This is an example of a lengthy opinion article written by a student. It has something to do with social welfare policies if you read through toward the end. I commented in purple font in some places.
Global warming is a theory - not fact. It is not even well-substantiated when you consider the research errors that form the weak foundation of this theory that warming of the earth is caused by man. The charts showing the history of climates have been proven false by scientists. A few key points were omitted such as a thousand years ago the warming period followed by the small ice age. Another misinformation is that the warmest year on the planet was 1998. While that sounds ominous, the truth is that the warmest year in history was 1934. Doesn't sound so scary now, does it? If the warmest year was 1934 then the planet is not heating up - in fact, it has cooled.
These are some important claims to make if you are arguing against global warming, but it would be helpful to offer citations or references to support the claims. Also, there is a logical flaw in the claim that if the hottest year on record was 1934 there is not presently a warming trend. A “trend” would depend upon on more than a single year’s temperature. So the 1998 or 1934 dates aren’t convincing unless they are shown to be part of a trend involving multiple years. There is also a logical flaw with the proposition that since in the past there have been warming periods followed by rapid cooling, the current warming trend is not in fact a warming trend. The two facts aren’t really connected. Warming and cooling trends are part of the planet’s climate history. Warming and cooling trends always follow each other, or else our planet would keep warming or cooling until it became a Venus-like furnace or a frigid ice ball.
So how can scientists be so wrong? Global warming is a controversial topic. Billions of dollars and political agenda hang in the balance if this is not true. Let's rephrase that - now we are looking at trillions of dollars with "green" everything from cars to soap. Scientists on both sides of the issue weigh in. For every article written by a scientist propagating the theory of global warming, there is an article by a scientist with facts disproving it. In the 1970s scientists said that we were headed for an ice age. If you take
the time to research it, the information is easily accessed on the internet. The scare was that falling temperatures could lead to another ice age and that snow would advance all the way to the equator. That obviously didn't happen either. Scientists need to receive grants for research. So now if the grant for millions of dollars is to promote global warming then that is the push. The fact is that the earth has heating and cooling trends. The hype and hysteria that the planet is going to burn up because of global warming is to push policies through more quickly.
It is not factually accurate to say that for every article published to provide evidence supporting a claim that we are now in a period of global warming there is an article with counter-evidence against that claim. Counts of published articles show that there is no quantitative approximation. You have made another factual error (mischaracterization) when you write that in the 1970s scientists claimed that we were in a cooling trend headed toward an ice age (although given the historical oscillation between thaws and ice ages, it is probably correct that we always assumed, and still assume, that an ice age will reoccur someday in the future.) In fact, researchers have gone back over articles published in the 1960s and 1970s and found no significant trend in articles claiming trends toward cooling among scientific articles. Please see http://climateprogress.org/2008/11/10/killing-the-myth-of-the-1970s-global-cooling-scientific-consensus/
You also claim that climate science is driven by an economic agenda of selling policies and products that will reduce the human contribution to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gasses. Could you support this claim with any evidence? As a scientist involved in the community of peer-reviewed scientific publishing and grant proposal writing I find a plausible half-truth in your claim. Yes, if referees and grant proposal reviewers are convinced of global warming, they will be biased against research that counters that consensus. But scientists who do climate research are not typically motivated by hope of making financial gains in the shift to an economy that produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
In a recent poll by Habitat Heroes, "one out of three children aged 6 to 11 fears that the earth will not exist when they grow up. More than half - 56 percent - worry that the planet will be a blasted heath, or at least a very unpleasant place to live. On this survey of 500 American preteens - 250 males and 250 females - minority kids have it worst; 75 percent of black children and 65 percent of Hispanic children believe that the planet will be irrevocably damaged by the time they reach adulthood." What are we doing to our children? They are vexing over the state of the planet, obsessing over recycling and conserving water and electricity. They fear that animals such as polar bears and penguins will become extinct. The poll states that girls worry more than boys. Children as young as 6 to 8 years old worry that the earth will not be a good place to live when they are adults. Is that giving our children hope? Children don't come from the womb worried about the planet. They are taught this erroneous theory in their schools, and their parents are bombarded with the propaganda on television news and programs, newspapers and magazines.
Sometimes it is important to face facts and deal with truth so that problems can be solved. Positive illusions and unrealistic hope can be toxic if they make a society ignore real problems that loom in the future.
The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research published a report on April 18, 2009 in Sydney, Australia. The report noted that the South Pole had shown significant cooling in recent decades. Dr. Allison, a scientist quoted in the report, states that "ice is actually expanding in a large portion of the continent. Ice core drilling by the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Co-Operative Research Centre shows that last year, the ice had a maximum thickness of 1.89m, its densest in 10 years. The average thickness of the ice
since the 1950s is 1.67m. A paper is soon to be published by the British Antarctic Survey in the journal Geophysical Research Letters that is expected to confirm that over the past 30 years, the area of sea ice around the continent has expanded." So what about these photo ops of polar bears floating on melting icebergs? Once again, it is political. If the polar bear can be listed as an endangered species we cannot drill for oil.
