We Are All Guilty For every person with an opinion, there is another person who believes the opposite. This goes for almost any public affair in today’s society, it is a part of human nature to disagree and argue. Considering this, it is no surprise that there are many differing opinions on the numerous different parts of one of today’s biggest issues: global warming. In most cases it is perfectly fine to have differing opinions on issues. However, this is becoming too big of an issue for us to waste time arguing about.
In the words of Tony Blair, “Global arming is too serious for the world any longer to ignore its danger or split into opposing factions on it. ” (Notable Quotes) There are a lot of different parts of global warming that people argue about: causes, effects, whether its happening or not, if it is natural, etc. A person’s religion, beliefs, upbringing, access to information, and many other factors can have a big influence on their opinion on different parts of global warming. The part of global warming that mainly want to explore in this paper is how it occurs, in order to show that us humans are the ones causing it.
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Many people ask the question: is lobar warming being caused by human activity? Some people are led to conclusions that say that global warming is not caused by humans, that it is a natural cycle, and that we have nothing to worry about. (Bass) With this paper am going to disprove these myths and show you that humans are the main factor behind global climate change. To be able to prove myself, I believe it is essential that first explain how global warming is happening. To start, the earth is constantly undergoing the natural process of the greenhouse effect.
Most people believe that humans cause the greenhouse effect, but this is not true. Humans cause the enhanced greenhouse effect, which is commonly referred to as just the greenhouse effect, but will explain this later. The earth needs the regular greenhouse effect to keep it warm enough to be a planet suitable to live on. The greenhouse effect occurs when the sun’s ultra violet and infrared rays shine through the earth’s protective atmosphere. Most of these rays are able to pass right through the atmosphere.
From here, they continue through the troposphere until they hit the earth’s surface. Upon impact, about fifty percent of these rays are absorbed into the earth, while the rest are either reflected or absorbed by the atmosphere. This process naturally warms our planet, much like a greenhouse uses the sun’s rays to raise the temperature inside of it. Overall, this means that our atmosphere captures about eighty percent of the energy that bounces off of our earth. This is not a bad thing, but the trouble starts when the enhanced greenhouse effect starts to happen. Strickland and Graininess, peg. 3) The enhanced greenhouse effect is considered to happen when more than eighty percent Of the heat energy radiated from the earth is trapped/ absorbed by the atmosphere. The main reason that the enhanced greenhouse effects occurs is because of roundhouse gases, which are emitted by human activities that cause pollution such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation. The top five greenhouse gases are H2O, CO, CHI, NON, and Cuff’s. The names of these gases are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides, and chlorofluorocarbons.
When these greenhouse gases cause the enhanced greenhouse effect, the earth is warmed more than it should be naturally. When the climate of the earth changes due to this, we see many negative effects on the earth. (Strickland and Graininess, peg. 4) Why are we seeing all of these negative effects caused by the enhanced greenhouse effect? The answer is simple: human pollution. Before the Industrial Revolution, there was only a small fraction of as many greenhouse gases in the atmosphere as there are today.
The Industrial Revolution was the turning point for this because this is when fossil fuel burning machines came into existence. For example, the invention of the automobile was a great event in American history, but we now can see the downsides to it. As the engine in a car burns petroleum, CO and NON are created and released from the exhaust. These are two of the main greenhouse gases, and it is easy to See why when you look at the billions Of icicles polluting our atmosphere everyday. Westbrook) This is a simple explanation of global warming. In short, with an increase of pollution we see an increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. When there are more of these pollutants in the atmosphere than there should be, average global temperature goes up and we get global warming, or global climate change. (Strickland and Graininess) Now that you know how global warming works, you should be able to clearly see that humans are the ones causing this global crisis.
However, some people do not see it as a crisis. There are some people that say that global climate change is a natural process, and that the earth regularly goes through climate change cycles. This is true, however not to the extent that it is occurring at today. (Wight) This all began to happen with the Industrial Revolution. Here is a simple way to look at it: with the industrial revolution, more fossil fuel burning machines were brought into existence, and more co absorbing/ oxygen producing trees were cut down and taken out of existence. Wight) We can see the impact that the industrial revolution had on global warming by comparing temperatures room hundreds or even thousands of years ago to recent average global temperatures. No, we did not have thermometers thousands of years ago, but scientists are able to predict what the climate was like a long time ago by looking at the rings of cut down trees. Each year, trees form new rings. These rings will be thicker in warmer and wetter years, and thinner in colder and dryer years. There are others ways to study the climate even further back, as there are not many trees left on earth from hundreds or thousands of years ago.
