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Green buildings, global warming and clean energy Essay

Man’s failure to act today could result in an unsustainable planet characterized by warmer temperatures that may snowball out of control, it would lead to extinction of certain animal species, an increase in sea levels thus causing more natural disasters such as hurricanes or numerous diseases, less water availability in third world countries thus leading to conflicts amongst them and the spread of tropical diseases such as malaria. (Mc Carthy, 2001) Consequently, it is incumbent upon man to establish ways in which he can reduce global warming.

This can be achieved by using the right kind of energy i. e. clean energy since this is responsible for emission of greenhouse gases which cause global warming. The paper shall dwell on how man can achieve the latter through green buildings. II. Claim of fact A) The major problem being tackled is that of global warming. Studies have shown that the amount of green house gases found in the atmosphere tend to stay there for a very long time. This means that global w is a harsh reality that may not disappear without human intervention. (Schneider, 2002) 1) Increased diseases and disasters

Firstly, the phenomenon of global warming is going to cause warmer climates in the Northern parts of the world such as the United States. Consequently, vectors such as mosquitoes will increase tremendously. This implies that diseases such as malaria may start appearing in such countries. The future generation of Americans has a right to be protected from such a predicament because current occupants did not have to deal with such a problem. One only has to look at how some third world countries are having a difficult time handling this matter in order to understand the seriousness of the issue.

Meteorological forecasts have shown that if the earth gets warmer, oceans and other water bodies will keep on rising. This means that the occurrence of hurricanes will be much more than it had been previously imagined. In 2004 and 2005, the country was plagued with very deadly hurricanes that caused tremendous damage to concerned parties. Since there is a possibility of preventing such occurrences, then individuals must carry out their responsibility of ensuring that it is enacted. (Godrej, 2001) One of the worst outcomes of this problem of global warming is extended periods of droughts and prolonged heat waves.

A number of countries in the world still depend on natural rain alone to grow their crops and as sources of water. These third world countries currently face the problem of water shortage and the situation could get worse if droughts keep occurring. Such situations could cause a strain among affected communities thus leading to conflicts or war. These developing nations have provided Americans with numerous investment opportunities and any problem that arises in those regions could tremendously affect individuals within the US. (Nordhaus, 1998)

2) Economic consequences If there will be more disasters occurring in the world, then one cannot undermine the economic consequences that the US itself will be grappling with. The hurricanes in New Orleans caused losses amounting to billions of dollars. The country cannot afford more disasters such as these because its economy will begin staggering in ways that had not been anticipated. The loss of lives and property among future generations could ruin their economy and it is therefore negligent for current citizens to merely sit by without doing something about it.

In close relation to the latter mentioned scenario is the emergence of tropical diseases. Developing nations spend so much money treating such diseases. Additionally, the lives lost as a result cause huge dents in their economy. The same thing could happen to the United States and other western nations if nothing is done today. (Van Arsdol, 2004) 3) Melting ice caps Lastly, the problem of global warming can and has caused melting of ice caps that could lead to other consequences as shown below; a) Rising sea levels b) Global outbalance

c) Endanger plant and animal life d) Snowballing temperatures If global warming continues unabated, then chances are that ice caps will keep melting and the excess water will head to the oceans and seas. Currently, glaciers and permanent snow account for five point seven million cubic miles worth of water. If even some portions of this ice were to melt into water, then seas and oceans could rise by dozens of feet. Since this may occur gradually, then chances are that those low attitude regions will be ruined by this. (Clout, 2008)

If ice caps continue melting, then chances are that the ecosystem as we know it today would be thoroughly messed up. This is largely because ice caps emanate from fresh water. If they are redirected into the sea, then the sea would loose its saltiness thus leading to a distortion of gulf currents. What this means is that ocean currents will change temperature conditions within Western Europe and North America. This means that organisms that had become accustomed to those temperatures will no longer survive in such adverse conditions.

Melting ice caps will affect animal and plant life owing to the fact that these creatures will have new climatic conditions. Since not all life can change at such a fast pace or in accordance to present circumstances, then chances are that only the most adaptable will remain. This means that so many species may become extinct. Future generations will never get a chance to see such life or benefit from them. Ice cap melting can cause snowballing temperatures because ice caps are important sunlight reflectors in the world today.

If they are reduced, then chances are that only the oceans will be able to reflect off sunlight. However, compared to ice caps, oceans are much darker in color yet dark colors tend to do more absorption that reflection. This implies that the earth will keep getting warmer, more ice caps will keep melting and the cycle continues. (Maslin, 2004) B) Demographics of the study The latter study will focus on the United States as the primary geographical region. However, some generalizations applicable to the rest of the world will also be done.

In terms of corrective actions, the study will target some of the things that The United States citizenry can enact in order to curb this problem. Consequently, the research will focus on some of the changes that persons from all ages can enact in order to deal with such the problem of global warming. Since the highest numbers of buildings are found in cities, then this research will target Metropolitan areas within the country. III. Claim of value If man does not take action now, then chances are that global arming will exert a heavier impact on him.

