Last Updated 03 Mar 2020

Oreskes Climate Change

Category Climate Change
Essay type Research
Words 1140 (4 pages)
Views 380

There have been plenty of disputes regarding the infamous topic global warming, despite the fact that there is a unanimous scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change. A history professor at UCSD, Naomi Oreskes, discusses this in her article, “The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change”. She begins her investigation by researching credible experts and environmental organizations, such as the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the National Academy of Sciences, and several others.

By utilizing these various sources as evidence it strengthens her argument about the scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change. In this case, Oreskes audience consists of the general public with a minimal education of high school, interested about climate change. This article is published in a standard science magazine thus the selected audience should have some background knowledge regarding global warming, otherwise it would be too complex to comprehend. She constructs three main dependent claims that convince readers in support of her main claim-that humans are affecting climate change.

These three main dependent claims consist of a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, peer reviewed scientific journals, and concrete factual evidence from various corporation supporting her claims. As a result, it has allowed her to create a more persuasive argument, by using logic based data and credible sources with contextual knowledge on climate change. Oreskes clearly states there is a consensus among scientists about the human impacts on the climate regardless of what politicians, economists, and journalist disagree on.

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She professes that “[t]he scientific consensus is clearly expressed in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” (par. 2). By stating this, the author firmly addresses which side she supports and how adamant she is about this subject. Oreskes uses a credible source such as the IPCC, who have background knowledge on global warming and whose “purpose is to evaluate the state of climate science…” (par. 2). By doing so, it furthers her argument by providing readers with valid claims from a credible source who has knowledge about the subject.

This also appeals to ones ethos which proves to be helpful because it serves as a defendant for Oreskes claims. Pursuing this further, one realizes that Oreskes includes evidence from scientific journals on climate change with theories proving that humans are affecting the climate as part of her strategy to convince the readers. She asserts that there are 928 articles “published in refereed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, and listed in the ISI database with the keywords global climate change” (par. 6).

This serves to support her main claim by having tangible evidence that is published from scientists who have been studding this matter for a long time, proving her statement about anthropogenic climate change. Furthermore, all scientific journals are peer-reviewed, with exceeding analysis, in order to guarantee the articles validity. This term is implied in Oreskes article, which enhances her argument with a highly credible source. The extensive amount of effort that goes through these journals describes the accuracy within them.

Her argument clearly appeals to one’s logic because of the factual data presented, thus refuting any bias rooted in her article. Additionally, the author utilizes concrete factual evidence from organizations that agree with and confirm her main claim. This strategy is executed when she states “The American Meteorological Society (6), the American Geophysical Union (7), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) all have issued statements in recent years concluding that the evidence for human modification of [the] climate is compelling.

This directly establishes that various industries share the same viewpoint as the author and furthers her main claim as being accurate. She communicates to readers how many different corporations all agree that there is evidence proving that humans have modified the climate in drastic ways and still are. The content in which the author’s argument is structured is crucial to the overall effect of her article. She begins with a statement describing how some feel uncertain about climate change and more specifically the disagreement about anthropogenic climate change.

Subsequently, the author proves her main claim that humans are affecting climate change with supporting evidence from credible organizations. She continues to examine her gathered evidence to reinforce her argument as factual, and not merely opinion based. Towards the end of her article, she generates an emotional tone “our grandchildren will surely blame us if they find that we understood the reality of anthropogenic climate change and failed to do anything about it”, which connects her to the audience (par. ). This advances her purpose because she then asks the readers to take action and listen to climate scientists, who have tried to make anthropogenic climate change clear to the public (par. 10).

Likewise, Chris Mooney, a journalist and author who evaluated the relationship between scientists and the public, discusses the similar issue about climate change in his article, “"If Scientists Want to Educate the Public, they Should Start by Listening. He begins by gathering information generated from scientists and the public to determine why most people refuse to believe scientists on such topics as climate change, vaccination, and nuclear waste disposal. He concludes with suggestions of options that resolve this communication gap between scientist and the public. In comparison with Oreskes, he uses logical evidence from credible corporations to convey his meaning and get his point across to his intended audience, which in turn makes his argument stronger and more reasonable from a readers’ perspective.

Both authors contribute different views on the same problem; one establishes a gap between the public and the scientists while the other describes human based effects on the climate. Together they both further the audiences’ understanding about climate change with two different perspectives and in return they get both sides of the story instead of pointing fault to the one they don’t agree with. Overall, one can determine from reading Oreskes’ article that humans are contributing to the temperature rise in the climate.

She configures her argument around this fact, stating genuine evidence from organizations such as the IPCC and appealing to ones’ logical senses. Throughout her article, it contains supporting data from scientific journals and experts in the fields of science. The author confidently agrees that scientists have tried to persuade the public about anthropogenic climate change and “It is time for the rest of us to listen” (par. 10). Personally, I agree with Oreskes, and believe that we should take the next step forward towards a better environment.

By doing so, it will create a cleaner atmosphere for us to live in and will improve ecosystems. Everything on earth is interconnected; by bettering one aspect it creates this ripple effect that betters another. When the United States begins this march towards improving global warming, others will do so as well. This is clearly represented in both articles that the first stage towards a better environment involves humans taking action.

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Oreskes Climate Change. (2017, Mar 19). Retrieved from

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