“The media coverage of global warming has been so alarmist that it fails to convey how flimsy the evidence really is. Most people don’t realize that many strong statements about a human contribution to global warming are based more on politics than on science. Indeed, the climate change issue has become so highly politicized that its scientific and political aspects are now almost indistinguishable. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), upon which governments everywhere have depended for the best scientific information, has been transformed from a bona fide effort in international scientific cooperation into what one of its leading participants terms ‘a hybrid scientific/political organization’.” (Hollander, 2003)
Further, the exclusive focus on carbon dioxide emissions can be misleading. While environmentalists classify carbon dioxide as a pollutant, the gas is “neither scientifically nor legally considered a pollutant (Uzawa, 2003). Though present in Earth’s atmosphere in small amounts, carbon dioxide plays an essential role in maintaining life and as part of Earth’s temperature control system”. The heating of the atmosphere caused by these greenhouse gases is a natural occurrence, without which the earth is in danger of turning too cold and even being frozen. Moreover, carbon dioxide is essential for plant physiology, without which plants cannot survive. Hence some of the alarmist claims about greenhouse gas emissions, including that of carbon dioxide is exaggerated and overstated. (Hollander, 2003)
Having considered both sides of the issue of global warming, we can now arrive at an evaluation and synthesis of the varying viewpoints. While studying the merits and demerits of the issue, it is important to remember that some of the views put forth might be motivated by personal and vested interprets of the scientists and analysts involved. For instance, there is sufficient evidence to prove that many of the detractors who deny the global warming crisis are in the payrolls of the fossils-fuels industry. This fact is part of a larger system cause for global warming, namely that of Global capitalism, “which relies heavily upon fossil fuels, has played a significant role in the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Global capitalism contributes not only to the depletion of natural resources and environmental degradation but also to global warming” (Johansen, 2002). In this respect, it is important to pay heed to the point made by independent analysts S.Jordan, who states the responsibility of people in power (both in economic and political institutions) to respect scientific facts and ground realities, thus:
“The conclusions held by leaders in a variety of fields can’t help but have a profound impact on social, political, and economic policy. Thus each side has expended considerable effort to convince the public, and through it the political establishment, of the validity of its stance. But because neither has been entirely successful, particularly in the United States, policies have been inconsistent and changeable, subject to partisan wrangling, corporate lobbying, and a general inadequacy of resolve.” (Jordan, 2005)
Baer, H. (2008). Global Warming as a By-product of the Capitalist Treadmill of Production and Consumption-the Need for an Alternative Global System. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 19(1), 58+.
Hollander, M. Jack, Global Warming: Both Sides. (2003, Spring). The Wilson Quarterly, 27, 63+.
Global-Warming Myth; Politics Trumps Science. (2008, May 16). The Washington Times, p. A21.
Johansen, B. E. (2002). The Global Warming Desk Reference. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Jordan, S. (2005, November/December). The Global Warming Crisis. The Humanist, 65, 23+.
Uzawa, H. (2003). Economic Theory and Global Warming. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.