Global warming Essay
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What exactly are the causes of global warming? Is there anything that can be done about it? These are the questions that have become the main focus of arguments and lectures around the world regarding global warming. Global warming is a major Atmospheric issue that has been damaging our precious environment for many years. In recent years the issue of global warming has become an increasingly popular matter among society. Both the causes and effects of global warming have been the topic of heated debate not only among scientists, but among politicians, businesses, and general members of society as well.
Global warming is defined as a measurable increase in temperature of Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and landmasses. Greenhouse gases have been pinpointed as the main cause of this increase in temperature. The burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas have caused a thirty-five percent increase in carbon dioxide (a highly potent greenhouse gas) since the 1750’s (MSN Encarta, 2008).
Since the Industrial revolution in the mid 1700’s there has been a significant increase in the production of greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases such as water vapor and methane occur naturally in the environment.
Other greenhouse gases, like hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride are created as a result of the industrial process which is used by humans (West, 2009). Greenhouse gases are the main contributing factor to global warming and climate change. These gases allow the Sun’s radiation to heat the earth, much like the glass panes in a greenhouse. These gases also prevent the escape of infrared energy that is radiated from the Earth, which ideally would escape into space (MSN Encarta, 2008). Apart from greenhouse gases, deforestation has also been recognized as a major contributing factor in global warming.
Deforestation is a negative impact on the environment caused specifically by humans. Large numbers of plants and trees are cut down every year to make way for farming and building. Plants and trees naturally absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the atmosphere. As mentioned before, carbon dioxide is one of the most potent greenhouse gases. Daniel Howden, a journalist for The Independent, stated that, “Scientists say one days’ deforestation is equivalent to the carbon footprint of eight million people flying to New York,” he also states that “If we lose forests, we lose the fight against climate change.
” Deforestation is specified as the second main contributor to global warming. Clearly, humans play a vital role in the causes of global warming. Scientists have already noticed a 40 percent reduction in thickness of Arctic Ice due to global warming and climate change (Bird, 2008). If ice continues to melt within these regions the sea level will rise and wipe out various islands and coastal cities. Many lives will be affected by global warming if something is not done to reverse or prevent its progression. Global warming awareness is slowly gaining momentum.
Many people have begun making changes within their own home in order to reduce their contribution to global warming and climate change. The growing movement towards ‘green’ products and services is rapidly becoming a key element of the building industry. With global awareness improving through political support, media coverage, and overall education, the rising popularity of environmentally safe products and materials have gained popularity. Reusable grocery bags, environmentally friendly cleaning products, and recycled paper goods are just a few products that are being sold in stores around the world.
With global warming being the topic of most environmental discussions, reducing greenhouse gases and improving energy efficiency have helped drive the use of renewable energy as a practical option to reduce the negative impact that humans have on the environment. Solar, wind, and hydropower are a few ‘clean’ alternatives to non-renewable resources like fossil fuels. These renewable resources produce little to no pollution or greenhouse gases, and unlike non-renewable resources, they will never run out because they are naturally replaced within nature (Laird, 2009).
Current sustainability strategies and solutions cover a wide range of global warming contributors. New York City’s advisory council has already come up with several ways to decrease negative effects on global warming throughout the city. The advisory council intends to make New York City the world model of a ‘green’ megacity (Darrell, 2007). One of the main sustainability plans for New York City is coming up with ways to cut traffic congestion, which is one of the main contributors to the pollution that causes global warming.
New York City is setting a good example for other heavily populated urban areas around the globe, and perhaps New York City’s sustainability plan will inspire other cities to develop sustainability plans of their own. Various approaches are being taken to decrease the adverse affects of greenhouse gases. Energy experts at McKinsey & Company created a detailed study that includes the different ways people can reduce their contribution to harmful greenhouse gases. The report states that rules for utilities could be rewritten so they make as much money in promoting conservation as they do in selling electricity.
It also mentions that emission limits and other government mandates may soon be required. Incentives like tax breaks might be proposed to help promote efficient buildings, cars, and appliances (Wald, 2007). Successful sustainability in global warming lies in the hands of people all over the globe. Every human being can play a part in reversing and preventing damage caused by global warming. It is not something that can be accomplished over night; it will take a continued effort to produce significant results. With a combined effort across the globe the rate of success will see a monumental increase.
