Humans Are To Blame For Global Warming Kevin Odhiambo Ogwa Lake Michigan College Abstract Every human activity has a particular effect on objects surrounding his or her environment, be it physical, mental, or social. But notably, the most evident might be the effect of human activity on global warming. Global warming is quickly becoming a major topic of concern worldwide, and has been stirring up controversy everywhere with its adverse effects seen all over the world.
It causes rise of the temperature, leading to – among other things – melting of the polar ice and glaciers, increase in sea level, and extreme weather events. Its effects can also be felt in the form of natural disasters like drought, floods, and tornadoes. Of recent, we have experienced very devastating natural disasters like the Tsunami that affected many parts of Asia in 2005, Hurricane Katrina, numerous tornadoes in the United States, and the recent earthquakes in Haiti and Japan. All these are due to effects of global warming.
Research evidence by scientists and opinions polls conducted by credible pollsters indicate that the major causes of climate change are human activities and this paper tries to evaluate the impact of human activities on global warming and how climate change has in turn affected the very same humans whose activities cause global warming. Humans Are To Blame For Global Warming Our world has gone through several climate changes in its lifetime. Over the years, the earth has been gradually getting warmer due to pollution and there is little doubt that human activities are to blame.
Humans, however, have been slow to take the necessary actions to prevent this trend from getting any worse. Now, we are under siege of a very disastrous monster: Global Warming. If we continue going on with our lives oblivious of the consequences of our actions, we will face drastic and devastating losses in terms of the environmental degradation. And in this case, with food being inadequate, there not being enough fresh air, the environment being destroyed through constant floods and drought in some instances, it will be ifficult if not impossible to cope in this world. Human activities such as greenhouse gas mitigation, emission of chemicals into air by industries, and deforestation are the major causes of global climate change. One of the biggest issues facing us right now is global warming. Global warming is when the earth’s average temperature increases as a result of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, water vapor, nitrous oxide, and methane) trapping heat and light from the sun in the earth’s atmosphere.
The effects of global warming on human, animals, and on agriculture are indeed frightening. Most parts of the world have experienced devastating climatic changes in recent times; the recent earthquakes in Japan, the numerous hurricanes all over America and periodic floods and drought in Africa are examples of the effects of climate change. Despite all these adverse effects, the human race still destroy the environment with contempt by cutting trees and releasing poisonous gases to the environment which can cause a very huge magnitude of harm to the people.
As much as there is so much furor and accusations about the human race being the main cause for global warming, many people have attributed effects of global warming like tornadoes and hurricanes to forces of nature beyond human control. Many people claim that deforestation is mainly caused by forest fires and though logging of forest trees is rampant in places like Africa, the rate of deforestation in the United State is higher due to forest fire, thereby exempting humans from blame as they cannot control the fires caused by natural heat.
Also, global warming effects experienced in the north and south poles are due to carbon accumulated in carbon cycle for thousands of years and hence humans are not to blame. Some environmental scientists claim that climate is affected by numerous factors including latitude, elevation, and proximity to ocean, and is periodically disrupted by such anomalies as El Nino. (Woodard, 2007, p. 40). Based on these facts, the proponents of this line of thought argue that forces of nature are the major causes of climate change and not human activities as reiterated by most environmentalists and scientists.
Carbon dioxide caused by the burning of fossil fuels is responsible for global warming. The carbon dioxide gas cause global warming by preventing heat from being reflected back to the atmosphere and this leads to excessive heat retention hence global warming. The carbon dioxide is emitted through a process called greenhouse gas mitigation: The scientific consensus on global warming is sobering: Its real, it’s happening now and carbon dioxide emissions caused by the burning of fossil fuels are almost certainly responsible.
Predicting what the exact effects will be on humanity and the planet’s living resources is trickier, but a growing body of evidence suggests they will be profound…, and most wealthy industrial nations have adopted mandatory limits on carbon emissions under the 2005 Kyoto Protocol. (Woodard, 2007, p. 27). “Greenhouse gases (GHG) occur naturally in the atmosphere… But human activity has been boosting the concentration of some of them, most notoriously the carbon dioxide (CO2), which is released by burning fossil fuels… has been blamed for much of the excess retention of heat in the atmosphere that has contributed to global warming. Woodard, 2007, p. 29). Cooper, an author argues that “The action of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases on the Earth’s surface… led scientists to predict gradual warming of the atmosphere, causing flooding of heavily populated coastal regions, the spread of tropical diseases, and food shortages resulting from crop damage” (as quoted in Cooper, 2000, p. 172) Another human activity that has really contributed to environment degradation is deforestation.
Besides periodic forest fires in southern parts of America, human beings have contributed a lot to forest destruction by logging of trees to pave way for human settlement due to rise in population which has caused settlement land to be scarce hence forest encroachment. People also cut rain forest trees for use as firewood or burn them to be used as charcoal. “Humans are indirectly and indirectly responsible for the retreating forests.
Trees are cut to sell for lumber and pulp; forests are burned to create new fields and pastures,” noted Struck (1989, p. 29). Depletion of forest vegetation cover leaves the earth bare hence prone to erosion. Also forests help in attracting rain especially in water catchment areas but human beings are so stubborn that they cannot think beyond the lust of getting economic value of the trees while they can save mankind and animals from distinction when they desist from cutting down the trees: As the U.
N celebrates the international year of forest conservation, thousands of square miles of the planet’s woodland are destroyed each year to make way for sprawling suburbs, palm oils and soybean populations, cattle ranches and farms. Experts say deforestation threatens a delicate balance in which forests act as Earth’s lungs: absorbing carbon dioxide – the biggest contributor to climate change – and expelling oxygen. (Struck, 2011, p. 27) Whether for commercial benefit or not, we should not be involved in logging of trees because we would be endangering our own lives those of other organisms.
When trees are cut and forests cleared, the beautiful scenery of the forests and the animals in them are lost and what is left is a destruction that has a negative impact on the environment. Industries are very beneficial to us in terms of economy, for through factories we get products like cars, papers, and many others. But despite all these benefits, they can be destructive to us if we do not control how they emit poisonous chemicals to environment. “But coal-fired utilities and other industrial facilities to the west and south continue to emit pollutants…” (Cooper, 2000, p. 67). Some industries have taken advantage of loopholes in the law to pollute the air with chemicals while others release toxic substances into oceans, lakes, and rivers and this leads to death of fish and endanger human beings who use the water. Senator James M. Jeffords reiterated that “The nation’s dirtiest power plants have abused loopholes in federal law to dirty our air…” (Cooper, 2000, p. 167) Also cars and other equipment that produce smoke, pollutes the environment leading to accumulation in the environment hence global warming.
Although we have some natural causes of global warming, human being activities is the major and most destructive. We should strive to conserve our environment by discouraging logging of trees and encourage use of energy that is not pollutant to environment. For example, use of oil and coal should be minimized and instead we use biogas and other safe energy. Vehicles and other machinery should also be manufactured in a way that they cannot emit harmful substances to the environment.
Apart from that, world powers like United States and China should control emission of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. References Woodard, C. (2007, February 1). Curbing climate change. CQ Global Researcher, 1, 25-48. Retrieved from http://library. cqpress. com/globalresearcher/ Struck, D. (2011, January 18). Disappearing forests. CQ Global Researcher, 5, 27-52. Retrieved from http://library. cqpress. com/globalresearcher/ Cooper, M. H. (2000, March 3). Energy and the environment. CQ Researcher, 10, 161-184. Retrieved from http://library. cqpress. com/cqresearcher/