Global Warming is a controversial topic largely because of its sprawling prediction of worldwide catastrophe, an image which is far exaggerated from the reality of global climate change. If it were to be a more subtle phenomenon, say an increase in cloud cover, or more sunny days in February, then people would not pay any attention to the matter and would go on living their carefree lives. This is not the reality however, as science predicts massive changes to the way all of humanity will have to live due to climate change. Some may scoff at this allegation, and some may seriously change their habits in fear of the future. For the sake of comparison, I will present global warming believers, and global warming deniers and will analyze the motivations for each side to stretch its influence, whether in the political realm or the public realm, and will look at some of the special problems facing global warming around the world.
Global Warming Believers
For those scientists who believe and understand that global warming exists, there is no argument about the quality of facts, or the political slant of the issue of global warming. There is only hard science, from across the scientific spectrum, which proves the existence of harmful gases, and prove the effects of the melting ice caps and long summer droughts. These scientists explore the sensitive areas of the world, with low sea levels and high drought seasons, and have witnessed dramatic changes. In the Arctic ice shelf, once cover in ice, is now melting away, exposing ice that has been frozen for thousands of years.
Biologists can see the movement of polar bears south, and the change in currents for animals between summer and winter, and see sudden changes in temperatures having an effect on ecosystems around the world. Ducks fly south later, and salmon swim North earlier in the year. This group is epitomized by NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which puts out its recommendations for the prevention of further climate change. This national government agency is well respected amongst scientists and has suggested the negative effects of global warming are a real threat. Scientists however represent a tiny segment of the overall population,
Others Who Help
There are also advocates for global warming prevention who do not understand or care much about the science, but who do genuinely wish to help the planet and who wish less destruction of natural resources was a result of this unending drive for economic expansion. These people often see the rise of China and India, as well as most of the rest of the world as industrial powerhouses, who will be demanding ever increasing amounts of natural resources from around the world. This will lead to a struggle between powers for the limited resources available, and there will be some future diplomatic problems because of refugee movement from now uninhabitable areas.
In contrast with the first group of global warming supporters, the scientists, this group simply worries about the future and wish to have the best results possible in regards to America's position in global leadership. Tackling global warming is akin to this centuries going to the moon, a problem which must be undertaken to ensure the future of the human race and the health of the Earth, the only place we can now exist.
This class of passive supporter may contribute by trying to not waste household products, or buying in more efficient ways, but this small improvement is miniscule to the size of private industrial material spent. Recycling does help as well, but the vast majority of waste still ends up in trash pits, a depressing thought in the 21st century. Methane gas, which is deadly to humans, is one side effect of these trash dumps. Another is wasted space for hundreds of not thousands of years, and potential contamination of the local water supply as another result.
How Global Warming and Climate Change is Provoked
One of the main points about global warming is it isn't just being onset by industrial expansion alone, but also by deforestation. Particularly the rainforests in Indonesia and Brazil are being destroyed to make room for Soy Bean farming and Cattle raising. The rainforest does an incredible job absorbing carbon dioxide from the air and returning it as oxygen. The carbon is stored underground as coal when the trees break down. This cycle has kept the air perfect for millennia, but the destruction of more rainforest every single day threatens the temperature of the air, which contributes to the heating up of the planet. The reuse of land is detrimental to the rainforest's conservation efforts, and is a dangerous side effect of a more globalized world.
Climate Change Deniers
For those who resist the scientific evidence for climate change, or global warming for that matter, have their own beliefs. Some of these beliefs are business-oriented in nature, the belief that mineral usage in the United States and economic advancement potential should never be slowed down by the restrictions placed on industry due to protection of the environment. Those people who belief business and life are a zero-sum game, where there simply are winners and losers to every situation, do not want to cut their profit due to more federal regulation.
These corporations also hold significant political connections and lobbyist organizations in state capitals. For business leaders there is no bigger fear than the slowing down of business due to fines and payments to government of any kind. Global Warming advocates have suggested that pursuing higher gas mileage in automobiles, for instance, would give the American car marketplace an early edge on their foreign competitors, offsetting the investment in these technologies, all while helping out the environment. The deniers say this is a rubbish way to think, and that it is more important to increase the withdrawal of oil for the pursuit of profit, which will lead to innovation.
This leads to the debate about natural gas 'fracking', which is the process of extracting natural gas from hard materials underground by blowing up these rocks, and then flushing them out with a huge amount of water in order to collect the fuel released in this process. This is hazardous to the environment because the water left over from this process is contaminated.
Some states are pursuing fracking anyway, like New York, but most climate change advocates see the contamination of water, which will be put back into the normal sewer system, is a hazard and a reason enough to stop fracking. Hundreds of millions of dollars can be made because of fracking investment, particularly in Canada, and therefore the big money interests will do anything to see the profits from this huge new endeavor for the natural resources community. This change could rebalance the acquisition of fuel back into friendly countries, and local jobs created, which is a good political incentive to promote fracking as a viable resource extraction method.
Some people resist global warming simply because of the lack of firm evidence, people who do not see the forth coming problems, because they are not able to interpret science, or because they believe industrial harm to the environment will just be washed away in a few decades and the cycle will continue to repeat itself. This group of non-climate change believer tends to mistrust academics, and has confidence in the standard quo. Since very little of global warming will directly impact the United States, compared to say the Arctic or the Deserts, these people tend to see the problems as not being American, and therefore take a non-interest in the matter. This is a risky position to take, but it does allow for ignorance to the problem of global warming, and sometimes that is the best position for people to take to allow their own economic interests to flourish.
These industrial titans are focused on short-term gains, and cannot focus on the long-term side effects of poor industrial processes along the way. The bottom line must match the goals of the prevention of carbon being released into the air, or else the businessman will not see a conclusive need for environmental action. This is where environmentalism has tried to succeed in changing the beliefs of every entrepreneur and businessman out there. It remains to be seen whether businessmen are truly buying the new movement in the same way it's being promoted to government agencies.
An incredible amount of fuel is wasted by inefficient processes around the globe, and raising the quality of manufacturing will also reduce the overall cost of the maintenance of the equipment used. This is a good counter point to the arguments of the business, industry focused class of people. If their main concern is money, then looking into the long-term value added gain of new fuel processes allows for successful growth in the future. The better technology becomes at improving the environment, the more likely we will…