The situation can spiral out of control and this harms people who may not have caused it in the first place. For instance, persons in the third world produce minor fractions of carbon emission to the atmosphere but will be the first to feel the effects of droughts and other natural disasters. Global warming needs to be taken as a personal responsibility by all members of humanity. It is a known fact that the one of the greatest pollutants within this age is man. He has the ability to make conscious decisions that do not just benefit him alone but his surroundings as well. (Holton et al, 2003) A.

Description of my angle 1) It is man’s personal responsibility It would be selfish to live for only today without thinking about how future generations would survive. If this earth’s forefathers had taken up the same attitude, then current generations would not have been alive today. Part of man’s responsibility is to ensure that he makes the earth sustainable for himself and his descendants too. (Lange et al, 2008) The latter view is one held by environmentalists and other individuals interested in preserving the environment. Part of what constitutes morality in man is his concern for his surroundings.

If every single individual lived for himself or herself, then the world would be a chaotic place. Additionally, it has been argued that failure to take action today could lead to a great amount of risk. While some parties hold that global warming is not a real concept, the effects that could arise if the phenomenon was not real are still quite positive. The country and indeed the world would have much more to loose if it turns out that global arming is real and nothing was done about it rather than if it turns out that it was not real and something was done about it.

2) It would be costly to the economy In a report released by the UNEP during the year 2001, it had been asserted that not doing anything about global warming could cost the country up to two hundred billion dollars worth of revenue. The consultants who attended the latter conference asserted that this could rise to five hundred or one thousand billion dollars in subsequent years. If man may not be moved by the environmental issues that are affecting him, then perhaps these staggering economic figures could be shakier. 3) Whether it is a natural or man made processes is irrelevant

The truth of the matter is that man has the ability to alter a natural process since this natural process is negative. Regardless of the fact that global warming may be a natural or artificial process, a rise in temperature will destabilize the environment. This means that biodiversity will decrease and so will food production. The current rising populations will not be sustained by their food production efforts and this could be very disastrous as it could cause millions of death. The latter scenario can even be compared to a practical occurrence.

If one was to find out today that he or she was going to die, then it would not make sense to find out whether that death is due to natural or man made causes. All that really matters is that the person gets some help to prevent the death from occurring. Opponents of global warming may claim that this is nothing but a natural process. However, whether or not it is a natural process does not change the negative effects that it could cause to man. It is therefore essential to understand that such a global system can be altered for the betterment of society. B.

Description of counter claims to this value 1) Right wing politicians and industrialists stand point Other groups claim that global warming effects are not as adverse as some people may claim. In fact such attitudes have infiltrated into political decisions within the Country. During the past presidential regime, the United States has been one of the least enthusiastic western countries in terms of its environmental sustainability policies. Some politicians believe that the country ought to dwell on “more pressing” issues such as the need for energy security.

Consequently, such individuals have assented projects that increase carbon emissions in the atmosphere with little regard for the effect that this may have on the earth’s climatic conditions. In the US, industry lobbyists tend to oppose the views held by environmentalists and their actions are usually supported by right wing politicians. Traditionally, left wing politicians tend to be concerned about the overall good of society while right wing leaders tend to concentrate on building a capitalist economy.

These perspectives have often led to a locking of horns when it comes to environmental issues such as global warming. (O’Hare, 2005) 2) Lack of “hard facts” Some skeptics claims that global warming as a phenomenon still leaves so many questions unanswered. They assert that there is a lack of compelling evidence to show that these effects will actually occur. In fact, some maintain that most effects are mere forecasts. In close relation to the latter angle is the fact that some scientists believe that global warming is a way in which the earth can balance off certain excesses.

For instance, while temperatures may be going up in other parts of the world as a result of the phenomenon, others in the North East American region will be going down thus showing that the system will balance itself out. Adherents to this theory claim maintain that when an anomaly occurs such as a hurricane, then this will be labeled as a piece of evidence by environmentalists. These opponents further add that global warming enthusiasts tend to disregard contrary occurrences even when this is representative of common weather patterns.

For instance, a study conducted along US coast lines some time in 2006 found that greater death rates have been recorded there because of increased population and wealth in these coastal towns and not as a result of greater intensities of the hurricane or as a result of global warming for that matter. Also, some scientists believe that the earth’s rising temperatures could be as result of coming out of the ice age. (Hardy, 2003)In other words, they claim that it is very normal for earth temperatures to increase since this is just a phase. 3) Business men’s stance on the matter

A certain crop of individuals are not as enthusiastic as environmentalists when it comes to global warming. These individuals are businessmen whose work entails emission of carbon particles. The latter are required to invest heavily in “green” strategies that may cost their businesses a lot of revenue. Most of these business men tend to look for ways in which they can circumvent such obligations and one way in which they do this is by claiming that global warming effects are not that prevalent or they do not exists. They therefore posses ulterior motives in holding such a point of view.

(Allaby, 2004) IV. Claim of policy A) Methodological plan to solve the problem The problem of global warming can be solved by embracing clean energy through the use of green buildings. Focus is on the United States because the latter country is at the centre of the world economy and its initiatives can serve as an example to other countries of the world that also need to embrace this fact. The latter country needs to pass legislations for designated residential and commercial houses to be green buildings. Statistics on the need for green buildings indicate the following;


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