Global Warming Controversies and Impact of Human Activity on Climate Change – Term Paper Example
Global Warming Controversies al Affiliation Global Warming Controversies The impacts of climate change are undeniable as the evidenceis everywhere in the form of persistent droughts, wildfires, violent storms, and excessive rainfall in various areas of the world. Unfortunately, the issue of the effect of human activities on climate change has taken different directions thus complicating efforts veered towards solving climate change issues. The controversy surrounding climate change and alternative energy sources is apparent particularly because of the intertwining science and politics, which play a major role in shaping the opinions of the public. The fundamental question that still begs for answers is how much of an influence do anthropogenic activities have on climate change.
There is a false impression that global warming is a theory that still needs confirmations, despite the fact that there is a complete agreement within the scientific community about global warming issue (Philander, 1998). Researchers agree that an increasing level of greenhouse gasses could lead to global warming. The disagreements that policy makers present are about the amplitude and timing of the expected warming. Policymakers view that scientists speak in terms of probabilities and confidence intervals. They propose that researchers should begin making precise and confident predictions in the future. Otherwise, they claim, regulators would not pay attention to the scientific alerts. However, scientific predictions have proved to be valid in the past years proving that effects of climate change are due to human activities. As the controversy rages on, the big corporations that produce energy and release harmful gases during the course of manufacturing are the ones who stand to gain. Thus, developed countries that have big industries benefit while the developing countries, which do not have huge industries become the losers since the effects of climate change are felt worldwide. As a result, it is not ethical because the driving force is profit gain rather than sustainability of the environment.
Over the past years, scientists have warned about several issues that have eventually surfaced (Philander, 1998). For example, a decade ago, they warned that over-fishing was reducing fish stock off the shores of New England. Currently, the region is facing a fisheries crisis that has sent several communities into ruins. The scientists gave a timely alert, but the disaster happened, thanks for the poor judgment on the side of politicized policy makers. Such poor judgments may have found favor with the media industry, and eventually embraced by the general population in that area. Notably, most policy makers and some other people are reluctant to accept the accuracy of scientific predictions given the complexity of the environmental problems (Philander, 1998). Politicians defer on crucial policy decisions concerning global warming because of scientific uncertainties. They hope that scientists will eventually avail precise estimates, though estimates given by scientists so far have had a high success rate.
The first issue is whether the record of globally averaged temperatures to date provides an evidence of global warming. The fact is high global warming is recorded annually as part of the seasonal cycle. However, temperatures considerably fluctuate where they can increase continuously to the point of causing overlapping of transitions from one season to another as observed in the early 1990s. This natural variability can also mask global warming. However, the incident does not necessarily mean that global warming is underway. Moreover, the next years the early 1990s recorded an unusual reduction in temperatures. Nevertheless, that should not mean that global warming has receded. Therefore, it is difficult to ascertain the onset of global warming by just relying on annual temperature records. The ongoing debate concerning global warming will probably settle only after the problem has become too much to have a solution.
The second issue is whether computer models give reliable results about the earth’s climate (Huston, 2011). The models are reliable because they realistically reproduce many aspects of the climate. They only fail to capture some features because of the extreme complexity of the global warming phenomenon. A few critics, mostly among policy makers, use the weaknesses of the models as a basis for rejecting the scientific forecasts. They force scientists to re-examine their assumptions in the models, and this lead to improved models. However, the mainstream media do not consider the merits of critics’ scientific arguments. Furthermore, the critics often do not point out that, due to the flaws, the models may likely overestimate as underestimate the threat of global warming. Nevertheless, since these outcomes are realistic, it becomes clear that human activities are the leading contributors to climate change. Furthermore, in discussing the possible effects of the disturbances on the climate, people need to pay attention to past geological information on climate change. The record gives valuable evidence that earth’s climate is very sensitive to any disruption (Huston, 2011). For instance, they show that a recurrent Ice Age may recur from a slight change in sunlight distribution. Despite these evidences, the earth dwellers are still doubling carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. They dismiss the recent warning evidenced by the El Nino phenomenon.
Global warming is a threat that needs as much attention as possible in order to curb its further effects. Outcomes have shown that scientific predictions are reliable; thus, the scientists do not have to be precise to give a valid warning on an environmental issue like global warming. All stakeholders need to realize that scientists’ side stand to gain from global warming debate if the debate goes on into a few decades to come. It is just unethical to disregard the warnings that scientists attempt to present to the public about global warming. These attempts give useful information to support the notion that human activities have grave effects on the environment causing climate change.
Huston, O. (2011). Global Warming Controversies. New Delhi: World Technologies.
Philander, S. G. (1998). Is the temperature rising?: The uncertain science of global warming. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.