ABSTRACT

This chapter will open a discussion on the issue of climate change with particular emphasis on the evolution of the debate, how pervasive it has become as a global concern and the related responses of world bodies and governments to the issue. Different angles to the argument will be presented over the dispute of ideas between alarmists, contrarians and a socially circumscribed, but ambivalent, public. Critical points in the historical development of the discourse will be highlighted to illustrate how the status of climate change has been catapulted into a legitimate crisis based on the evidence of the anthropogenic influence on the increasing temperatures on Earth. To begin with, some people assert that climate change may not be happening. Official sources such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports become fodder for climate change alarmists in supporting their claims that erratic weather patterns are a consequence of anthropogenic climate change.