Whether Global Warming is a Hoax

Free Sociology Essay on topic "Whether Global Warming is a Hoax"

Modern humanity faces a number of serious problems, which force people to look for effective ways to address them. At the same time, as noted by various authors, some of these problems are spurious in their nature, particularly the issue of global warming (Finsterbusch, 2012). This paper examines arguments of the experts who claim that global warming is nothing more than a fiction which has no relation to reality.

Over the past few decades, the idea of global warming has become an urgent and acute problem. Human activity is considered as the main cause of global warming, because it led to development of the greenhouse effect, which is responsible for the temperature increase worldwide. Scientists from around the world assert that if no immediate actions are taken to limit the human impact on the environment and reduce the greenhouse gases emission, global warming will threaten all humankind. Along with such a popular idea of ​​global warming and its dire consequences for the entire planet, one can come across a point of view according to which global warming is a myth or even a hoax. Some researchers argue that there is no scientific evidence to support the idea of ​​global warming. The reason for the spread of this myth among the people is seen in the fact that the idea of ​​global warming is related to its commercial value for certain individuals and organizations. Global warming causes panic and fear around the world, and this situation allows certain people to earn millions of dollars worldwide.

Global warming became a popular idea with the beginning of the Club of Rome in 1992 (Bethell, 2005). Details of the program, aimed at fighting against global warming, were developed within the framework of the Kyoto Protocol adopted in Japan. The main objective of this project was to help to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In this regard, various countries all over the world were required to implement policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Some of them, such as the United States and Australia, refused to ratify the document. Worldwide, the Kyoto Protocol is regarded as the beginning of a big fight against global warming, caused by human activity. Bethell states that: “Environmentalists believe that the 20th-century warming was caused by human activity, primarily the burning of fossil fuels” (2005). However, currently, it became possible to raise a number of serious doubts about the veracity of the phenomenon of global warming. There are some scientists around the world who have expressed the idea that global warming is a hoax. Moreover, they particularly state that “the official position of the World Natural Health Organization in regards to global warming is that there is NO GLOBAL WARMING!” (“The Global Warming Hoax,” n.d.).

Considering the problem of global warming, it is necessary to analyze the initial conditions of the emergence of this idea. In particular, global warming is based on the concepts of the average temperature of the Earth’s surface and the average greenhouse gases concentration (Gray, 2008). Proponents of global warming idea argue that the main indicator of global warming is the increase in the average surface temperature around the world. It gives them the reason to believe that each day the temperature becomes higher. As a result, it leads to serious negative consequences, such as melting of ice caps, rising sea level, etc. In turn, an increase in the surface temperature of the Earth is considered in close connection with the increase of the rate of greenhouse gases emission into the atmosphere. However, as Gray says, both these prerequisites are at least inaccurate. Gray points to the fact that one cannot measure the average temperature of the Earth’s surface. This calculation is impossible due to the fact that it requires the use of measuring instruments in all parts of the world, including the temperature of the ocean. However, this is not possible, because it will require an enormous number of devices, as well as specialists inspecting and supervising their work. The same can be said in relation to the average greenhouse gas concentration. All supporters of the idea of global warming see the cause of this phenomenon in the increase of amount of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere (Bethell, 2005). Carbon dioxide is seen as the main reason for global warming, the amount of which is viewed in close connection with human activities. But the thing is, nowadays no one can predict climate change over the next 100 years. Weather can be predicted for the next few weeks, but there are no devices or methods capable of predicting the weather on Earth and large-scale climate changes over the next century. Gray considers these facts as direct evidence that the idea of global warming was initially based on incorrect assumptions. Despite this, various researchers have proposed a method of measuring temperatures. The findings allowed them to assert that the phenomenon of global warming exists. However, one of obvious examples of erroneous scientific theories is a method called “the hockey stick”, developed by the climatologist Michael Mann of the University of Virginia, and co-authors (Bethell, 2005).

The “hockey stick” is a reconstruction of temperatures over the past 1000-2000 years using tree rings, ice cores, corals and other sources that may be used as temperature indicators (Mann & Bradley, 1999). The reconstruction shows that global temperatures have been gradually decreasing over the past 1,000 years, and began to rise sharply in the 20th century. The principal conclusion of the “hockey stick”method is the claim that global temperatures in the past few decades are the highest in 1,000 years. However, further studies have raised doubts in this model (Bethell, 2005). Mann was unable to answer questions concerning the source of the data used in his calculations. Stephen McIntyre was the first who tried to give a thorough analysis of the “hockey stick” (Bethell, 2005). McIntyre asked Mann to provide clear answers concerning the origin of his data, but Mann did not give him a clear explanation. As a result, McIntyre concluded that Mann’s research was rather unreliable. In general, this situation should not surprise anyone. The main problem lies in the fact that despite all the advances in science, mankind still cannot find a way to obtain data of average temperatures across the Earth’s surface. There is a number of technical difficulties that prevent scientists from around the world from obtaining reliable data for their scientific findings. It can be concluded that global warming refers to so-called unprovable scientific ideas. Modern scientific study on climate is based on the idea that the “estimates of climate variability during past centuries must rely upon indirect ‘proxy’ indicators – natural archives that record past climate variations” (Mann, Bradley, & Hughes, 1994). In spite of various scientific techniques, an attempt to define the average temperature in all parts of the Earth cannot succeed for the simple reason that scientists are not able to provide the most accurate data on the entire surface of the Earth. As a result, computer simulation is originally based on false information used to predict global climate. For this reason, there is a reasonable question about why the public and various governments are convinced of the accuracy of these computer predictions. Gray gives the following answer:

They seek the opinion of the very people who have been paid to produce the models and classify these opinions as various levels of “likelihood”. They then apply spurious probabilities to these levels. In this way they present the opinion of “experts” with a conflict of interest as an alternative to a scientifically tested forecast. (2008).

Similar to Bethell and a number of other scientists, Gray defends the idea that the concept of global warming has become commercially interesting and beneficial to certain people and organizations. That is why, despite the fact that the scientific data on global warming is not undisputed, the predictions about the future rise in temperature of the Earth and the catastrophic consequences for all mankind gained wide popularity.

To sum up, there is substantial reason to believe that the problem of global warming is at least exaggerated. Constant focus on this issue and the resulting panic and fear of people around the world make it possible to ensure that global warming is primarily of interest to certain people and organizations. As it turns out, scientific basis for the recognition of the fact of global warming is unreliable and causes a lot of controversy. Despite this, the idea of global warming and the catastrophe that awaits humanity is constantly replicated in the mass media. Global warming proponents’ failure to offer a reliable scientific study and measurement of the temperature on the surface of the Earth causes major concerns. Nevertheless, the idea of global warming continues to be promoted worldwide. Given that science aims to discover the truth, such situation provides an opportunity to reflect on the suggestion that global warming primarily has a commercial purpose.

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