The issue of Global Warming has always been thorny, and more so in the 21st century. Physicists are finding themselves in a dilemma especially due to influence by governments and international organisations with a lot of financial capability, much to the dismay of pioneer physicists such as Harold Lewis, a Professor of Physics wrote a terse resignation letter to Curtis G. Callan, the President of the American Physical Society. He expressed a number of concern addressed to a number of members at the American Physical Society. In his letter, Professor Lewis protested against the issue of undue influence by big money in the world of physicists (Delingpole, 2010).
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He further noted that Pre World War physicists lived a selfless life of sacrifice, service to humanity, and country. They were not driven by the search for material gain and wealth. In addition, they worked without any undue external pressure. Their independence was respected and protected (Delingpole, 2010). They were able to evaluate important world issues such as global warming without any reproach or political interference.
However, things have gradually changed since then. For example, global warming is increasingly turning into a money minting scheme. In this regard, millions of dollars have been poured to influence its reporting and decision-making (Houghton, 2004). Objective debate on the issue of global warming has been severely suppressed and critical decision point is now a matter of a few well-connected members.
In addition, real scientists’ opinion has been neglected and at times even dismissed. When the worst came to worse, a few members of The American Physics Society sought to petition for a sober debate on Climate Science and in doing so, underhand tactics were used. As a result, they were banned from having any registered member sign to petition. This was against its constitution. To add to this, secret committees have been formed to advance secret agenda by the top leaders at The American Physical Society.
In the eyes of Professor Callan, the rating of the American Physical Society plummeted drastically. Moreover, his confidence in the institution was shaken. Consequently, he no longer agreed with any decision arrived at. This is because there had been unexplainably bizarre scheming by the top echelons of the American Physical Society. They have done everything in their powers to discredit modern physicists, often seen as being less smart than the famed physicist of the old, who stand in the way of self-interest decision making. He could therefore not work anymore for the American Physical Society as it no longer represented his interests, and neither did it project his belief on the issue of global warming.
It is worth noting however that the billions poured in the global warming have very little impacts compared to other seemingly major factors. To begin with, global warming is also a matter of scientific uncertainty. Popular scientific press articles over a ten-year period up to 1995 reveal scientific uncertainty on global warming as a genuine concern to physicists global warming phenomena. They are uncertain as to what global warming holds. Suffice to say that the effects are more destructive than constructive in nature; research is yet to conclusively reveal specific short and long term effects (Cline, 1992).
There are varying feedbacks from the natural climatic phenomena and possible effects on the overall climate and regional sub climatic phenomena. The scientists also argue that the public does not genuinely understand the levels of scientific uncertainties that scientific have. In addition, the public does not also appreciate it as a genuine concern, that global warming is an issue that needs more research in the coming years. The complexity of the matter makes it impossible to predict future effects.
Global warming is also a combination of earth’s natural processes and negative human activity. Deforestation and mining of fossils fuels are the leading human activities that result in the emission of considerable amounts of green house gases such as Carbon Dioxide. These gases accumulate in the atmosphere and form a blanket-like layer. This layer keeps the world warmer than normal (Delingpole, 2010).
Therefore, global warming cannot be alienated from the effects of human activity especially in developing countries that have more pressing matters such as poverty, disease, hunger and famine to deal with. This makes it a tricky affair to balance these basic human activities that are a means of livelihood and managing their effect to the environment at large.
Global warming is also a mass communication problem. Sadly, public knowledge of the issue is limited and for the most part, vague. Public awareness of the definitions, causes, effects and mitigation measures is non-existent (Delingpole, 2010). The public is largely misinformed, holding many misconceptions about the issue. The mass media does not help the situation either as they are always spreading these misconceptions to the unsuspecting public.
No efforts by government is made to educate the public on the matter and the role of the public should in helping to curb this rising global menace at their local regions is also sadly missing. On their part, politicians too, are no less guilty. Many are the times when they incorporate these misconceptions in their political propaganda and innuendo that will endear them to their immediate public in efforts of raise their ratings in the eyes of the electorate. Therefore, global warming campaigners should embark on a serious civil education projects all over the world on the role of the public in global warming causes and possible effects and localised mitigation measures.
The assertions by Prof Harold Lewis are true; that diligence, integrity, honesty and open debate are a thing of the past when it comes to the politics of global warming. Most of the global warming and climate change physicist nowadays are driven by selfish interest than the real subject. That fame and recognition is the core of their scientific work as opposed the subject itself.
While billions of dollars have been dedicated to alter the course scientific work and influence evaluation of possible research outcomes. This however is not the overriding issue in the efforts to fight global warming. There are other inter-connected factors more important than science and the politics of science. The activities of the unknowing public are the primary cause so to factor them in the search for solutions will be fundamental.
This will involve extensive civic education through the mass media and public campaigns. While extending much support to further research, it is important to note that the earth is natural processes also play a major role in fuelling the warming. Therefore, it is imperative not to focus on a few corrupt individuals at the American Physical Society and blame them for lack of solutions.
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Cline, W. (1992). The Economics Of Global Warming, Washington, D.C.: Paterson Institute.
Delingpole, J. (2010). US physics professor: ‘Global warming is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life’. Web.
Houghton, J. (2004). Global Warming: the complete brief. Cambridge, Mass; Cambridge University Press.