Author Larry Vardiman at the Institute for Creation Research argues that global warming has been occurring and even though he was a skeptic in the past, the answers to three of his hypothesis have convinced him that it is real. The hypotheses laid by the author are that for global warming to occur, sea-surface temperature has to be increasing, hurricane frequency has to be on the rise, polar sea ice has to be melting and the data shows all three conditions have been true, at least in the short term (Vardiman). The author does cite the source from where the data came which gives him credibility because it is possible to verify the accuracy of the data.

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But the author is not convinced that the global warming is increasingly due to human activities and he presents various arguments in his defense. Thus, it is clear that the readers can identify the thesis statement by the author. First of all, the author argues that the data has to be collected over really long periods to confidently reach a conclusion because there are oscillations occur during shorter periods. The author also points out and rightfully so that while the data he has collected presents evidence of global warming, it doesn’t explain the causes of global warming which could be human activities or natural processes such as oceans and solar activities. But the author fails to cite where he got the information about ocean activity even though he does cite the study by Danish authors Henrik Svensmark and Nigel Marsh which proposes solar activity as one cause of global warming. The author also fails to cite many other claims he makes such as the fact that data collected in regard to causes of global warming has been flawed and exhibits low confidence level. This does make one wonder that if the data investigating the causes of global warming is flawed, then why regulations have been implemented around the world to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. It is apparent that the author expects his readers to take his word, hence, the lack of care in citing every factual claim he makes.

The author does a really great job of objectively analyzing the issue of global warming until his bias takes over at the end of the article where he cites Bible to conclude that the temperatures caused by the global warming should not be a cause of concern and a temperature of few degrees rise will not completely melt polar caps or cause another ice age because God has designed the earth’s atmosphere with several built-in mechanisms to ensure uniform climate. The author even cites Bible to conclude that catastrophic climate events in the future will definitely occur at the time of God’s choosing when the end times are near. The conclusion by the author really throws off the reader because it is entirely unrelated to the analysis done in the main body of the article. This also hurts the credibility of the author in the eyes of objective readers because despite citing independent sources, the author interpreted them in a way so as to support his beliefs. In other words, the author had already drawn a conclusion even before carrying out the analysis.

While the author tried to address this issue objectively at the beginning of the article, it became clear at the end that the author had little personal stake in the issue because his conclusion clearly demonstrates his lack of concern. The contradiction between the nature of sources used in the article body and conclusion comes as a surprise since the author used objective sources to test his hypothesis but used subjective source to reach the conclusion. The author also makes one more serious error in the conclusion which proves the disconnect between the main body and the conclusion. The author states in the body that no natural causes for global warming have been confirmed and the author also confirms that carbon dioxide levels have been rising. Yet the author refuses to admit that the most probable cause of an increase in carbon dioxide levels can only be human activity if it’s not natural causes. The author also makes the claim that evidence is still inconclusive that man is causing the warming yet cites no studies to support his claim. If the author has formed the opinion on the basis of his own analysis, he is only contradicting himself because he earlier argued that the data only confirms global warming but doesn’t explain the causes.

After reading the whole article, it is clear that the author set out to support beliefs he already held and didn’t approach the issue with an open mind. This article is merely an attempt by the author to confirm his bias and will only reinforce the bias of the readers most of whom may have similar beliefs. Since the author is associated with the Institute for Creation Research, objective researchers could have expected the bias even before reading the article which may be why the main body of the article took me by surprise as it seemed objective in nature.

This article also demonstrates the importance of learning about the background of the communicator to determine the potential of bias. One of the requirements of objective fact-finding is to approach a topic with an open mind and forming conclusion on the basis of objective data and evidence regardless of one’s personal beliefs and biases. The author set out to objectively investigate a question but it was soon clear that he didn’t reach conclusion on the basis of critical analysis but instead shaped the analysis according to his existing bias and beliefs.

  • Vardiman, Larry. Evidence for Global Warming. 2007. 17 March 2013