The debate about the causes of global warming has been going for an extended period, and many nations have united to solve it. The causes of global warming have been said to be caused by human beings, and scientists have done a lot of research to prove this. However, some organizations have doubted this and have blamed the expansive spread of the effects of global warming on natural systems, which are out of human control (Cunningham & Cunningham, 2008).
Despite the criticisms leveled against global warming by various individuals and institutions, it is a reality that global warming has adversely affected social, economic, political, and cultural systems in the world, and adequate measures should be taken to reduce or eliminate the effects of global warming. Human beings are the leading cause of global warming, and much blame should be placed on human activities that cause the emission of greenhouse gases.
Global warming is a reality
The debate about global warming was minimal before the 1980s, but after the great drought of 1988 happened, people started to link the drought to the climate changes, which had been caused by global warming. Much research has been done about the causes of global warming, and most findings claim that the increase in carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere might be the leading cause.
However, other gases have been said to cause global warming through a process called the greenhouse gas effect. Global warming occurs when greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere causing excess heat to accumulate on the earth’s surface. When the heat from the sun is released to the earth’s surface, it is later reflected. Greenhouse gases form a shield and restrict the reflection of the excess heat. The extra heat is retained in the atmosphere and causes the earth’s surface to overheat (Cunningham & Cunningham, 2008).
Global warming has caused the earth’s temperatures to increase, leading to many plants and animals’ death. Human activities have caused an increase in the number of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere; for example, when fossil fuels are burned, they release toxic gases. Other activities include deforestation, whereby people cut trees, reducing the number of natural gases in the atmosphere. Deforestation increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and hence causes the greenhouse effect.
Plants are known to use carbon dioxide to carry out their metabolic activities, reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. When trees are felled down in massive numbers, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases and causes the greenhouse effect. Therefore, human activities, which lead to a reduction of the number of trees on the earth’s surface, can cause a high concentration of greenhouse gases and resultantly causes global warming (Cunningham & Cunningham, 2008).
Burning fossil fuels releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere leading to the destruction of the ozone layer. The ozone layer acts as a shield against excessive heating of the sun on the earth’s surface. The demolition of the ozone layer is harmful because it causes excess heat, which leads to global warming. Fossil fuels emit toxic gases when combustion takes place, leading to the destruction of the ozone layer. The activities of burning fossil fuels have been done by humans, and they are to blame for the depletion of the ozone layer. Therefore, it can be said that global warming has been caused by human rather than natural occurrences (Timings, 2004).
The effects of greenhouse gases have been realized on earth, for example, the rising of the sea levels. This has been caused by the melting of ice that is found on the earth’s surface. Ice melts when temperatures rise, and this result from global warming. The human continues to destroy the environment, which is why there have been incidences of rising sea levels. The rise in sea levels has negative impacts such as tsunamis, submergence of the coast, and death of many plants and animals, especially after rising in water levels. It is predicted that some years to come, the drylands will be absorbed by waters. It will cost a human a lot to recover the land that has been submerged into the seas (Cunningham & Cunningham, 2008).
Precipitation patterns have changed after climate change took effect. This has caused the extinction of many plants and animal species. Also, abnormal rainfall patterns such as the El Nino have been experienced in the world due to changes in the climate. These changes are attributed to global warming, and there has been a lot of debate about controlling the activities of humans, which may cause such events. On the other hand, some areas have turned into deserts due to precipitation patterns, which creates a significant problem for agricultural activities (Easton & Easton, 2009).
Human continues to experience accidents resulting from the impacts of global warming. Mitigating these occurrences can be done by controlling the activities which harm the environment. Therefore, it can be said that human has control over what happens to him because he can alter the natural systems for his benefit. When some accidents resulting from climate change occur, human tends to blame the biological systems, but a lot of blame should be placed on the activities happening in the world.
Deadly hurricanes have been experienced in several parts of the world, and many people have been affected. For example, the Katrina hurricane killed more than 12,000 people. This event happened due to climate changes, which have been happening for an extended period. It is still susceptible that more hurricanes are expected to occur due to the increasing damage to the environment by human activities. Despite many people’s death, there has been a lot of damage caused by hurricanes (Longshore, 2008).
There have been political and public debates about the reduction of greenhouse gases as a measure of reducing global warming. The Kyoto protocol was established to stabilize the number of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. By November 2009, more than 187 states had accepted the ratification of the Kyoto protocol. The protocol is a global treaty to fight against global warming. Stabilizing the level of greenhouse gases has been found by the treaty members to be the best option for reducing global warming. The leading cause of establishing the Kyoto protocol was to reverse the climate systems affecting natural systems in the last few decades (Kyoto Protocol, 2010).
Member countries of the Kyoto protocol have promised to commit themselves to reduce greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. The members have agreed to reduce some gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride) released from the atmosphere from industries. They have also agreed to reduce other groups of gases such as hydrofluorocarbons as well as perfluorocarbons. There are limits on the amount of carbon that should be emitted by member countries. These limits restrict human activities, which may lead to the emission of greenhouse gases. The Kyoto protocol has effectively reduced the number of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (Easton & Easton, 2009).