Sediment on the bottom of very deep lakes and oceans can also tell us a to about what the climate was like many years back. Perhaps more importantly, we also have ways to look at what the composition of the air in the atmosphere was like thousands of years ago. Scientists are able to do this by drilling long cores of ice in the earth’s polar ice sheets. The bubbles frozen into this ice show us that the concentration of gases such as CO in the earth’s atmosphere were significantly lower thousands of years ago, and spiked upward dramatically with the industrial revolution. National Geographic) Although all of this information may seem like enough to prove hat global warming is definitely happening and being caused by human activity, there are still many people in the world that disagree. To prove that I am correct on this matter, I believe that it is necessary to bring up some of these contradictory opinions and explain why they are false. There are many reasons why one goes against the idea that climate change is occurring today because of humans. One of the main reasons is a person’s religion.
For example, Christianity teaches that the end of mankind will be brought on by Rapture and seven years of a struggle for power between good and evil. Bible) In the Bible, Matthew 24: 36 it says, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angles in heaven, nor the son, but only the Father,” in regards to when mankind will be put to an end. Some people Of this religion believe that this means that global warming will not be able to end mankind, because only God will be able to do that. However, believe that these skeptics can believe both global warming and their religion.
Christians know that mankind goes through struggles. War, disease, genocide, and many other things of the like can be found in the Bible. If these skeptic Christians kook at global warming as another one of these global struggles that we must overcome, I believe that it can fit in with their religion. Another way that a Christian could look at it would be to view global warming as a part of the apocalypse, like a coinciding catastrophic event that will accompany the end times when the Rapture occurs. This is not a very reassuring thought, but it is one way that global warming could fit it with some religions.
Religion is not the only basis of doubt for climate change nonbelievers. There are many others that are skeptic of global warming for other reasons: they may believe t is a hoax, they may think that the science behind it is wrong they could see it as a government conspiracy to make money, etc. (Singer) If the scientifically proven harmful effects that we have seen on our environment cannot change the minds of these skeptics, maybe the effects we see on ourselves will. You may be thinking that you have never noticed the effects of global warming harming your own health. However, there are many people out there that can say quite the opposite.
We are beginning to see the effects of climate change on people as well as on the environment. For example, over the past few ears, hospitals have been beginning to see more cases of respiratory illnesses, mainly in sensitive groups such as younger children and elderly people. This is partly because Of the increased amount of toxins in the air due to pollution, and partly because of hotter summer days attributed to global warming. Some studies even suggest that with every one-degree temperature increase caused by global warming, there is a four percent increase in hospitalizing related to asthma and respiratory related illnesses. Blanchard) This means that our children, grandchildren, and so on will have better chance of being born with a respiratory disease, as these diseases are usually hereditary. I for one do not want to see my children being born with complications just because my generation was unable to stop polluting. After looking at all of the facts, it is easy to see that global warming is being caused by human activity. Go to a crowded city on a busy day and take a look around. That isn’t fog in the air; its haze caused by pollution from cars, power plants, smoke, and countless other types of human activity. Environmental Defense Fund) Take a deep breath and you can smell the pollution in the air, oh can almost taste it. The earth has not always been like that. If you stood in Brooklyn, NY over a hundred years ago you would not see what you see today. It would probably still be a dirty area, but for different reasons. The pollution back then was also caused by humans, but in different, less harmful ways. People may have dumped their sewage and trash into the streets back then, but at least they weren’t pumping tons Of deadly chemicals into the air from cars and power plants.
You may have wanted to hold your breath because of the smell, but it would not be because of the chemical taste that oh get in the air of most cities today. The water in the East River back then would still have been dirty, but it at least would not be acidified like it is today from acid rain caused by coal-fired power plants. (Environmental Defense Fund) No matter who you are, whether it is a religious person not fazed by global warming or a skeptic scientist, you cannot ignore the facts that are right in front of your face. The effects of human activity are clear to see in our environment.
If you have ever been to an area that has not been affected by human pollution, you will be able to tell the difference. It will be extremely Lear to you that each and every day, humans are pouring tons of harmful gases into the atmosphere. Whether it be by vehicle, burning, littering, being wasteful, or any other damaging behavior to the environment, we are all contributing to global warming more and more every day. (Science Daily) Action is being taken all around the world to slow the global warming process, and it is having a positive effect in some areas.