Controversy over global warming exists as a dispute regarding the nature and consequences of global warming. The theory of global warning as presented in the mainstream media currently assumes that carbon dioxide is an atmospheric greenhouse gas and since humans are producing more carbon dioxide than previously, the temperature must therefore rise. The cause of global warming is not actually known, but in it's simplest terms the debate boils down to whether or not global warming is caused by human interference or part of a naturally occurring cycle. The debate has recently become one-sided in favor of human interference due mostly to three factors: political pressure on scientists to produce research that supports the global warming theory, public misconception of what scientific consensus is, and an irresponsible that media promotes sensationalized viewpoints to sell advertising.
Al Gore 's film “An Inconvenient Truth” warns the public about global warming, but scientists who are skeptical of climate change have the most to fear -- from politicians. Richard Lindzen, a Harvard trained atmospheric physicist and the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says that the science of climate has become a "climate of intimidation." He explains that "in 1992, Senator Al Gore ran two Ayala 2
congressional hearings during which he tried to bully dissenting scientists, including myself, into changing our views and supporting his climate alarmism" (Fear). Lindzen further drives his point home by sharing what has happened to fellow colleagues who have expressed similar viewpoints in opposition to the scientific consensus on global warming. Sadly, this is only the tip of a non-melting iceberg. In Europe, Henk Tennekes was dismissed as research director of the Royal Dutch Meteorological Society after questioning the scientific underpinnings of global warming. Aksel Winn-Nielsen, former director of the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization, was tarred by Bert Bolin, first head of the IPCC, as a tool of the coal industry for questioning climate alarmism. Respected Italian professors Alfonso Sutera and Antonio Speranza disappeared from the debate in 1991, apparently losing climate-research funding for raising questions (Fear).
Timothy Francis Ball, Ph.D., is a former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg, Manitoba with a doctorate in climatology from the University of London, Queen Mary College, England. Dr. Ball’s extensive background includes a strong focus on the reconstruction of past climates. As a leader in the current global warming debate, he sheds further light on the difficulties in remaining an open and objective scientist under the current political climate. I once received a three page letter that my lawyer defined as libelous, from an academic colleague, saying I had no right to say what I was saying, especially in public lectures. Sadly, my experience is that universities are the most dogmatic and oppressive places in our society. This becomes progressively worse as they Ayala 3
receive more and more funding from governments that demand a particular viewpoint (Ball).
At one point during the documentary ”An Inconvenient Truth”, the term scientific consensus is used as a means to defend the position of greenhouse gases being the cause of global warming, “Isn’t there a disagreement among scientists about whether the problem is real or not?” is asked, and the reply is, “Actually, not really” (Inconvenient). Given the number of scientists that disagree with global warming theory, the following quotation from the film is a rather surprising statement. There was a massive study of every scientific article in a peer reviewed article written on global warming in the last ten years. They took a big sample of 10 percent, 928 articles. And you know the number of those that disagreed with the scientific consensus that we’re causing global...