Everyone is responsible for global warming in one way or another, and it will take effort from everyone to show initiative and do their part to repair our damaged environment. I have created a multi-step action plan for sustainability in relation to global warming. The first step in my proposed sustainability plan is to encourage people to take personal action and responsibility for their contribution to global warming. Children and young adults are easily influenced, and if we can get them involved in the sustainment plan it will ensure success in the future.
The second step is to alert and motivate business and political leaders into addressing global warming issues across the globe. If the government becomes more involved in global warming issues it will help raise awareness around not only in the United States, but around the world as well. The third and final step of this plan is to encourage continued efforts to solve the issues that contribute to global warming. Recycling centers, research centers, and community outreach programs should be set up across the world to help educate people about the importance of global warming.
Although this sustainability plan will not completely solve the issue of global warming, it will definitely contribute to global efforts in reducing negative human impacts on global warming. The following table provides a detailed breakdown of the steps proposed in this sustainability plan. Action Itemsfor sustainabilitySteps taken to achievesustainment goalsTimelineResearch the various ways people contribute to global warming. Encourage people to take personal action and responsibility. Request government funding to carry out sustainment plan. Apply for government grant to help fund sustainability plan in global warming.
Also ask large businesses across the country to donate to the cause. Contact environmental agencies and discuss ways to raise awareness among society. Work with these agencies to develop workshops and presentations. Contact local business across the country to help advertise. Review the history of global warming and its contributing factors like greenhouse gases and deforestation. Gather data and statistics for future use. Month 1-3Present the workshops and presentations at various locations across the country. Provide all communities with hands on workshops and presentations regarding their impact on global warming.
Make visits to colleges, high schools, and elementary schools to raise awareness. Month 3-5Contact all U. S. governmental leaders and government agencies to invite them to a lecture on global warmingWrite letters to government officials requesting their attendance at a lecture regarding global warming. Contact NYU to request the use of a campus lecture hall to be used for presenting the lecture. Contact scientists and environmentalists that specialize in global warming to speak at the lecture. Month 6-7Present lecture about global warming to government leaders.
Request additional funding to continue promoting and encouraging communities to become involved. Discuss the damage being done by deforestation, greenhouse gases, and non-renewable resources. Propose various alternatives to non-renewable resources (solar, wind, and hydropower. ) Discuss the damage that has already been done by global warming and what will happen if nothing is done. Request additional funding. Encourage the government’s involvement in global warming issues. Month 8To be successful in reducing and preventing the adverse affects of global warming it will take effort from all aspects of society.
Government officials, communities, and businesses across the world should work together to convey the importance of facing global warming head on as an international crisis. Education and knowledge are the two keys to understanding and preventing global warming. We may never be able to repair the damage that has already been done, but we can still work together to prevent any further destruction to our environment and the lives of all living things that exist here on earth.
Bird (2008). We Have Ways to Make You Green. Alternatives Journal, 34(1), 28-31. Retrieved April 3, 2009 from Research Library databaseDarrell, A. (2007).
New York City’s sustainability plan: A bold ‘greenprint’ for the city’s future. Environmental Defense Fund. Retrieved April 2, 2009 from http://blogs. edf. org/climate411/2007/04/23/new-york-citys-sustainability-plan-a-bold-greenprint-for-the-citys-future/Howden, D. (2007). Deforestation: The hidden cause of global warming. The Independent. Retrieved April 3, 2009 from http://www. independent. co. uk/environment/climate-change/deforestation-the-hidden-cause-of-global-warming-448734. htmlLaird, F. (2009). A Full-Court Press for renewable energy, issues in science and technology, 25 (2), 53-56.
Retrieved April 3, 2009, from MasterFILE Premier Database EBSCOWald, M. (2007, November 30). Study details how U. S. could cut 28% of greenhouse gases. The New York Times. Retrieved April 3, 2009 from http://www. nytimes. com/2007/11/30/business/30green. html? _r=1West, L. (2009). What are greenhouse gases? About. com: Environmental Issues Retrieved April 2, 2009 from http://environment. about. com/od/faqglobalwarming/f/greengases. htmWest, L. (2009). Top 7 renewable energy sources. About. com: Environmental Issues. Retrieved April 3, 2009 from http://environment. about. com/od/renewableenergy/tp/renew_energy. htm