Figures are staggering. The world media repeatedly bombards us with predictions that the European cities will sink beneath the rising seas by 2020 or that millions of us will have reached Aryaghat in the next 20 years! In the midst of growing attention on “global warming” the founder member of New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, Bob Carter, points at the fact that the average temperature of the earth has remained constant since 1998, although there has been 4 percent increment in the atmospheric carbon dioxide. So

why are we even worried about this much-discussed “phenomenon”? Many researchers and scientists are skeptical that global warming is actually taking place.

Bob Carter goes on to suggest that there are strong indications from

solar studies that we are, in fact, heading towards climatic cooling over the next few decades. He seems dissatisfied at the fact that the ordinary public is facing additional taxes for carbon policy that will make no difference to the environment and above all, underdeveloped countries are being

discouraged to use cheap energy. It is quite understandable for someone like him to describe Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) as a political (not scientific) agency.

Of course, IPCC may not be a functionless organization as Carter has portrayed. However, he has a point: we cannot unquestionably buy the facts that a certain scientific organization sells us. It is skepticism that helps us question new evidences and carefully examine them for a truth to be established.

Al Gore’s Oscar-winning movie “An Inconvenient Truth”, is often criticized for it creates a hype in the media. For instance, Gore’s prediction that the sea-level will rise seven meters in the immediate future does not go along with the large scientific consensus. The picture of a polar bear swimming helplessly, in search of land, sets an alarmist tone as the melting of ice at the poles would mean a disastrous event. But, many criticize the particular scene saying that the presentation was “ridiculous” and such a catastrophe is not going to happen.

Opinions do differ on this controversial issue. Opposing viewpoints need to be respected and it is up to the audience, us, to decide what we want to believe in.