Global Warming

9 September 2016

The problem of global warming has become a topic of concern not just for politicians, but for all Americans alike. The earth’s core is not only becoming warmer, but it is also causing million year old ice packs to melt and weather patterns to change. What is the cause of global warming? It is said the leading cause of global warming is the burning of fossil fuel and the SUV is amongst the biggest offenders since it burns more fuel, and burns at a faster rate than smaller vehicles.

The following two articles take a polar opposite approach to the cause of global warming. John Bragg is a policy analyst for the Center for the Moral Defense of Capitalism and wrote and posted the article “The American Dream: Why Environmentalists Attack the SUV” on the online Capitalism Magazine publication. This particular publication takes a liberal point of view on giving precedence to individual choice. William “Bill” McKibben is an American environmentalist, author, and journalist who has written extensively on the impact of global warming.

Global Warming Essay Example

His article “Driving Global Warming” appeared in the May 16, 2001 issue of The Christian Century, an evangelical magazine. Bragg in his exordium immediately shows sarcasm and uses insulting words, such as “The Greens” when referring to the environmentalists. He criticizes their comments in regards to the use of SUV’s, “why would they build “horrible engines of death” and “they use too much gas, threaten air quality and contribute recklessly to the destruction of the environment. McKibben in his exordium compares owning an SUV to the civil rights movement in the 1960’s, “belonging to a segregated country club was normal… and in a space of a few years, those memberships became immoral” just like owning and driving a SUV in the twenty first century. McKibben feels strongly about global warming. He points out that a “temperature increase as much as eleven degrees could happen by the end of the century; these temperatures would top anything recorded in human history”. This concept in itself should make a person stop and contemplate the idea of global warming.

One of the main sources of global warming is carbon dioxide, and twenty percent of that CO2 comes from automobile emissions, as McKibben quotes “if you drive an SUV, then you’re driving global warming, even more than the rest of us. ” McKibben does not only argue the point of SUV and gas emissions, but he also points out that the SUV is not any safer to drive, as SUV owners would like you to think, “in a collision an SUV is twice as likely as a car to kill the other driver” because they roll over so easy.

John Bragg however, holds a different opinion, Bragg supports the SUV because he feels “the SUV is an example of what a car should be”, he also supports the idea that “larger cars protect the people inside them”, protection is a big advantage. Bragg uses ethos by using the example of a teenager counting the days until getting their license, Bragg stimulates the readers pride as Americans, provokes feelings of freedom and entitlement. Yes, driving is part of growing up, but really, how many teenagers are going to own an SUV.

Bragg really emphasizes the idea of technology and wealth, Americans like technology, Americans like nice “big” luxuries – -the SUV is “an example of both; people using the technology available to enhance their lives. Owning an SUV is the American way. McKibben appeals to a Christian evangelical audience; he really focuses on the ethics of “every American” being responsible for this “environmental crisis. If we care about people in this world, than we need to change the way we are doing things.

McKibben also uses quotes from the Bible, and makes many references to God. He also refers to global warming and SUVs as a Christian moral issue. Bragg appeals to the individual, gun-toting, freedom loving American. He believes America was raised on big cars and the environmentalists have forced car manufactures to change what America was built on, “Contrary to the environmentalists, cars are a powerful symbol of what makes America the greatest, and the freest, country in the world”.

Bragg does not want to assume any responsibility for the possibility that SUV’s may be a cause of global warming. His comment “endangered species are valuable because, well they are endangered- – nature put them there”. What an arrogant comment, in my opinion. These arguments though polar in opinion bring food for thought, but what it comes down to is personal preference and individual choice; technology and safety or the safety of the environment.

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