Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 10 Issue 03

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Volume 10, No. 3
Pages 141 - 144

The Politics of Global Warming

John A. Knauss
First Paragraph

The case for global warming resulting from increased concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide is discussed in such places as the Wall Street Journal (Seitz, 1996) as well as the scientific literature (Kerr, 1997). Global warming is a political issue. It is not the first, nor will it be the last, environmental science question with political implications. Almost by definition, any environmental issue generated by mankind’s activities has both a science and a political component: for example, the role of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in reducing stratospheric ozone, the consequences of dam building for salmon populations of the Columbia River, and the ecological consequences of discharging minimally treated sewage in the offshore waters of San Diego. Each is a challenging scientific problem, the answers to which carry immense social and economic implications and costs. Thus they are not only scientific issues but political ones as well.


Knauss, J.A. 1997. The politics of global warming. Oceanography 10(3):141–144, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.1997.08.