Global warming is skepticism
The causes of global warming can be said to result from natural systems more than human-made systems. Human has been accused of causing weather changes due to his activities, but this is not correct. The atmosphere is a complex system, and humans have little effect on the changes that occur in the atmosphere. The use of carbon footprint as a tool to control how the planet responds to humans is not a complete method of regulating global warming.
Maintaining the amount of carbon in the atmosphere is not a full answer to the changes in weather and climate taking place on earth. Regulating the amount of carbon in the atmosphere has little or no effect in reducing the damage caused by weather changes. Controlling the weather or climate is impossible, and humans must accept some natural phenomena out of his control (Sattenspiel, 2009).
Other planets are experiencing warming, and earth is not exceptional. Since different planets are not inhabited by humans, the warming being experienced in these planets cannot be attributed to human but natural systems. Global warming is, therefore, a natural occurrence that is out of control by a human. According to Sattenspiel (2009), “The polling of U.S. voters found that 44% of respondents think that long-term planetary trends—not anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions—are causing the planet to warm, while only 41% blame climate change on human activity” (para. 3).
Most of the information about global causes is drawn from the public domain rather than scientific evidence. Most people in the public domain are misinformed about the causes of climate and weather changes, and they tend to blame it all on humans’ activities. Nature has its own way of regulating all systems, and in most cases, human has little or nothing to do with the causes of natural happenings (Sattenspiel, 2009).
The causes of global warming have been said to emanate from industrial activities. Industries release gases that are harmful and damage the ozone layer, leading to excessive heating. Industrial activities have been claimed to cause a lot of damage to the environment, resulting in climate change. However, climate change instances that may be linked to global warming were experienced before the industrial era.
The scientific finding that greenhouse gas emissions have been the leading cause of global warming is therefore dismissed. During the pre-industrial period, few activities caused the emission of harmful gases, and therefore, greenhouse gases cannot be said to cause global warming during those days. Human has been discovering new things, but some findings may not hold, primarily where natural happenings cannot be explained by mere scientific research (Easton & Easton, 2009).
Global warming has been used as a political tool by various individuals. Global warming has been made to appear like a giant monster that should be handled with a lot of care. This has been a political game to climb the political ladder by some individuals. Global warming is a simple thing that can be dealt with by individual countries without politicizing it. Some countries failed to sign the Kyoto protocol because it is believed to promote the political career of some people in some countries.
Also, not all countries in the world have joined the protocol. Therefore, control measures imposed on member countries are discriminative and cannot effectively reduce the number of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere because not all countries have accepted the conditions set by the Kyoto protocol. Convincing other non-member countries is problematic because this reduces the level of industrial production (Cunningham & Cunningham, 2008).
Governments have spent a lot of money funding the fight against global warming. The funds have been misused by skeptic groups to promote their political careers rather than expense them in finding a solution to global warming. The funds used to fight global warming can be used to solve other economic problems. Some advocacy organizations have sprouted, and they intend to use the money collected from governments for their own use. Big companies have been forced to contribute portions of their profits towards the campaign against global warming. It becomes discouraging when these funds are misused or allocated to activities that do not bear fruits.
Companies like Exxon Mobil doubt whether the funds they contribute are used in the fight against global warming. There are many doubts about whether the organizations conduct research about global warming or whether they review research done in the past by other researchers. All these doubts make many companies fear spending their capital in the fight against disasters that are natural and which are out of control by a human (Union of Concerned Scientists (2007).
Despite the criticisms leveled against global warming by various individuals and institutions, it is a reality that global warming has adversely affected social, economic, political, and cultural systems in the world. As such, adequate measures should be taken to reduce or eliminate the effects of global warming. Human beings are the leading cause of global warming, and much blame should be placed on the activities of humans, which causes the emission of greenhouse gases. Scientific evidence provides enough prove that greenhouse gases are the causes of global warming, and governments should impose measures to reduce the number of gases released into the atmosphere.
Global warming has resulted from human activities, and there is a need to have measures on the number of fossil fuels being used and reduce the rate of deforestation. Even though some people and organizations have argued that global warming has resulted from natural happenings and that human has no control over it, enough evidence shows that humanity has a significant influence on the climate conditions being experienced today. Therefore, a human should continue protecting the environment to avoid any instances of global warming in the future. Protecting the environment is essential, and man should take all the possible measures to prevent activities that may harm it.
Cunningham, W. P. and Cunningham, M. A. (2008). Principles of environmental science inquiry and applications. McGraw-Hill College. ISBN 0077270649, 9780077270643.
Easton, T. A. & Easton, T. (2009). Taking sides: clashing views on environmental issues, expanded. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0073514454, 9780073514451.
Kyoto Protocol (2010). A brief summary. Web.
Longshore, D. (2008). Encyclopedia of hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 0816062951, 9780816062959.
Sattenspiel, B. G. (2009). As global warming skepticism grows, how to refute the myths. Web.
Timings, R. L. (2004). Basic manufacturing. Elsevier. ISBN 0750659904, 9780750659901.
Union of Concerned Scientists (2007). Scientists’ report documents ExxonMobil’s tobacco-like disinformation campaign on global warming science.Web.