Global Warming Argument Fact or Fallacy Critical Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Global Warming Argument


Critical Thinking

World Health Organization (2013) reports that, in the last century, the earth's warmth increased by approximately 0.75 degrees C. And further at more than 0.18 degrees every decade in the last 25 years. This phenomenon, called global warming, is said to result from the greenhouse effect whereby deleterious gases, such as carbon dioxide, trap heat within the earth's atmosphere instead of getting released. A steady rise in temperature is predicted to cause climate change disastrous to health and life. Many experts point to human beings as the only creator and cause of global warming and climate change. Opponents, however, think that the phenomenon is simply a function of nature. Some think it is mere hype motivated by some mercenaries. All sides agree that scientists have not agreed on the cause (WHO).


The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has determined that global warming inflicts mortal threat and that human activities are largely responsible for it (WHO, 2013). Much of the surveyed scientific community supports this conclusion and position. Global warming has been occurring since the 1970s and the 140,000 excess deaths yearly since 2004 are attributable to it. Climate change has adversely affected the social and environmental determinants of health, such as clean air, safe drinking water, adequate food and safe shelter. Direct damage to health through its effects on agriculture, water and sanitation is believed to reach between U.S.$2 and $4 billion a year by 2030. It is likely to increase the incidence of diarrhea, malaria, dengue and malnutrition and make them worse. Poor countries will suffer the scourge much more than advanced countries. The only solution is reducing greenhouse emissions by adopting more efficient transportation, food and energy use in order to minimize deaths and ill health. Global warming may be beneficial to some regions, which suffer from extreme cold. But intense heat will be very damaging to regions in warm regions of the world. Natural disasters, like floods, hurricanes, drought and tsunamis, will abound and increase. The breeding of disease-carrying pests and pollution will likewise rise (WHO).

The objections raised by some sectors on whether human emissions of greenhouse gases lead to substantial warmth in the atmosphere have been given only "second-order" considerations as they have only added confusion to the issue (Keller, 2007). Their objections present uncertainties that must be sifted by "first-order" questions for validity. These questions are: Is the observed increase in temperature since the 1960s real? Is it beyond expected natural variability? Is its future magnitude understandable and predictable through data reduction and large-scale computer models? An affirmative answer will establish human activities as a major influence and reduce related issues into secondary-level of importance. Paleo-climate data lend support to the interpretation that the earth warmth in the last half-century has been out of the usual in at least in the past 1,300 years. The data explained the unlikelihood of climate change in the last seven centuries or more before 1950 to have been due to the variability factors of the climate alone. Volcanic eruptions and changes in the sun's irradiation could explain climate changes in those earlier centuries. But changes in the early 20th century to the present are likely caused by human activities. Several log-term changes in climate have been observed and recorded at continental, regional, and ocean basis levels. These include changes in Artic temperatures and ice, amounts of precipitation, ocean, salinity, wind patterns an extreme weather conditions (Keller).

More Americans now tend to associate global warming with melting ice and heat since 2002 and view it at a more alarmist level (Smith & Leiserowitz, 2013). They have also become more inclined to link it with global-warming skepticism. This is the result of four nationally representative surveys of Americans conducted from 2002-2010 on their perceptions on global warming risk, policy preferences, and behavior. This is interpreted to mean that more Americans are more worried about the possibility of destructive climate change. More importantly, these results demonstrate the significance of affective imagery in people's judgment and decision-making processes as well as how these change. One factor, which has contributed to these trends, is the media's alarmist presentation of
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global warming. Another is climate skeptics' erroneous interpretation of intercepted emails by climate scientists in a recent scandal called "Climategate." It eroded trust in the veracity of global warming and in climate scientists. Another factor is the decline in public associations of ozone depletion and the ozone hole (Smith & Leiserowitz).

Global warming is a serious threat in the eyes of those who hold egalitarian values

but poses low risk in the eyes of individualists (Smith & Leiserowitz, 2013). The finding reinforces the results of previous research that worldviews are the most important predictors of environmental consciousness, environmental behaviors, and perception of other hazards, including nuclear power, water pollution, and nanotechnology. Political affiliation is another important predictor. Overall, the study reveals that individual perceptions and feelings are not separable from the bigger political, economic and cultural reality (Smith & Leiserowitz).

