Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Global Warming

Wouldn’t it be great if we could live in a world where we didn’t have to worry about rising temperatures, more species becoming extinct, or loss of land due to rising water levels? These are all effects of global warming. Global warming, which is a gradual rise in the earth’s atmospheric temperature, is caused by greenhouse gasses. We all need to become more aware of the problem and do our part to help reverse the effects of global warming.
In order to understand what we need to do, we need to understand the problem. The gradual rise in earth’s atmospheric temperature is caused by the output of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases are those gases released into the air that trap the suns light rays and cause a greenhouse effect. Some of the greenhouse gases are Carbon Dioxide, or CO2, Methane, or CH4, Nitrous Oxide, or N2O, and Fluorinated gases. Carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels, like oil, coal, and natural gas. Methane is released into the atmosphere through the production and transportation of coal, and through the decay of organic waste. Nitrous oxide is released in the air by the combustion of fossil fuels. Fluorinated gases are synthetic, powerful greenhouse gases, but they aren’t emitted in large quantities.
People have a huge influence on the emission of greenhouse gases into the earth’s atmosphere. For example, the high demands of fossil fuels such as oil and coal are one of the leading causes to the output of greenhouse gases. When the gases are released in the atmosphere, temperatures increase globally.
Rising temperatures don’t just mean people are going to buy more air conditioning units. The effects are serious and not easy to fix. Increases in temperature may directly affect human health. There will be more extreme heat waves in the summer and less extreme polar fronts in the winter. People with heart problems, asthma, the elderly, the very young, and the homeless will be more venerable to extreme heat.
Some other major effects of global warming are raising water levels, more pollution, more endangered species, melting glaciers and ice shelves, more flooding of low level areas, and increased salinity of land water bodies.
There are many things we can do at home, at work, and on the road. These are small easy things that we can all do without a problem. At home, you can recycle most plastics, glass bottles, and used paper and newspaper. If everyone in the United States changed five incandescent light bulbs to the more energy efficient fluorescent bulbs, we could prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the emissions of ten million cars.
You can help by heating and cooling smartly, also. Insulate your home and find windows that are energy efficient. Another thing that will reduce greenhouse gases and save you money is use a push mower instead of a gas mower. You can do the same with your car by investing in an energy efficient hybrid car, or a car that uses 85 percent ethanol fuel, which is more earth friendly than traditional gasoline. When you drive, there are many ways to improve your gas mileage simply by not using the gas and brake pedals as much. Don’t accelerate too quickly because it uses more gas. Reduce the weight in your car. Check your tires. By having your tires properly inflated, you can reduce the amount of friction from the road and improve your mileage.
Another thing you can do on the road is use public transportation, carpool, ride your bike, or simply walk. When you ride a bike or walk, you reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, save money, and improve your health. Plants remove carbon dioxide in the air through a process called carbon sequestration. By planting trees and other plants we can slow the growth of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.
The government has done many things to conserve fossil fuels, improve energy efficiency, and lower the output of greenhouse gases.
Congress has given the United States Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, the power to write regulations in order to enforce environmental laws. One such law, the Clean Air Act, regulates air emissions from stationary and mobile sources. The law gave EPA the power to create the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, or NAAQS, to protect public health and regulate hazardous air pollutants.
So there’s the problem, and there’s the solution. Because America is the leading cause of global warming, we as Americans need to do our part to save our planet. The government can help get things done better and faster. Together, we can all do our part and make the world a better place.


Germ-x said...

So I agree with the fact that we need to do more about Global Warming but I don't think the reason why we aren't is because we don't know how. The government is passing more and more laws restricting the violation of the earth and its atmosphere. I think the main problem is that America is just lazy. While some people are stepping up in helping, others are just sitting back and even contributing to the problem

Pirate For Hire said...

I'm not totally on board with the whole global warming thing anymore. When this became a big deal in the news I was all for going green and saving the earth. But as more information came about the topic I began to fall off the band wagon. Some scientists would say that the earth is actually in a cooling period and that global warming is a cycle the earth continually goes through. I agree that there are things we can do to prevent the process from speeding up but humanity isn't completely responsible for this problem either.

Scrubs said...

I do not think that we are the main cause of global warming. Sure humans have sped up the process with more greenhouse gasses but, i believe the earth goes through cycles. If you look back in history the earch froze, then melted, and froze, and melted again so i believe that right now we are in the beginning of the melting stage.

Madonna Wayne Gacy said...

Milankovitch Cycle > Green house gases

Vostok ice core > fear theory

Carbon levels were 12 times higher and the temp was 10 degrees lower at one point. If carbon dioxide is the cause, explain that.

Mister T said...

the only problem with this idea is that if global warming is caused by humans (a big if), the United States isn't the only country polluting the earth. When the cap and trade policy was proposed, it got a ton of suppourt from Europe and the United States, but a lot of major industrialized countries weren't suppourtive at all, such as India, China, and other eastern Asian nations. Why? Because a policy like cap and trade would break the backs of the economies of industrialzed nations. Is it worth risking destroying the US economy for the sake of preventing the effects of an unproven scientific theory? I think not.