Is Global Warming a Threat or an Illusion?

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Kristen Leacock 12/14/07 Expository Writing CMP-120-C1

Is Global Warming A Threat Or An Illusion? Part II

In addition to the discussion on Antarctica and the Arctic, three statements are being challenged. The first statement that is being challenged concerns the worldwide temperature that “has apparently increased by less than a degree (0.9) Fahrenheit” which took place before World War II” (Stott). We are further updated that there was a “ride in temperature of around 0.6 degrees centigrade over the last 150 years” (Stott, “Cold Comfort”). So what does a graph portraying temperatures over the United States tell us when we look at it? Does it tell us that the time between 1880-1940, which includes of 1900-1940, display additional warming than 1940-2000, also including the years from 1960-2000? The next point being challenged relates to particular years in addition to short-term stages, such as a decade or fifteen years. Since the graph stops at the year 2005, it limits us to look at the years from 1960-2005. Looking at the graph, are we able to tell whether more or less global warming has taken place or is taking place? Last but not least, there is proof that “over the past 100 years, winters in the Northern Hemisphere have become warmer” as a result of an increase in global cloud formation (Bailey 328). With some amount of assurance, what can we tell about the responsibility of clouds in managing global warming?

Despite the fact that we are limited to the United States, the graph is significant because the United States has been an industrial giant since at least the 1880s. In addition, given that we drive nearly fifty percent of the world’s cars, the graph is particularly noteworthy after World War II for those, such as McKibben, who state that the majority of global warming has been happening in the second half of the twentieth century and beyond. Try as we may, we discover that from the year 1880 to 1940, including 1900-1940, if we begin from the lowest temperature documented to the highest temperature, we wind up with an increase of about one percent Celsius and perhaps even a little less (see graph in “Controversy”).

By using the same method for the years 1940-2000, incorporating the years 1960-2000 and even 2000-2005, we finish up with practically the same outcome, which is about one percent (see graph). Even though the graph is very useful, however, it does not help us to answer whether more or less warming happened after rather than before World War II. Of greater importance is the ending that the massive quantity of car-related carbon dioxide may possibly be not all that important in the development of global warming, since a great deal of cars were driven prior to World War II; nevertheless the increase on both sides basically stayed the same. Yet, we should not assume that greenhouse gases are non-hazardous, for they possibly affect humans, plants, animals, soil, oceans, water, and our pets terribly. So it behooves us to be in charge of those greenhouse gases irrelevant of their correlation with global warming. And while McKibben’s proposition to slim down the economy and our way of life on all levels is prone to do more damage than good, but his proposal to depend on “electric cars” (320) is, at least, a step in the right direction. Moreover, there is not a good economic explanation for why Detroit cannot start to manufacture several more hybrid cars that produce at least forty miles per gallon. It’s a question with a time limit, too: either we make these changes soon, or it won’t be worth the bother. (320)

By separating single years on both sides, before and after World War II, we once again discover a draw, or very similar. Neither is the post-World War II period any assistance on short-term information to conclude whether global warming or cooling is occurring, or has occurred. However, through 1880-1940 and 1940-2000,...
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