In the modern world, the most spoken about the topic, next to war on terrorism is perhaps environmental sustainability which goes hand in hand with the reports showing the possible effects of global warming. However, the issue of global warming remains contentious as scientists continues to explore the links between human activities and the determination of present and future climatic conditions. What has been clear from the onset is the governments' commitment to initiate projects and programs to combat global warming by curbing the emission of greenhouse gases and adopting environmental sustainability measures. Many of the programs and projects directed towards this end use millions of taxpayers' money that some critics have not failed to question its validity (Bell 2011).
In the midst of global warming sensitization and campaigns for adopting environmentally sustainable processes, it is not unusual that critics began questioning the real motive behind the whole global warming campaigns (Bell 2011; Scott 2012). Indeed, the political energy that characterizes the global warming issues demands that the taxpayers question the validity of the claims since such claims require sufficient scientific backing to be valid. While it is true that the world has been undergoing different climatic and environmental changes, it is plausible to argue that making hasty political decisions regarding resolving some of the problems associated with the changes may not be helpful. Indeed, the decisions risk settling on wrong conclusions and wasting billions of dollars of taxpayers' money while failing to resolve the problem.
Many scientists, as well as scholarly researchers, have dedicated much of their time to unearth the theories behind the changes experienced on many fronts in the world today. One of the main contributors to the many rapid changes that have been experienced is linked to global warming despite uncertainty from the scientists' bodies (Robinson et al 2007). This phenomenon has been linked to the witnessed rapid changes in climatic conditions as well as the changes in the proportion of water cover to the land mass. What remains unresolved is the hastiness of the governments in formulating initiatives towards combating the same while the scientific body had not delivered its conclusive and scientific verdict on the same (Robinson et al. 2007).
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Scott (2012) and Bell (2011) point towards an interesting aspect of the global warming debate where they agree on the issue of financing different projects aimed at resolving it. "According to the GAO, annual federal climate spending has increased from $4.6 billion in 2003 to $8.8 billion in 2010, amounting to $106.7 billion over that period." (Bell 2011, p. 1) He goes ahead to point out that with the rate at which the federal expenditure on climate is rising, the cost of climate modification threatens to not only take up an even larger proportion of the federal budget but also to cost billions of dollars to the businesses as they seek to meet the requirements set by different bodies working under EPA.
Scott (2012) captures the full spending of the federal government on global warming where he indicates that the spending is unjustifiable considering that the political claims are contradicting with the position held by a group of scientists. He observes that since the popular wave began, "we have spent around $106.7 billion of taxpayer money from 2003-2010 to try to understand and "fix" global warming... the same research shows the government has proposed to spend around $1.4 billion in 2012 alone on climate change issues" (p. 1). Despite some of the climatic changes visible to the majority of Americans bearing negative consequences, one would expect that the initial step for the government would have been to fully understand the climatic phases that the earth undergoes before seeking to stop or halt the changes. However, the politicians failed to consider the scientists' position on the issue and instead discussed the matter like they would a political issue and settled for political solutions that promise to fail.
According to Robinson et al. (2007), the Kyoto protocol signed in Japan in 1997 was not motivated with the real desires to understand the changes occurring in the world climatically but was rather a politically charged motion that sought to achieve political milestones. In this respect, the scientist sought to petition the American government not to bind the country into the protocol and provided scientific arguments to support their petition. In their explanation for the current changes in temperatures, a group of scientists maintains that the temperatures of the earth vary in phases. For instance, they affirm "the average temperature of the Earth has varied within a range of about 3°C during the past 3,000 years. It is currently increasing as the Earth recovers from a period that is known as the Little Ice Age" (Robinson et al. 2007, p.1). Arguably, the rise in temperatures experienced in many regions of the world has caused a panic that gave the political hegemony an opportunity to push for their agendas.
Another point that the scientific fraternity makes relates to the declining glaciers and the rising sea levels which they also claim to change in tandem with the thermal phases that the earth undergoes. "Glaciers regularly lengthen and shorten in delayed correlation with cooling and warming trends. Shortening lags temperature by about 20 years, so the current warming trend began in about 1800" (Robinson et al. 2007). This explains the retreating glacier cover in the Polar Regions while also shedding light on the prospects of explaining why the phenomenon is cyclical.
The scientific analysis is not blind to other issues captured by the global warming enthusiasts who explain the trend the changes on the earth may follow in the future. While these other experts directly connect the changes to human activities and also goes further to point out potential ramifications that may befall the people in the future (Parker, Blodget & Yakobusi 2011), Robinson et al. (2007) find no connection between natural catastrophes and human activities. They, however, concur with the other scientists on the changes that are likely to occur on the sea and on the ice cover in specific spans of time. "Sea level has trended upward for the past 150 years at a rate of 7 inches per century, with 3 intermediate uptrends and 2 periods of no increase" (Robinson et al. 2007, p 1). Indeed, they note that if the trend continues as it did prior to the "Medieval Climate Optimum, sea level would be expected to rise about 1 foot during the next 200 years" (Ibid p 1).
Despite the heavy investments by the federal government on programs aimed at pausing and resolving the consequences of global warming, it is clear that the move has no scientific justification. In a bid to hastily seek to resolve the scantily understood phenomenon, the political wing sought to curtail the use of hydrocarbons since they are the primary sources of greenhouse gases (Robinson et al. 2007; Parker, Blodget & Yakobusi 2011). However, as Bell (2011) observes, the efforts that the governments have put in place have not been able to give satisfactory results despite using large amounts of money and forcing businesses to undergo huge losses as they cut on carbon dioxide emission.
Considering that the efforts by political leaders to combat global warming have not achieved the desired changes, it is plausible to argue that the governments aimed their efforts towards the wrong cause. It justifies the scientists' view that the move to link human activities to climatic changes was hasty and the whole global warming affair was highly overblown.
- Bell, L. (2011). The Alarming Cost Of Climate Change Hysteria. Retrieved 25 Apr. 14.
- Parker, Blodgett & Yacobucci. U.S Global Climate Change Policy: Evolving Views on Cost,
- Competitiveness, and Comprehensiveness. Congressional Research Service 7-5700, RL30024 (2011). [www.crs.gov].
- Robinson, Arthur B. Noah E. Robinson, and Willie Soon (2007). Global Warming Petition Project. Oregon: Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine
- Scott, J. (2012). A Really Inconvenient Truth: Global Warming is Not Real. Retrieved 25 Apr. 14.