High School High School Society and the World High School Space and Planetary Sciences

This is Your Last Warning – Global Warming

On global warming and why we should care.

Global_Warming_Predictions_Map.jpg

The truth hurts: we are on a fast track to die.

The way we have treated our Mother Earth has been malicious and rude, and she cannot tolerate our treatment anymore. The ice caps on the North and South Poles are melting at alarming rates. The average temperature has increased 2 degrees Celsius since the 1900s began. Record highs have been recorded in recent years.

Yet, people still deny that what we are doing is causing global warming. They think that it is “natural” for the Earth to act this way. Two degrees Celsius doesn’t sound that much to them; they do not understand the significance. These people are after the money more than they are the well-being of the Earth. By this point in time, we have to change our ways or accept our demise.

There are three sides to every story; the victim, the offender, and the truth. In this case, you can see the normal working-class citizens as the victims and the big name company owners as the offenders. According to Pew Research Center, 51% of people worldwide think that global warming is a serious problem affecting us today, with 28% having a similar opinion that the changes will occur within the next few years. (1) When it comes to experts, who have actively studied global warming, there is almost a conclusive agreement that it is happening. 97% completely believe that it is actively happening, and caused by fault of us humans, not natural change. (2)

The controversy on fossil fuel combustion for energy isn’t brand new, either. In fact, in 1896, a Swedish scientist by the name of Svante Arrhenius saw the potential harm of adding CO₂ to the atmosphere from the get-go. He found that the natural greenhouse effect, where water vapor in the atmosphere absorbed the carbon dioxide, gave the Earth its current temperature based on the amount of that compound. (3) There can be a potential raising of the Earth’s temperature by 5°C, according to his calculations, if we began to commercially burn fossil fuels. But his research was forgotten, as people believed that the ocean absorbed what the atmosphere cannot. (4)

Years later, the average temperature of the Earth began to rise and people opened their eyes to global warming. It was the 1980’s when the movement to save the Earth began, with several environmental NGOs (non-governmental organizations) drawing the press’ attention to the problem. An international scientific effort began through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, bringing together scientists from various fields of study to collaborate on climate change reports. It was found that Arrhenius’ calculations were way overestimated, but were still correct in saying that there was a warming trend. Since the Industrial Age began in the 1910s, the mean temperature of the Earth has increased by .8°C. With this trend continuing the way it is now, there will be a 2°C increase by the next century.

Critics have plenty of arguments against this. For an example, Climate Central claims that all of the extra carbon dioxide actually helps plant growth. (5) Another point they make is that the ice sheets have grown, not shrunk. (6) They say that the temperature change is natural, as the Earth has a cyclic warming and cooling trend. The Sun is also exerting more heat, which clearly is going to increase the average temperature. Plus, if there are so many people who think that our energy use is killing the Earth, why don’t they stop using electricity and driving cars? (7)

Keeping in mind that these deniers are the same people who think Bush did 9/11, the extra carbon dioxide is too much for plants on their own to absorb. While it is going to help them grow larger, there won’t be a large enough quantity of flora to take up all of our industrial CO₂. (8) The increase in temperature is also causing record droughts throughout the Western US, contradicting the benefit of carbon dioxide on the plants. There have been 419 recorded droughts since 1980, killing half a million people and affecting over a billion. To say that the ice caps are growing is a huge mistake. They may be growing in the surface area, but by volume, not so much. The added area is thinner, more brittle ice, formed by chunks of the larger glaciers falling off into the sea. The naysayers’ arguments are easily put to shame just by putting a few ounces of thought into it.

Beyond a doubt, the Earth is suffering from the effects of global warming. I do agree with the critics that more can be done to prevent this disaster, as our current behavior contradicts what we say. But many of us who see that global warming is taking place are also persuaded that there is no way to turn the tide for the better. If we could persuade the masses that we can fix this, we could stop the match from burning down the house. A pot of water with low flame will eventually boil, unless you turn the gas off. So let’s turn the gas off, remove the lid, and let the water cool down before it boils over. Give our grandkids a chance to live happily, not in fear of how they will live out the century. The time is now for change, will you act on it?


References & Footnotes:

1:  Pew Research Center. What the World Thinks About Climate Change in Seven Charts. 18 April 2016.

2: Union of Concerned Scientists. Scientists Agree: Global Warming is Happening and Humans are the Primary Cause. 9 January 2018.

3: For more information on the Greenhouse Effect, go here.

4: Lenntech. History of the Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming.

5: Climate Central. Study Finds Plant Growth Surges as CO2 Level Rises. 9 June 2013.

6: The Guardian. Why is Antarctic sea ice at record levels despite global warming? 14 October 2014.

7: For more counter arguments, check this out: The Global Warming Hoax, Paris Climate Accord and NWO Global Governance. Lewrockwell.com

8: University of Minnesota. Satellite observations show global plant growth is not keeping up with CO2 emissions. 7 December 2015.

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