Global Warming is something of the minds of many. Some know a lot about it, some know a little, and some simply do not care. Personally, I am in the group of people who know a little about global warming, and it is a topic that I don’t feel effects me that much at this point. After reading the essays “Global Warming: Is It All Hot Air” by Johns Hopkins University junior Dustin Lushing, and “Cold Water On Global Warming” by Harvard graduate Thomas Sowell my beliefs were confirmed and I was offered more convincing evidence as to why Global Warming is being made a bigger deal than it needs to be.
In Dustin Lushing’s “Global Warming: Is it all Hot Air” he gives his point of view on global warming and what he sees at his University. Lushing begins by talking about Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” and how he has really caused a hysteria of sorts over this issue. According to Lushing, Gore is seeking attention this way because he knows that the public is not that educated on the subjects and what he is saying is scary enough and plausible enough the nobody will question him. Lushing is acknowledging that global warming does exist; he just believes that it is not as serious as Mr. Gore claims. “Politics and science don’t mix” Lushing says this and gives a couple examples as to why this is. One was when George Bush was asked about evolution and he said “the jury is still out”. The other example was with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist who diagnosed Terry Shiavo from a TiVo. These example also support Lushing’s claim that if you give a politician a “sensitive scientific issue it will corrupted and stripped of many layers of truth in the hands of a politician”.
Lushing cites a New York Times article where many very reputable scientists called Gore’s “central point exaggerated and erroneous”. The author says that everyone agrees that global warming exsists but “how imminent is the threat”? He says that the scientific community is divided on that question. In the article many of the scientists call Gore’s science “basically sound”. Lushing takes this as the scientists who said this don’t agree with Gore they are “selling out” to get recognized. Lastly, he talks about what he has seen at his school. The students that really are ecofriendly and want to help the environment don’t want to anymore at the risk of jumping aboard this “crusade” that the world will end.
In this essay Lushing makes some very good points and backs them up with example of evidence that prove his claims. As far as credibility, I think he is credible enough to speak on the subject, he is educated and a writer, there is no reason not to trust him right away. When people are not educated on this issue it is easier for someone like Gore to scare people with what can happen with global warming and causing hysteria. Why should we trust a politician like Gore to speak on a scientific issue like global warming? Lushing does a good job of explaining why with the examples of how politics and science don’t mix and this issue is being exploited.
Lushing cites the New York Times article and this is the strongest part of the essay. People trust the New York Times as a reputable publication, so when there is an article where scientists call Gore’s points “exaggerated and erroneous” you can be pretty sure it is true. It was very interesting that even some of the scientists wanted to gain some popularity from this, but at the same time did not want to give up any creditability so they called Gore’s science “basically sound”. In my opinion this makes the scientists look bad for the vague comment, but more importantly it proves Lushing’s argument that scientist do not buy in to what Gore is saying. They simply do not think the science Gore presents in accurate.
He proves that this whole global warming hysteria is bad by the example he sees at his school where students who really do want to help the environment are “wary of joining a doomsday crusade” so this whole thing has just left a bad taste in everyones mouth. He also makes a logical point by saying that we should be focusing our energy on more important things like the war in Iraq and terrorism. Lushing ends the essay by trying to illicit and emotional response by saying that some global warming crusaders at his school actually turned the Iwo Jima statue at his school into a giant windmill. I believe this was very effective because as it is that last thing you read it makes you think about the issue more even after you have stopped reading.
In “Cold Water on Global Warming” by Thomas Sowell he begins with saying how people are hyping global warming and it is turning into a hysteria. Basically, people do not check their facts and some scientists are not really scientists and those who are not climate experts. Sowell’s argument is that people do not do any research on who to believe.
There is a global warming conference coming up named “Global Warming: Truth or Swindle?” and the theme is “that there is no scientific consensus on the causes or likely consequences of global warming”. Some of those attending have already said that they are very skeptical about global warming. Sowell says that this is good because these people do not have an agenda, they will speak the truth, inform the public and the media will get to listen. The bottom line of this essay is that the global warming issue is always being approached as a “crusade not an exercise in evidence or logic”. Finally, Howell believes that these people who are on board the global warming “crusade” will not show up at the conference.
Sowell clearly states his argument; however, he fails to prove it with solid examples. He refers to scientists who say one thing or the other, but he doesn’t name a specific scientist or make any meaningful quotes to back his argument up. Before reading the essay, I found out that he was a Harvard graduate and that meant a lot to me so I thought he would be pretty credible. However, Sowell takes a very cynical tone throughout the essay and it is not very effective at all. He is basically saying that people are not educated enough to understand global warming because they do not bother to check the facts.
Making cynical generalized statements like this really hurts his credibility with me, because it just shows that he is completely biased and doesn’t think about the other side of things or other arguments. A counter argument would’ve been very effective in this essay but he chose not to have one. Sowell uses the conference as the focal point of the essay in order to make people skeptical about global warming. He thinks that people will supposedly learn the truth which is that there is no scientific evidence to support global warming. The problem with this is that even if people form an opinion one way or the other at this conference, it doesn’t matter because of Sowell’s tone and other methods of proving his argument. I don’t like how the whole essay hangs on the conference and Sowell uses it to try and make his argument. I feel that he falls short. Lastly, he did not have any experts or quotes from people in the field that would be credible enough so that people may take a step back after reading and realize what Sowell is saying may be true. Perhaps if he approached the essay in a different way, changed his tone and did not use the conference as the centerpiece I would feel differently about the Harvard graduate’s essay.
Overall, I feel that the better and most convincing essay came from Lushing. He believes that Al Gore is exaggerating the global warming issue to the point where people are hysterical about it. He proves how politicians exaggerate issues by citing Benjamin Ginsburg who is a Professor of politics at Johns Hopkins University. Ginsburg says that Joe McCarthy was going over campaign issues and someone on his staff said “anticommunism”. “McCarthy smiles.
The rest is history, take a potentially explosive issue and exaggerate the hell out of it”. This quote proves his claim very well. Next, he proves that even scientists do not believe Al Gore and his theories about global warming. Lushing does this by saying that in a recent New York Times article many scientist we quoted as saying that his points were exaggerated. At first, I thought that Lushing should have mentioned the name of the scientist(s) that said this; however I was alright with it because it came from a very reputable source in the New York Times. Finally, he proves the argument by saying what he has observed at his school with students who really do care about the environment are now scared of joining this “doomsday crusade”.