Global Warming as a Social Problem

Topics: Global warming, Climate change, Climate Pages: 5 (1564 words) Published: January 14, 2009
Essay: Global Warming: A Social ProblemBy Megan SmoakSOC 220Brief Summary: This essay is about global warming and its affects on society as a social problem. It includes the issues as well as possible solutions. The paper is 6 Pages, with 1 Works Cited page. The Works Cited page is not in correct MLA or APA citation.

Essay: Today's society consists of many different social problems. Social problems can range from affecting certain parts of society to affecting the world's society. Social problems are "situations affecting a significant number of people, that are believed to be sources of difficulty or threaten the stability of the community…" ( The definition of the term 'social problem' can range from a minute case to a widespread problem. A social problem can also be considered as a "social condition that a segment of society views as harmful to members of society [that is] in need of remedy." Social problems range with each individual person. Every person has a unique perspective of what is a problem and what is not. An easy way to clarify what a social problem is if there is a public outcry for a solution to it. While most commonly thought of social problems are based on discrimination and stereotypes, one specific social problem that does not fit into these standards is global warming.

Global warming is "an increase in earth's average atmospheric temperature that causes corresponding changes in climate… that may result from the greenhouse effect" ( As a social problem, global warming is a fairly large and broad topic. The greenhouse effect is an environmental condition caused by excessive quantities of carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere. These definitions are simply physical definitions. In terms of being a social problem, global warming and the greenhouse affect yields harmful effects on every community and society as a whole. This type of social problem does not choose its victim based on race, gender, sexual orientation, class, income, age, or any stereotypical category a person can be placed in. Not every person is equally affected by this, but everyone is susceptible to dealing with this problem.

The greenhouse effect is a factor in causing global warming. Global warming is caused by many factors and different kinds of pollution. The main type of pollution that affects global warming is air pollution. Air pollution is simply defined as pollution of the atmosphere, which ties in with the greenhouse effect. Air pollution can also be defined as "the addition of harmful chemicals to the atmosphere. The most serious air pollution results from the burning of fossil fuels, especially in internal-combustion engines" ( Air pollution, along with any other type of pollution are mostly caused by human's actions. The way people live today, and how they use their resources in daily life results in everyday pollution. Pollution can be considered as an "undesirable state of the natural environment being contaminated with harmful substances as a consequence of human activities" ( People may not realize this, but their actions directly affect their surroundings. Completing daily tasks such as driving a car has detrimental effects on Earth's atmosphere and pollution levels.

Global warming causes physical harm to humans, animals, and plant life. A change in the Earth's climate could be detrimental to the Earth's life. The physical harm that is inflicted on all of living life due to global warming poses as a problem: a social problem. Global warming does not choose its victim based on any type of criteria such as race, age, gender, sexual orientation, class, income, or any stereotypical category. Global warming poses as a social problem by affecting a significant number of people, and by threatening the stability of the community's environment.

Since pollution is one of the main factors in causing global warming,...
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