Our only home is the earth. “And that’s what is at stake, our ability to live on planet earth, to have a future as a civilization. I believe this is a moral issue, it is your time to cease this issue, and it is our time to rise again to secure our future,” said former Vice-President Al Gore. Al Gore made a speech about global warming and said how to keep it healthy. The earth can be kept healthy and exist longer without global warming. Global warming is becoming a popular topic around the world. “Global Warming and the Greenhouse Effect” discusses what global warming is.
This is how global warming is caused. Energy travels from the sun to the earth to heat it. The earth then radiates energy back into space. If the planet radiates energy back into space at the same rate it receives energy, its temperature stays the same (“Global Warming” 1). However, many gases, called greenhouse gases, are being put into the air. The increased amount of greenhouse gasses contributes to global warming (1). Greenhouse gases absorb some of the outgoing energy and send it back to earth (1).
If the greenhouse gases send back energy for long amounts of time, the earth heats up, thus making the earth warm up. The earth is not healthy when it keeps heating up, making a problem. Global warming is a problem. Many human activities are sending high amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere (Global Warming 1). Driving a car means that carbon monoxide – a greenhouse gas – is being emitted into the air. Another problem is that the trees in rainforests are being cut down (Shnayerson 7). Trees take in carbon dioxide. With fewer trees there is more carbon dioxide in the air.
The earth is increasing rapidly in temperature (1). This is what global warming is, the heating of the earth. The increasing temperature has several effects on the earth and it inhabitants. Global warming has an impact on the world, especially wildlife. The Bush administration recommended listing the polar bear as threatened due to global warming (Burnett 1). If the habitat of polar bears is ice and ice is melting due to global warming, then polar bears have little places to live. The polar ice caps may melt in 50 years causing polar bears to drown in Arctic waters (1).
If the polar bears don’t drown, they could die of starvation because their prey will not have a habitat either. Land plants and oceans can only absorb half of the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (“Global Warming” 2). If plants and oceans can only absorb half of the greenhouse gases, it will not be enough to stop the polar ice caps from melting. People can help the plants and oceans slow down global warming by doing things themselves. There are ways to help stop global warming. Restriction on energy may occur in the U. S. (Burnett 2). We may not emit more greenhouse gases if this happens.
A major report says, “Cleaner ways of generating electricity from coal can help curb global warming by mid century” (Zwaniecki 1). Coal is used to generate electricity, but it emits too many greenhouse gases. Nuclear power and renewable resources are starting to replace the use of coal (1). Things such as water could be used to generate electricity. However, some people will not do anything about it, but only because there is a reason why. Some people don’t believe in global warming. Myron Ebell – the director of energy and global warming policy at Competitive Enterprise Institute – is one of those people.
Ebell says, “If carbon dioxide levels have indeed gone up one third in the past one hundred years… why haven’t we seen a commensurate rise in temperature? ” (Shnayerson 3). Ebell wonders why the carbon dioxide levels have gone up one third, but the temperature hasn’t gone up the same amount. Reports have said that the oceans are heating up. “It seems to me,” Ebell says, “that the atmosphere would have to warm up significantly above the previous level before that radiation could actually heat the ocean” (4). He is saying that because oceans are so vast, that the air must be heated an extremely lot more to heat them.
The U. S. wants to curb global warming. But, another report says In the near future, U. S. utilities are planning to build another 150 coal power plants (Zwaniecki 2). Building these power plants will not help curb global warming. Global warming is causing to be less healthy which also makes it not exist as long as it should. Some solutions that may help stop global warming are to carpool or use a hybrid car. Another solution is to recycle or properly dispose of garbage. Global warming is a problem that needs to be dealt with.