The meaning of global warming is quite literal; it is the real rise in general temperatures of the globe. Based on the trends that are now visible in the world climate, drastic changes with negative implications have been witnessed. In fact, it is easy to understand the meaning of global warming when it is defined as a general increase in the temperatures of the earth.
The changes recorded in the world’s climate are mainly due to human activities. Man’s efforts to industrialize have been at the forefront in causing the undesirable changes on the climate. In fact, the negative implications of these activities have resulted in most of the effects associated with the global warming trends as seen in the world today. People are mainly looking at the issue of global warming with varied opinions. Scholars from various quarters have developed their theories about the topic. In consideration of the different cause and effects trends, the problem of global warming can be solved if all nations devote their efforts and resources wholly.
Different viewpoints and conceptions exist on the subject of global warming. Gore (1992) and Maslin (2007) recognize that global warming is not meant for a particular country; it affects every nation. All people experience the negative impacts of global warming. This is in fact one of the reasons that has led to the widespread debates concerning the issue. Nevertheless, for the world to be freed from global warming it is imperative that governments and other bodies combine efforts towards some useful activities such as creation of awareness and development of appropriate measures for control (Gore, 1992). Over the years, several changes have been experienced with regard to global warming.
Due to the widespread discussion and debate about the subject of global warming, people have tended to dismiss it. Different personalities have been in the front line towards addressing the issue of global warming. There are those who have tried to write materials that are seen useful for the understanding of the people about the issue of global warming. For instance, Gore (1992) has written useful material that relates to the topic of global warming. He explains the degradation of beaches as being a consequence of global warming. This has had far-reaching effects on marine life with some of the species being on the verge of extinction. The effects of global warming have also led to the diminishing of the polar region (Gore, 1992). The polar region plays a significant role in the global climate system. When the hot Himalayas winds pass over the region, they gather moisture and become humid resulting in rainfall in the adjacent regions. Furthermore, the world’s greatest rivers have their source in the polar region.
Evidently, the degradation of the polar region will have devastating effects on the world’s eco system. The decline in the number of polar bears is attributed to the melting of ice glaciers as this affects their life pattern. Winter is shortened and therefore the polar bears find themselves being forced out of hibernation earlier than usual. They are then forced to swim over long distances before reaching drying land due to the melting of ice. This is a long and dangerous journey whose chances of survival are marginal.
The developed nations constitute the main contributors to the process of global warming as they engage in massive industrialization in order to sustain their consumer driven economies. Nevertheless, the effects of this phenomenon are hard felt by developing nations, which are increasingly faced by prolonged drought leading to food insecurity. Currently, nearly half of the population in Sub Saharan Africa is faced with starvation where people are surviving on wild fruits. Their lands are very fertile but they lack water to sustain agricultural activities. Surrounding rivers and streams have dried up and the weather patterns are no longer predictable; there are uninterrupted periods of drought followed by heavy rainfall referred to as El Nino.
In spite of the threat posed by their activities, developed nations are not doing enough to mitigate the effects of global warming. The United States, which leads the pack as the leading emitter of green house gases, is yet to ratify the Kyoto protocol, which has been imposed on the developing nations. The main argument behind their adamancy is that the protocol, as it is, will lead to a significant decline in its industrial activities thereby giving other developed nations an edge over it economically. This is, indeed, a self-serving argument aimed at individual preservation at the expense of the entire universe. As Gore (1992) observes, half of America’s waters are already polluted as a result of industrial activities.
The need for world leaders to come up with an amicable solution as related to global warming cannot be overemphasized. This is long overdue and the more they procrastinate this very crucial matter, the more the world is exposed to the threat of total destruction. The survival of future generation may as well be a myth. It is upon the current generation to hand them a lifeline just as the preceding generations have done. The subject of global warming and climate change must therefore be accorded urgent and uttermost attention for this and other key factors (Gore, 1992).
To begin with, the developed nations must work towards reducing their carbon emissions to those stipulated by the Kyoto Protocol and other environmental treaties drafted by international organizations. In this regard, one of the most innovative concepts developed in a bid to stem global warming and the resulting climate change is that of carbon trading. Under this program, countries that are successful in regulating their carbon emissions are awarded carbon credits, which can be sold, to other nations that fail to do so.
In order to achieve this goal, the developed nations’ main focus should be on their manufacturing sectors whose practices are blamed for the change in climate patterns. Most of the carbon emissions come from industries as they engage in various manufacturing activities. Industries are being forced to adapt what are referred to as green strategies fronted by the architects of the green campaign. This is where corporations are commended based on their ability to enforce environmentally friendly practices, which is reflected in the products. For instance, German vehicle manufacturer, Daimler Chrysler, which makes the Mercedes Benz limousines, has received various accolades at the international motor show for their efforts in developing environmentally friendly vehicles.
Fighting the effects of climate change is a collaborative effort, which should be undertaken by the respective governments and the citizenry. It is the obligation of the governments through their various institutions to create awareness on the importance of environmental conservation among the members of public. In addition, Maslin, (2007) believes that national governments bear the greatest responsibility in promoting environmentally friendly practices among their populations. In this regard, they should be at the forefront in developing programs aimed at enhancing environmentally safe waste management practices. A good example of this is the categorization of waste at the point of disposal to make recycling easier. People should also store plastic bags that are to be used every time they go for shopping instead of getting new ones from the grocery shop after they make their purchases.
