Two Views on Global Warming

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In recent years, the global warming crisis has been a hot topic, one that is often coined by Republicans as a “liberal issue.” In Scott Waldman’s article, “Republican lawmaker: Rocks tumbling into ocean causing sea level rise,” he articulates some of the central claims made by Republicans and Democrats on the U.S. House of Representatives Science, Space and Technology Committee. The conversation was argued by a leading climate scientist, who was often involved in correcting misstatements by both sides.

To understand why each group feels so passionately about the cause of the issue, what their underlying beliefs are. On the one hand, we have a group of people who believe that humans are the sole cause of the global warming crisis. Greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuel burning, and a string of other human activities have caused Earth’s temperatures to rise, at incredible rates. Their belief system could be classified as a reverse commons theory as defined in Garret Hardin’s (1968) article, “Tragedy of the Commons.” In his article, he describes how humans have been taking away from the commons for so long and how the planet cannot keep up with these demands indefinitely. Conversely, global warming is a result of things being added to our commons such as the atmosphere, by humans. This parallels the article from written by Katherine Wu (2018) from the Smithsonian, who described the dire state of our planet, where even a two-degree increase in temperature would cause immense problems.

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The other group does not have much sense of urgency but has shifted from claiming that global warming was not taking place at all,

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