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Global Warning Essay, Research Paper


Although Sowell?s article was interesting reading and had some good points in it, for me, it did not support its conclusion. That is that Washington wants to scare the population about Global Warming, so it can expand its power in answer to society?s demand to ?fix? the problem.

First, let us examine his reasons. He uses the analogy of Paulov?s dog to suggest we have been conditioned to respond in a fearful way to the phrase Global Warming. It is true that we have heard this phrase from time to time but, 1) It does not seem to generate any more emotion than did the Global Cooling in the 1970?s, that Sowell make mention of in his essay, and 2) Sowell doesn?t support with evidence the government as the source for the repeated exposure of the Global Warming phrase to the public. In fact, Sowell’s essay generally attributes the proponents of this phrase to scientists. Although scientist may be utilized by government to address various bio-phycho-social problems they are not necessarily the government per se. They can be independent researchers employed by special interest or private, for profit or non-profit, businesses.

Sowell also refers to computer models as being the tool orchestrating the hysteria about Global Warming. Again, I ask what hysteria? Also the word ?orchestrating? is very ambiguous. In this case, it most probably means conducting or leading, but computers are not objects you play like instruments, they are tools for compiling and communicating information. He even makes reference to ?garbage in, garbage out?. However, the fallacy is assuming the information that is going in is put there by the government and that it is ?garbage?. A just as reasonable assertion can be that the information used to create the computer models was done by objective researchers and that the information is valid.

He tries to draw a connection between the computer models predicting economic disaster in the 1970?s with the greenhouse gas models. This is a straw man because they have nothing to do with each other. It also does not address the possibility that a possible reason the 70?s predictions did not come true, is that the models may have motivated the government to address the problem and prevent it.

Again, in paragraph 10, he alludes to some shady entity pressuring some scientist?s who support the ?Global Warming? theory to come forward and those who disagree to be quiet. There is absolutely nothing in his essay to support this assertion nor is there anything that addresses how in our society of free speech and mass media the government can keep scientist with opposing theories from sharing them with the public.

In paragraph 11, Sowell mentions how scientist will get more money by scaring government (Congress) not the other way around. This does not support his claim that government is out to scare people. In fact, it supports the opposite. That government may be re-acting to being scared by people. Moreover, when he mentions how academic institutions and its faculty may be guilty of manipulating the information it releases to the government, his ad hominem attack points toward a conspiracy to scare the government not a conspiracy by the government to scare the public.

His icing on the cake is the statement; ?we can?t wait?, by the advocates of Global Warming. His assertion is this is evidence that the Government is trying to expand its controls. This is a non sequiter of the worse degree. The statement could mean just what it says. It could very well mean that if the information is true we cannot afford to not address it. It in fact may prove not to be true, but either way it does not necessarily show evidence of some conspiracy on the government?s part.

It is true that if there proves to be validity to the Global Warming theory it may cause some changes in our behavior both as individuals and as a society. Presently there are regulations already in effect that regulate our fossil fuel emissions and other environmental policies. These regulations are not always agreed upon by various conflicting interest, but overall they are reflective of the majority of the voting public. Of course, if we do not like the regulations accorded to us by government we have an opportunity to change its, the governments, composition on Election Day.

Sowell?s concluding statement, ?If we let Washington grab more money and expand their power?? just begs the question. There is nothing to support the assertion that Washington is grabbing more money or expanding its ?per se? power over us. The loaded word power is ambiguous. The ?Government? of course has the power to enforce the law, that is one of its functions. It does not nor ever has it ever had, in my opinion, the power to control our thoughts. Influence yes, control? It seems as if Sowell is the one using the scare tactics, Big Brother I presume!

For me an alternative argument is that the government is using the Global Warming issue to divert attention away from other more politically sensitive issues like Race, Poverty, Gay Rights or Campaign Finance. Another argument could be that government, which consist of politicians, is doing what governments do, which is observe the polls, listen to its constituents and try to stay in office by satisfying the voters. In fact, the most observable person leading the charge for the issue of Global Warming is Vice-President Gore. I believe he has a strong environmental continuency and would like to keep them happy since he will probably need their votes in his bid for the White House. However, even though he is the Vice-President he is not the ?Government?.

I think the issue of Global Warming may need to be investigated more and eventually may take some intervention by the government. I however believe from a sociological standpoint that Governments were created to maintain order not create chaos. I do not believe it would be in their best interest to create hysteria in fact in my opinion the most hysterical person, in this case, is Sowell.

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