Based on the above discussions on the negative effects of global warming, it is clear that if no action is taken, restoring the global eco system will be a monumental task. Global warming is not a single country’s challenge; rather it is an issue affecting the world in its entirety. America produces more waste than other nations yet the impacts are experienced even in those nations that have almost zero percent waste emission (Gore, 1992). Proper enforcement of international environmental policies by all the stakeholders will go along way in addressing the issue of global warming. This may only be realized through in-depth understanding of the causes and implications of climate by all people irrespective of their race, creed, age and social status. Simply put, all nations have a role to play in the fight against global warming and climate change.
Solutions which will lead to the reverse of global warming are many. Nonetheless, it is evident that majority of people from the entire world are not aware of global warming and its effects. With this in mind, it is fundamental that governments and other world wide institutions find ways of creating awareness and educating the public on global warming, its effects and its solutions. No problem can be solved without first knowing its underlying causes. It will be quite easy to reverse global warming effects when all people are aware of their roles in resolving global warming. Furthermore, this will also create urgency among people which will lead to more fruitful initiatives.
As noted earlier, reversing global warming should be a collaborative venture. This means that as much as industries are mandated to affect such strategies, individuals are also expected to do so. In fact, it is from their homes that individuals can start taking steps to prevent global warming. Recycling is an initiative which should be introduced and conducted in homes. It involves the reuse of materials such as plastic bags, glass jars, polythene papers, and metal scraps among others. Recycling of such materials reduces the possibilities of these pollutants being disposed off in dumpsites and landfills. There are enormous landfills which only serve to occupy valuable pieces of land which could instead be filled with trees and other sorts of vegetation (Langholz & Turner, 2008). There is need for planting more trees in order to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. This can only be made possible when more room for vegetation is created. Recycling also helps in reversing global warming in that water and forests are conserved when this process is utilized. It is vital to understand that less amounts of energy are used during recycling as opposed to the creation of new products from fresh raw materials.
The issue of recycling brings to light the need for people to find different ways of conserving energy. Energy conservation can be easily implemented. All it takes is for individuals to discard energy wasting habits and for them to cultivate energy conserving habits. Such habits include the simple act of switching off lights when they are not in use. More energy is consumed when lights are left on. This only contributes to an increase in the amount of gases being emitted into the atmosphere. Other household initiatives include investing in more efficient heating and cooling appliances. Majority of heating appliances do not use up gases efficiently. Those gases which are unused end up being released into the atmosphere. It is therefore important to take precautionary measures which will help maximize on efficiency. In some instances, individuals should ensure that unused rooms are completely sealed so as to conserve the heat in them. This will make it unnecessary for them to use any heating appliances. Cleaning up filters, furnaces and boilers will also increase the efficiency of such appliances (Gore, 1992).
Most people have to use any form of transport at one time or the other. These forms of transport especially vehicles mainly rely on fossil fuels as their source of energy. Thus, they end up polluting the air with carbon dioxide which eventually depletes the ozone layer. As a way of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere individuals should consider leaving their vehicles at home and using other means of transport. If not possible then they should reduce the amount of time that they use their vehicles. For instance, carpooling can do the environment good because it would cut back the number of vehicles releasing green house gases. Individuals can also walk, cycle or use other forms of transport in order to shun unnecessary use of vehicles.
Green building programs and policies should also be formulated in order to provide efficient buildings. Buildings emit green house gases; consume high energy and water levels, and also alter the atmosphere. So, with the implementation of such policies this would be prevented. Green building not only leads to reduced consumption of energy but also to the prevention of global warming. This is mainly because it promotes the use of recyclable building materials which reduces the amounts of waste and scrap materials being dumped in land fills. Green building also promotes the planting of trees and the revival of degraded and destroyed forests. When construction materials like wood are gotten from forests, individuals are mandated to replace them with even more trees. Green buildings also promote roof top vegetation. This can be effective in reducing the effects of global warming in urban centers where air pollution by green house gases is rampant.
Factories and manufacturing industries have been noted to release air pollutants like smokes at rapidly high rates. Most of these smokes are comprised of carbon dioxide produced from the burning of fossil fuels. In order to prohibit such industries from exposing the atmosphere to such gases, governments should provide policies guiding such industries on how to dispose off these gases. They should also be enlightened on the recycling of scrap materials which often find their way to dumpsites and water holding systems. Another solution which could benefit the campaign against global warming would be the use of alternative fuels (Bright Hub, 2009). Fuels which are more efficient and are either completely clean or release less amounts of green house gases should replace fossil fuels.
The use of solar energy is the most appealing alternative form of energy. It is cheap, readily available and completely clean. Solar energy is generated from the sun and does not emit any harmful gases into the atmosphere. Thus, if widely used this form of fuel could reduce air pollution which would then reverse global warming and its adverse effects. In the future, there are promises of new technology which would necessitate the production of clean and environment friendly coal (Lee, 1996). With the production of clean coal, power plants can also utilize and recycle the waste gases produced in the process. This would then limit the levels of air pollution. On the other hand, if all vehicles were to run on such energy saving and clean fuels the problem of global warming would automatically cease to plague the world.
From the discussion, it is quite clear that the problem of global warming has been caused by people and their environmental degrading activities. Such factors leading to global warming are the use of fossil fuels, the dumping of waste materials in landfills, the destruction of forests and vegetation among other causes. High levels of energy consumption have been the prime factors which have fuelled this problem. Therefore, solutions should be geared towards energy conservation formulas.
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Collaborative efforts geared at reversing the effects of global warming are emphasized in the discussion. Even with governments being mandated to formulate global warming solutions, it is imperative that individuals also define their own ways of doing the same. Solutions range from minor steps like using energy efficient appliances, avoiding energy wastage by turning off lights, adapting green building policies, reducing the use of vehicles and finally the use of alternative fuels. All these measures are quite plausible. However, it is also vital that all people are made aware of the issue of global warming and its effects. This will make the implementation of solutions easier and effective.