The issue of global warming has been characterized by substantial controversy.
This controversy has been brought about by the fact that a large faction of the human population does not want to take responsibility for the ever increasing levels of global warming. Thus credible research and real life experience have both served to prove that human activities are the leading cause of global warming. As environmentalists engage in campaigns aimed at sensitizing people about how their actions lead to global warming, it becomes clear that not everyone is aware of the fact that humans bear the greatest responsibility for global warming. This paper is an in-depth evaluation of the facts surrounding global warming, and it seeks to establish the causes and effects of the phenomenon, and proposes solutions for mitigating the effects of global warming.
Causes of global warming
As evidenced in the discussion above, environmentalists have conducted credible scientific research in a bid to establish the cause of global warming. Virtually all of the aforementioned research point to greenhouse gases as the leading cause of the global-warming phenomenon. Since greenhouse gases are products of human activities, it is apparent that human beings bear the responsibility of causing, and exacerbating the phenomenon of global warming.
Research has shown that greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane, and the like form some kind of a blanket cover above the earth’s atmosphere. This cover acts as a cushion for heat on the earth’s surface, and thus the heat cannot escape to the atmosphere. This leads to warming of the earth’s surface, which is essentially what global warming refers to. As human beings burn fossil fuels in search of energy, or even use gas in automobiles, more carbon dioxide is released to the atmosphere, and thus it fortifies and thickens the aforementioned cushion. This leads to more warming on the earth’s surface. This explains why the global warming problem worsens every decade.
Effects of global warming
Global warming has far-reaching effects on the environment, which in turn affects the socio-economic and political realms of the society. The phenomenon is responsible for the occurrences of droughts.
For instance, the proverbial Lanina phenomenon is as a result of the climate change, which is attributable to global warming. This phenomenon has had adverse effects on the food security of several developing countries, which has in turn affected the social and economic structures as people try to adapt to the drought, and as governments implement emergency response measures. Other effects of global warming include loss of biodiversity due to climate change, extinction of species, melting of ice-caps on the tops of mountains (Ryan).
Since it has been established that humans bear the greatest responsibility for causing global warming, it is of essence that human beings check their activities to ensure that negligible volumes of greenhouse gases are sent to be atmosphere. This can be achieved by employing noble means like carpooling to reduce the exhaust of carbon dioxide from automobiles, ensuring that factories are fitted with air-cleansing materials in order to reduce the release of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, and even avoiding the use of fossil fuel as a source of energy, because the burning of these fuels send large volumes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere (“Overview – Global Warming”). Other measures may include ensuring that vehicles are regularly repaired, to ensure that fuel is completely utilized, lagging water heating appliances at home to save on electricity, and even ensuring that the electric appliances used at home are not faulty. This will ensure that energy is properly utilized, and thus the atmosphere will be saved from substantial amounts of greenhouse gases. However, this cannot be achieved before humans accept the responsibility for causing, and exacerbating the global warming phenomenon.
It is also important that states and other levels of government support the mitigation efforts of global warming by investing in infrastructures that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. For instance, designated cycling areas can be constructed in highways to discourage people from relying heavily on automobiles (Ryan). Legislation should also be developed to encourage the use of energy efficient automobiles. Other necessary legislation concerns the running of industries that can potentially release large volumes of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
People who do not support the conservation of the environment have been very vocal about the causes of global warming. This group of people against environmental conservation seeks to exonerate human beings from the responsibility of global warming by arguing that the phenomenon has been as a result of the fact that the sun is continually becoming hotter. Others in this group believe, or seem to believe, that the distance between the earth and the sun is continually becoming shorter, which in turn leads to the phenomenal warming of the earth’s surface with time. These ideas can be regarded as ungrounded since it is common knowledge that global warming is normally as a result of the release of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
Global warming is an issue that is highly talked about within economic, political and even social circles. It has become an issue that is, more or less, a priority as the world strives to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by the year 2015. This is because the phenomenon has far-reaching effects on the economic, social, and even political realms of nations (Weart). For instance, drought and subsequent hunger has been one of the main effects of global warming.
The duo has served to pull down a number of upcoming economies struggling with hunger and poverty. It is thus of essence for humans to accept the responsibility for global warming, and be willing to mitigate its effects. Otherwise, the attainment of the MDGs by the year 2015 may as well be forgotten.
Confronting Warming. Can states and localities prevent climate change? CQ Researcher Jan 9, 2008, Vol. 19, Number 1, pp, 3 – 23 Overview – Global Warming.
Current Issues, 2010. Gale, Cengage Learning, 2010, pp. 1-4 Weart, Spencer. The Discovery of Global Warming. California. Barnes & Noble, 2008.