Edwin O. Anyimu
Ivy Tech Community College
When it comes to connecting the dots among climate change, extreme weather and health, the lines are clear. The Earth is saying something with the record heat, droughts, storms and fires. Scientist are telling us this is what global warming looks like. Crowded landfills, polluted water, and poor air quality are just a few of the environmental problems that affect both industrial and developing nations (opposing viewpoints online collection, 2013). This phenomenon, known as global warming could have serious negative impact to humans and all other living things. Global warming is a complex problem that is becoming crucial each day, which governments involved in production of mass greenhouse gases are having difficulty addressing it. Statement of Problem
Most scientists believe that the Earth’s atmosphere is getting warmer. However, the effects of global warming remain an issue of great debate and uncertainty (opposing viewpoints-The Environment, 2008). Some researchers predict dramatic and serious problems for future generation. For example, global warming effects climate patterns. Warmer oceans could result in stronger and more frequent hurricanes as temperatures climb, some regions could experience frequent heat waves and devastating droughts and wildfires (opposing viewpoint online collection, 2013). During the 1990s and the first decade of 2000s, many areas in the United States endured record-breaking heat and drought that might be related to global warming trends (Opposing viewpoints-The Environment, 2008). In 2012, severe drought that plagued the wheat belt of the United States caused natural disasters to the ban of watering plants and grass across different states due to lack of water.
If air and water temperatures rise, ice caps and glaciers will melt, causing sea levels to rise as well. As a result, many coastal areas around the world could face severe flooding. Low lying islands in the Pacific Ocean would eventually become inhabitable. Within the past century, sea levels have been rising by four to eight inches worldwide and some experts estimate a possible increase of nineteen inches by 2100 (opposing viewpoints- The Environment, 2008). Some of these effects were felt in 2012 when Super Storm Sandy hit the Eastern coast of the United States, and a typhoon in the Philippines claimed the lives of more than one thousand people and massive destruction of property and infrastructure.
Global warming could also have an impact on habitats. Some areas suited for farming will not be fertile any more to produce food for the growing habitat, leading to deserts with little vegetation. Over long run such changes would result in biodiversity on the planet (opposing viewpoints online collection, 2013). Solution #1: Use of Artificial Trees
Carbon dioxide emission will always be there, what we need to curb is the excess carbon dioxide that plants do need to grow. The idea of finding of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. One way to do this is to grow plants that absorb a lot of carbon dioxide and store it. But although we can certainly improve tree-planting, we also need land to grow food for an increasing global population, so there’s a limit to how much forestry we can fit on the planet.
One of the possible ways to do this is by the use of artificial trees. These are huge metal structures that would take up carbon dioxide gas with the use of engineered plastics (retrieved from BBC, Fake Trees to Clean the Skies, 2012). The chemicals would react with the carbon dioxide in the air to form carbonate precipitates and water. These by-products would then be piped to storage locations. Each synthetic tree could capture up to 10 tons of carbon dioxide a day, which is thousands times more than a real tree.
The trees would have special filters that absorbs carbon dioxide. When the filters have absorbed their load of CO2, they would be replaced with new filters and the old ones would be stored in empty gas and oil reservoirs, such a depleted oil wells in the North Sea (retrieved from BBC- Fake Trees to Clean the Skies, 2012). As much as using artificial trees to help curb global warming, it has some disadvantages in putting it into practice, first, they require a lot of money to finance the project unlike natural trees you will not spend a lot of money apart from buying seedlings Solution #2: Recycling
Recycling is one of the most feel-good and useful environmental practices around. The benefits go way beyond reducing piles of garbage -- recycling protects habitat and biodiversity, and saves energy, water, and resources such as trees and metal ores (Opposing Viewpoints in Context-The Environment, 2008). Recycling also cuts global warming pollution from manufacturing, landfilling and incinerating. However, recycling means a lot more than bringing your newspapers and cans to the curb. Truly successful recycling involves minimizing waste along the entire life cycle of a product, from acquiring raw materials to manufacturing, using and disposing of a product. Most environmental impacts associated with the products we buy occur before we open the package, so buying products made from recycled materials is just as important as sorting waste into the right bins. When we reduce the amount of stuff we buy in the first place, and reuse what we can, we reduce the environmental harm associated with acquiring raw materials and manufacturing
Some of the practices that will help in recycling products are; purchasing products for home and office that are made with consumer recycled content and packaged in recycled materials, reducing the environmental impacts of organic waste by composting food scraps, and by leaving short grass clippings on lawns to decompose. Last, most cities in the United States have clean drinkable water, so use tap water (filtered if u want) and refillable water bottles instead of buying bottled water(Opposing Viewpoints in Context-The Environment, 2008). Solution #3: Scientific Issues
One difficulty in addressing global warming is the fact that any action can have complicated effects on the environment. For example, it may seem that cutting down trees can only increase the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. But the true impact of logging is far more complex. Burning the debris left behind after logging produces carbon dioxide. Allowing it to decay naturally, however, releases methane, a far more powerful greenhouse gas. Simply disposing of slash can significantly reduce the impact of logging, but it can also cause problems by eliminating habitats for small animals. (Retrieved from Opposing Viewpoints in Context-The Environment, 2008). Moreover, if an area of trees is replanted immediately after logging, it can actually reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as growing trees absorb more carbon dioxide. Thus, logging in a responsible way can actually slow the process of global warming. By contrast, the clear-cutting that often occurs in tropical rain forests—clearing a massive area of trees without removing the slash—causes permanent damage. Removing the trees takes away the main source of nutrients from the land, making it impossible for vegetation to grow back. Rainfall strips the remaining nutrients from the soil, leaving it barren within a few years.
Global warming is a topic that needs to be addressed by all governments all over the world. Different parts of the world are already experiencing its effects, be it through drought, change of the climate and depletion of ozone layer, hence rising amount of hot temperatures. These are a few of the problems experienced in different parts of the world. There is a saying that says that a problem discussed is half-way solved, wealthier countries like the United States, China, Russia have added huge amounts of gases to the atmosphere. By some measurements, the United States produces about 20 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases. Therefore, many people believe that industrial nations should take the responsibility for reducing emissions of gases.
* Global Warming. “Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection (last visit 7/9/2013)
* Kim Masters Evans, 2008. Opposing viewpoints In Context. The Environment .7/9/2013
* “Fake Trees to Clean the Skies,” last visit 7/9/2013. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20121004-fake trees-to-clean-the-skies