Monday, July 10, 2006

Fight Global Warming (Environmental Information)

A few months ago, Environmental Defense started a 'Fight Global Warming campaign'. In my graduate studies I've been learning a lot about the potential but extremely likely effects of global warming and climate change, especially in relation to changes in the arctic. This website is great at summing up the facts and the science of the issue, and has a calculator to compute your environmental pollution impact. It also lists many great ideas on how you can reduce your impact.

One thing that really grabbed my attention on this site were the ads--they were very high impact and really push the message across, especially the one with the little girl and the train. I think many people do not realize that these problems have been in the making (slowly building up) for 200 years, and that in the near future, probably within the next 10 to 30 years, many ecological changes are going to happen. The evidence is overwhelming. Changes in the climate and several ecosystems are already occuring, and it is most likely just going to get worse.

Many people also are not aware that global warming is not a debate and that it is happening. About 50% of the media still frames global warming as a debate and not as a fact. The truth is, perhaps as little as 10 years ago, climatic and other scientists were debating about whether or not global warming was occuring, but pretty much now, nearly all scientists agree global warming is happening, but what they are now debating about are the potential effects of it. The global climate has already risen by 1 degree F in the last 100 years, and is expected to rise as much as 2.5-10.4 degrees F by 2100. This may not sound like a lot but considering the last ice age was only a difference of five to seven degrees, slight changes in the global average temperature make a huge difference!

I think that out of any environmental issue, global warming is the biggest environmental threat this planet is facing and will face in the coming years, and solutions to global warming will have to involve major changes on the part of everyone, not just a few individuals. Many skeptics point out that global warming is one of the Earth’s natural processes to keep the surface warm. While this is true (the planet would freeze without this natural process!), excess CO2 levels (from fossil fuels and deforestation) are causing a temperature increase that is occurring at a much quicker rate than in the past (over decades and not over thousands of years), and probably too rapidly for the planet and all its inhabitants to adapt to. Some predicted changes (worse case) include radical climatic shifts, habitat change, biodiversity loss, and sea level rise. Acute climatic and ecological changes may also directly affect human health, as well as established cultural, economical, and political structures around the world. Whether or not changes will be this radical, the bottom line is that the global temperature is rising, and there will be changes, though it remains to be seen how much. Ecological changes are happening/going to happen (whether from global warming or other environmental concerns), and people have to make their own changes if we are to protect and preserve this Earth for present and future generations.

Be sure to check out Environmental Defenses' site!


beXn said...

Did you see "An Inconvenient Truth?" Al Gore is so tuff!

Solarkat said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Solarkat said...

Hi Bexn!

Actually I haven't but I've been meaning to. I did see AG on Leno though (and have read some environmental articles he's written). He IS tuff!

Love you!