As to the cooling trends, please examine the graphics of the data for yourself. They are available at http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/. It is not political. The scientists who study polar bears are motivated by the scientific quest for accurate information. My sister (a biologist) works with some of these scientists at the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York, and I can assure you that she and her colleagues are not motivated in their scientific work by political desires to achieve some sort of alternative energy regime or political success for particular ideologies. At academic and research conferences she attends the scientists are presenting peer-reviewed studies showing significant threats to polar bear populations. There is a real possibility that polar bears face an imminent population crash as sea ice melts earlier or forms further from land.
Dr. Steven Hayward, a scientist with Pacific Research Institute, states in his documentary that the earth is warming, but his explanation exposes the fallacy of the global warming theory, and there will be no catastrophe. The computer tables are only estimated calculations, not scientific. This is a new phenomenon to be researched and to declare global warming as fact and "Case closed" is premature. Did your daddy ever tell you about hastily buying a car without checking under the hood? We know what we think of a salesman who says, "I looked under the hood for you. It's all good. Trust me. Hurry, just sign here." The theory of global warming is being shoved at us riddled with gaps and I'm not buying it.
Let's look logically at the perpetrator of global warming - Al Gore - and we will see many inconsistencies between his theory and how he lives his life. Jetting around the world pushing his theory of global warming so he has a legacy, he had to cancel several speeches because of the weather - not that it was too hot and everyone would be burning up as he spoke about global warming - no, he had to cancel because of record-breaking freezing temperatures. How do you give a speech on global warming when the city is having close to the coldest weather in history? This happened in Boston on October 22, 2008. The temperature in the Boston area was a low of 31 degrees. The record low
temperature in 1883 was 28 degrees - almost 125-year record-breaking low temperatures. And it's happening all over the world. Gore spoke in Italy during "rare" cold and snow. In November 2006, Gore flew to Australia. Cold and snow came with him, despite that the country was nearing its summer months. The British House of Commons held a marathon debate on global warming during London's first October snowfall since 1922. Bicyclists raising awareness of global warming had to bike through ice and snow in New York October 22, 2008. And the list goes on of global warming rallies in the snow.
We will see the language change from global warming to climate changes. As more data is substantiated, global warming is being revealed as the hoax it is. But who can deny that the theory has been lucrative for Al Gore? He's made millions off his movie An Inconvenient Truth, his lectures, his books, and his self-propagated legacy.
The politicians have their motives for pushing global warming. We will see more and more American factories closing and unemployment rise because this administration has a political agenda. During his campaign Barack Obama said we are 5% of the world's population and consume 25% of the world's energy, and he is going to do something about it. Well, he is.
Al Gore and Barack Obama have double standards. We the peons are to recycle, ride our bikes, turn our thermostats down in winter and up in summer. We are to conserve fuel. It's obvious they don't believe in the theory of global warming any more than I do. If they believed it their lifestyles would change. The Tennessee Center for Policy Research on June 17, 2008 revealed that "In the past year, Gore’s home burned through 213,210 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, enough to power 232 average American households for a month." After his extreme energy misuse was made public, he began renovations to go "green" with solar panels, geothermal installation, more efficient light bulbs, and he now consumes 10% more energy than before the renovations, according to public records at the Nashville Electric Service.
During a campaign event in Oregon in May, Barack Obama said we have to "lead by example." He said, "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all time." During the extremely cold winter of 2008-2009 where ice storms cut power to millions in the country, Obama's Oval Office thermostat was set so high his own Chief of Staff, David Axelrod, told the New York Times, "You could grow orchids in there." But I guess it doesn't matter to him since the American taxpayers pay his heating bill.
Business that could more easily be done at the White House he is jetting all over the country and the world, still campaigning. He flew to the White House a pizza maker from St. Louis he had met on the campaign trail to make pizza for 140 during the Somali pirate hostage incident. That's round trip, 860 miles each way. Mark Knoller, a CBS White House correspondent, reported that on Earth Day Barack Obama flew to and from Iowa using 9600 gallons of fuel, two flights on Air Force One and four on Marine One, not counting the presidential vehicles that drove him - all this to make a speech in front of a wind turbine calling for a “new era of energy exploration in America.” (AP, April 22, 2009). His carbon footprint is all over the globe. Instead of getting our own oil we are subservient to Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Scaring everyone with the global warming theory, environmentalists have blocked us from drilling for our own oil. Nancy Pelosi and others who have invested financially in T. Boone Pickens' wind farms have an interest in seeing prices of oil go up so that Americans will be more open to other sources of energy - like wind. Thus the jetting of Barack Obama for a photo op in front of a wind turbine on Earth Day.
I am pragmatic and want to know the truth. We need to take care of the planet, but the truth is this planet was here long before any of us and will be here long after we are gone. One-third of American children are afraid the earth will not be here when they grow up, so in their naivete they will do whatever they are told to do to preserve the earth. Scaring children into thinking there is not a bright future for the sake of promoting a political agenda is unconscionable.