Title: Global Warming: Opposing Viewpoints
Author: James Haley (editor)
Published: 2001

Overview: Global Warming – Opposing Viewpoints is one title in a series entitled “Opposing Viewpoints”. The purpose of the series is to provide the reader with both sides of the debate surrounding current issues. Here, several major controversial topics surrounding global warming are presented twice; first, scientists and other experts who are concerned about global warming present their viewpoint about a topic, then those who are skeptical about the claims stated on that topic present their argument. The book provides a good source of information for those who are not yet convinced that global warming is a reality or who have not yet established a strong opinion on the matter. These debates allow the reader to gain a broader understanding of the data and issues surrounding global warming.

Detail: The book consists of four main sections: 1. Does global warming pose a serious threat? 2. What causes global warming? 3. What will be the effects of global warming? 4. Should measures be taken to combat global warming? The authors are scientists, climate experts, policy analysts, researchers, among other things. You will also easily find responses for questions that may interest you, e.g. Does solar variability causes global warming? Or can planting trees help combat global warming?

Some of the experts argue that reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is possible and can be achieved through implementation of specific policies at relatively low cost. Experts working at the US Department of Energy released a report in 1997 where they claim that it is possible for the US to cut CO2 emissions to 1990 levels by 2010 with no net cost to the economy. They add that the cost of ignoring the problem will be enormous. When responding to skeptics, many scientists argue that it is far cheaper to remedy global warming now than it would be in the years ahead when any remaining disputed points are resolved. One notable skeptic is S. Fred Singer, who is funded by the oil industry, and who claims that global warming is not scientifically credible and not worth paying attention to. He claims that government agencies, politicians, and the media cultivate a sort of environmental propaganda that is personally profitable to them.

In addition to explanations of global warming issues, the book includes possible steps we can take to prevent the consequences of global warming. One proposed action to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions is placing specific or additional taxes on gasoline, on other petroleum products, on CO2 emissions or on the number of miles driven. Another is to reinvest in public transportation and improve site planning to be more appealing to potential mass transit consumers.

Three Points of Personal Interest:

1. Every second, on average, the 200 million motor vehicles in the U.S. travel 60,000 miles, use 3,000 gallons of gas and add 60,000 pounds of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere – that’s two-thirds of US carbon emissions.

2. Every year local, state and national governments spend $93 billion on roads. Americans spend 8 billion hours a year stuck in traffic.

3. The European Union is investing in renewable sources of energy. The goal is to develop 10,000 megawatts from wind power and 10,000 megawatts from biomass over the next 12 years. It is the equivalent of 15 nuclear power plants.