and this has resulted into climate change. However, instances of climate change which may be linked to global warming were experienced before the industrial era. The scientific finding that emission of greenhouse gases has been the main cause of global warming is therefore dismissed. During the pre-industrial period few activities caused the emission of harmful gases and therefore, greenhouse gases cannot be said to cause global warming during those days. Man has been discovering new things but some findings may not hold especially where natural happenings cannot be explained by mere scientific research (Easton & Easton, 2009).

Global warming has been used as a political tool by various individuals. Global warming has been made to appear like a big monster that should be handled with a lot of care. This has been a political game to climb the political ladder by some individuals. Global warming is a simple thing that can be dealt with by individual countries without politicizing it. Some countries failed to sign the Kyoto protocol because it is believed to promote the political career of some people in some countries. In addition, not all countries in the world have joined the protocol. Therefore, control measures imposed on member countries is discriminative and cannot be effective in reducing the amount of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere because not all countries have accepted the conditions set by the Kyoto protocol. Convincing other non-member countries is difficult because this means a reduction on the level of industrial production (Cunningham & Cunningham, 2008).

Governments have spent a lot of money funding the fight against global warming. The funds have been misused by skeptic groups to promote their political careers rather than expense them in finding solution to global warming. The funds used to fight global warming can be used to solve other economic problems. Some advocacy organizations have sprout and their intentions are to use the money collected from governments for their own use. Big companies have been forced to contribute portions of their profits towards the campaign against global warming. It becomes discouraging when these funds are misused or allocated to activities which do not bear fruits. Companies like Exxon mobil doubt whether the funds they contribute are really used in the fight against global warming. There are a lot of doubts whether the organizations conduct research about global warming or whether they just review researches done in the past by other researchers. All these doubts make many companies fear spending their capital in the fight against disasters which are natural and which are out of control by man (Union of Concerned Scientists (2007).

Conclusion

Despite the criticisms leveled against global warming by various individuals and institutions, it is a reality that global warming has adversely affected social, economic, political and cultural systems in the world. As such, adequate measures should be taken to reduce or eliminate the effects if global warming. Human beings are the main cause of global warming and much blame should be placed on the activities of man which cause the emission of greenhouse gases. Scientific evidence provides enough prove that greenhouse gases are the causes of global warming and governments should impose measures to reduce the amount of the gases released into the atmosphere. Global warming has resulted from man’s activities and there is need to have measures on the amount of fossil fuels being used as well as reducing the rate of deforestation. Even though some people and organizations have argued that global warming has resulted from natural happenings and that man has no control over it, enough evidence shows that man has great influence on the climate conditions being experienced today. Therefore, man should continue protecting the environment to avoid any instances of global warming in the future. Protecting the environment is important and man should take all the possible measures to avoid activities which may harm it.

 

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