Those who support or deny the existence of global warming can’t help but witness the indisputable facts that our planet is warming in its entirety. Before I assess the way in which I think it can be controlled and prevented further, I believe that some background information is needed to establish the premise that global warming is real.
I’m now taking a conservation biology class at Salt Lake Community College that has highlighted the stresses that the human population has put on the earth’s ecosystems. Here are some of the hard cold facts that I’ve learned:
1. The glaciers and ice sheets that cover the arctic and antarctic are shrinking in size at a rapid rate due to the excessive burning of fossil fuels.
2. Due to the melting ice, the sea levels around the United States are estimated to rise two feet, eliminating 10,000 miles of land.
3. Deforestation of forested areas has decreased the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere. As a result the damaged ozone layer has allowed harmful rays of sunlight to penetrate the earth’s surface, decreasing overall biodiversity of ecosystems like Australia.
4. “Human-induced climate change has the potential to alter the prevalence and severity of extremes such as heat waves, cold waves, storms, floods and droughts.”
5. Because of increasing temperatures, millions of migrant birds are spending their winters farther north than 40 years ago.
(Some of the above data taken from epa.gov)
These factors paint a vivid image of the future of our planet due to over usage of the natural resources available to us. I guess what I’m saying is that global warming is not a question of if it exists, but rather the rate at which it will accelerate.
There have been many climate shifts in the millions of years that map out the earth’s history. They have been caused by meteors or other natural disasters in which the earth has been able to coup with. The difference with this climate shift is that it is mostly human induced.
The real problem considered the source of global warming can be found within the confines of what we call “the American dream.” Everyone around the world wants to live their lives to the extent that Americans live, myself included. Over-consumption and careless spending accounts for the world’s demands for the limited natural resources that the earth has to offer.
Making money orchestrates the world’s biodiversity and health – and is a mistake to which most people fail to recognize. Wants seem to always outweigh needs, thus producing a society full of individuals who let greed and material gain govern their ambitions.
Even if we did have unlimited resources here on earth, the overall, incremental change that needs to take place is in the individual, thinking and acting outward rather than constantly inward.