A review of hurricane records in 2005 back to more than a century failed to show any increase of hurricane events (Fumento, 2013). The frequency has been stable yet advocates have used Hurricane Katrina as backup to prompt action against global warming. The media took the hype in. Prominent warmists admitted in an article published in a peer-reviewed journal, called Climate Dynamics, that average global surface temperatures ceased warming 15 years ago. This interruption could extend to the 2030s but it is a state secret. President Obama pushed for the reduction of the supposed greenhouse emission by signing an executive order to create a Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. It was meant to substantially expand the ability to restrict the use of property, water and energy for the purpose of reducing greenhouse emissions. These efforts are overwhelmingly expensive in other countries without an assurance of reducing emissions to any satisfactory degree. Everyone has a right to his own worldview. But warmists know they have been proved wrong a number of times. Arctic ice actually increased by a third in previous years. Ice in the South Pole had reportedly become thicker and wider than it was in 35 years (Fumento).

The long-term goal of reducing global warming at less than 2 degrees C. requires swift and sustained reduction of greenhouse gases (Milfont, 2012). Accomplishing this goal requires strong and consistent political leadership and overall and sustained public support. A one-year survey explored the connection among public knowledge, the level of concern, and perceived personal efficacy and how they affect the issues. Previous studies provided contradictory findings on the connection. This current investigation filled in the limitations of previous studies. Its results indicate that concern for global warming is influenced by knowledge on personal efficacy and the level of knowledge increases overall concern towards risks and other issues. In turn, increased concern raises perceived personal efficacy (Milfont).

Self-reported knowledge about global warming and climate change influences personal efficacy and concern for these issues (Milfont, 2013). The greater the knowledge about the phenomenon, the greater the concern and willingness to act according to the need. The spread of accurate and appropriate information can raise awareness and concern and incline people to appropriate action. The degree of the link between knowledge and concern can also be enhanced by political party support. Parental status and environmental values likewise predispose people to take global warming and climate change seriously. People tend to accept evidence, which are similar to or support their preconceptions. Those who trust scientific information are also likely to become more concerned about the potential hazards of global warming and climate change. Combining the three elements, the study revealed that knowledge does not directly influence personal efficacy. It influences only though concern. The direction is from concern to efficacy rather than otherwise. Results suggest that the major flow is from knowledge to concern to efficacy. Knowledge or awareness increases concern, which in turn, produces personal efficacy and responsibility to behave appropriately (Milfont).


There have been opposing views on whether global warming and climate change are brought about my human activities. But constant scientific studies led the WHO to present evidence on the veracity of the phenomenon and the means to contain it.

Part 2 Self-Evaluation

Position 1

Global warming is not man-made. A team reviewed the entire hurricane record to investigate the claimed trend of increasing hurricane events. The review yielded negative results of any increase from more than a century ago. Bad storms have come and gone but in no greater frequency than in past decades. Global warming-climate change advocates ignore this clear and simple evidence repeatedly after Hurricane Sandy. An admission by prominent warmists was also published in a peer-reviewed journal, Climate Dynamics, that the average global surface temperatures actually stopped rising for an entire 15-year period. They also admitted that this "pause" could extend as far as the 2030's. Knowledge of this "pause" is, however, state secret. This "pause" occurred at the…

Sources Used in Documents:


Fumento, M. (2013). Global warming "proof" is evaporating. New York Post: New

York Holdings, Inc. retrieved on December 12, 2013 from

Keller, C.F. (2007). Global warming 2007: an update to global warming- the balance of evidence and its policy implications. Vol 7, the Scientific World Journal: Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics. Retrieved on December 12, 2013 from

Milfont, T.L. (2012). The interplay between knowledge, perceived efficacy, and concern about global warming and climate change: a one-year longitudinal study. Vol. 32 # 6,

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