Climate Change and Politics of Doubt Expert Opinion

The Role of an Expert Opinion in the Climate Change

The problem of climate change has become extremely relevant in the 21st century and caused numerous debates. Mostly, scientists claim that the problem of global warming is progressing and the climate is changing for the worse. At first sight, it seems that the role of scientific opinion on that matter is very small. Indeed, despite the experts’ warnings being supported by scientific data, there are still many skeptics and people who think that the problem of global warming is not that significant (“PBS FrontLine Climate of Doubt”). The main reason for such a tendency is that, usually, no matter how solid the facts about a certain issue area, people can always find counterarguments which attract a lot of adherents.

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Thus, skeptics create an opposition, thereby raising doubts in people’s minds and causing many debates which, in their turn, decelerate the process of taking measures against climate change. Additionally, they use a lot of methods such as writing books, shooting videos, organizing seminars, and so on, to promote their ideas (“PBS FrontLine Climate of Doubt”). Nevertheless, behind all these arguments, it can be seen that the role of the scientific opinion about the problem of climate change is still bigger than that of skeptics, which gives hope that people will take action to stop it.

The Influence of the Fossil Fuel Industry in the Debates About Climate Change

Apart from skeptics, some people probably believe that the problem of climate change is real, but demonstrate the opposite opinion. Particularly, those people who work in the fossil fuel industry mostly deny that global warming is a problem. There are two main reasons for this. The primary reason is certainly the issue of global warming being a threat to their business. The second reason is that they underestimate this problem and think that it is insignificant (“PBS FrontLine Climate of Doubt”). Thus, if they are publicly asked about their opinion on global warming, they either say that they do not believe in it, or refuse from making any comments on this matter.

Thus, for these reasons, businesspeople from the fossil fuel industry initiate various campaigns, create advertisements, and spend a lot of their money and other resources to linger the process of taking actions against climate change. They succeeded in their attempts to shift the debate. As a result, for several years, from 2009 to 2012, there were no active discussions and debates concerning this.

Even President Barak Obama, who promised to fight against climate change in his election campaign, did not do anything and refrained from making comments (“PBS FrontLine Climate of Doubt”). However, the success of the fossil fuel industry in changing the course of the debates was temporary, as people have continued to actively discuss the issue of global warming and try to find ways to influence authorities by advocating for the response to the problem of climate change.

The Experts’ Limits

The expert opinion on any scientific issue must be primary. However, there are a lot of obstacles that prevent their opinion from being highly valued and trustworthy. First of all, it can easily be compromised by those who also claim that they are experts in a particular field and have a certain certificate. Second, their opinion may not always be heard or be interpreted differently, for example, by skeptics and those who make profits in the fossil fuel industry (“PBS FrontLine Climate of Doubt”). Third, scientists do not take any actions but only present facts, and it is the government that must be convinced to undertake the task.

Overall, experts’ opinion prevails as more and more people begin to believe in climate change. Although the government has not done much to deal with the problem of global warming, there is still a chance to change the situation, and most people are willing to do that.

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Work Cited

“PBS FrontLine Climate of Doubt.” YouTube, uploaded by Edward Grady. 2017. Web.

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