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Business Ethics

Business Ethics

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Published by: citypta on Sep 21, 2009
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Planet Earth in Imminent Danger
 
Serious Threat From 'Global Warming'Two centuries have passed since the start of the Industrial Revolution and the human population hasincreased six-fold and economic activity an estimated fifty-fold. The sheer number of people on theplanet andthe intensity of economic activity are having profound effects on the long-term globalclimate, threatening to disrupt vast biological, geochemical, and social systems in future decades.This is a FACT.
 
Carbon dioxide levels today are nearly 30% more than they were prior to the industrialrevolution. What is truly unprecedented about current carbon dioxide levels is the speed inwhich they have risen. In the millions of years of known geological history, the Earth has neverexperienced such a rapid rise. There is no doubt that we have caused this change to the atmospherefrom burning fossil fuels.
 
And the planet
is
getting hotter. Although local temperatures do fluctuate naturally,the average global temperature over the past 50 years has increased at the fastest rate in recordedhistory. And experts think the trend is accelerating: the three hottest years on record have alloccurred since 1998. Scientists say that unless we curb global warming emissions, averagetemperatures could be 3 to 9 degrees higher by the end of the century.
 
Global warming is already causing damage.
In 2003, extreme heat waves caused more than20,000 deaths in Europe and more than 1,500 deaths in India. And in what scientists regard asan alarming sign of events to come, the area of the Arctic's perennial polar ice cap is decliningat the rate of 9% every decade.
 
In the U.S.A. in 2002, Colorado, Arizona and Oregon endured their worst wildfire seasonsever. In the same year drought created severe dust storms in Montana, Colorado and Kansas,and floods caused extensive damage in Texas, Montana and North Dakota. Since theearly 1950s snow accumulation has declined 60% and winter seasons have shortened insome areas of the Cascade Range in Oregon and Washington."An increasing body of observations gives a collective picture of a warming world and otherchanges in the climate system." - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2001What causes global warming? Carbon dioxide and other air pollution that is collecting in theatmosphere like a thickening blanket, trapping the sun's heat and causing the planet to warm up.Aeroplanes - primarily U.S. planes burning high-octane oil - are the largest source of pollution.Coal-burning power-plants are the second largest source of carbon dioxide pollution - theyproduce 2.5 billion tons every year. Cars, the third largest source, create nearly 1.5 billion tons of Co2 annually.
 
Manifestations of global warming include
 
Heat waves and periods of unusually warm weather. Severe droughts causingdramatic water shortages.
 
Arctic and Antarctic warming, melting glaciers, raising the sea-level and causing coastalflooding. Many areas, and some entire countries, will disappear underwater.
 
Massive tidal waves like the tsunami of Boxing Day 2004 which devastated areasaround the Indian Ocean causing the loss of over150,000 lives.
 
Incidence of many diseases will surge as the earth’s atmosphere heats up.
 
Forests, farms and cities will face troublesome new pests and more mosquito-borne diseases.
 
Disruption of habitats such as coral reefs and alpine meadows could drive manyplant and animal species to extinction, with knock-on ecosystem effects.Some of the ways that Earth may respond to global warming could be gradual, others couldbe rapid. By continuing to add 'greenhouse gases' to the air, we may be surprised by somenasty changes.
 
And as the Arctic warms, huge amounts of methane now frozen under the ocean and landcould escape into the air. Methane is a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphereand these added emissions could cause the Earth to warm even faster than expected. Parts of the Antarctic ice sheet rest precariously on the sea floor and, as the sea warms, the ice could becomedestabilised, break up, and melt. Sea level would rise even faster thancurrently predicted.
 
Warmer water temperatures will lead to changes in the course of major oceancurrents. Their paths determine the distribution of ocean temperatures and nutrients that sustainmarine life. If the currents were to change direction, entire marine ecosystems couldbe disrupted.
 
Climate change is with us now. A decade ago, it was conjecture. Now the future unfoldsbefore our eyes.
 
Canada's Inuit peoples see this happening in disappearing Arctic ice and permafrost.The shantytown dwellers of Latin America and Southern Asia see it in lethal storms and floods.Europeans see it in disappearing glaciers, forest fires and fatal heat waves. Scientists see it in treerings, ancient coral and bubbles trapped in ice cores. These reveal that the world has not beenas warm as it is now for a millennium or more. The three warmest years on record have alloccurred since 1998; 19 of the warmest 20 since 1980. And Earth has probably never warmedas fast as in the past 30 years - a period when natural influences on global temperatures, such as
 
solar cycles and volcanoes should have cooled us down.
 
It is happening now
 
Today few scientists doubt the atmosphere is warming.
Most also agree that the rate of change isaccelerating and that the consequences of this temperature change could become increasinglydisruptive. Regions suitable for farming will shift. Weather patterns should also become more erratic and stormsmore severe.
 
Yet less familiar effects could be equally detrimental. Computer models predict that globalwarming, and the climate changes it induces, will expand the incidence and distribution of many serious medicaldisorders. Disturbingly, these forecasts seem to be coming true.
 
Global warming is a complex phenomenon, and its full-scale impacts are hard to predict far in advance. Buteach year scientists learn more about how global warming is affecting the planet,and most agree that direconsequences are likely to occur if current trends continue.
 
Researchers - even the recalcitrant U.S. Defence Department - have investigated the possibility of abruptclimate change, in which gradual global warming triggers a sudden shift in the earth's climate, causing parts of the world to dramatically heat up or cool down in thespan of a few years. They know that global warming couldmake large areas of the world uninhabitable and cause massive food and water shortages, sparking widespreadmigrations and war.
 
Many of global warming's effects are already being observed and felt. And the idea that such extreme changeis possible underscores the urgent need to start cutting pollution right now.
 
What country is the largest source of global warming pollution?
Without doubt the United States. ThoughAmericans make up just 4% of the world's population, they produce 25% of thecarbon dioxide pollution fromfossil-fuel burning - by far the largest share of any country. In fact, the United States emits more carbon dioxidethan China, India, and Japan combined so clearly America has a great responsibility towards helping solve theproblem. And as a developer of new technologies, they are well positioned to do so because they already have theknow-how.
 
What can we do?
 
Here's the good news: Technologies exist today to make cars that run cleaner and burn less gas,modernise powerplants and generate electricity from non-polluting sources, and cut our electricity use through energy efficiency.
 
The challenge is to be sure these solutions are implemented before the point of no return.
 
Is it possible to cut power plant pollution and still have enough electricity? Yes it is. Butfirst we must use moreefficient appliances and equipment in our homes and offices to reduce our electricity needs. We must also phaseout the decades-old, coal-burning power-plants that generate most of our electricity and replace them with'cleaner' plants.
 
We need to put existing technologies for building cleaner cars and more modern electricity generators intomore widespread use. We can increase our use of renewable energy sources suchas wind and sun and geo-thermal. And we can manufacture more efficient appliances to conserve energy. Stricter efficiency requirementsfor electrical appliances will help hold back pollution. One example is the 30% tighter standard now in place forhome central air conditioners and heat pumps.
 
Solutions to global warming are available to us today and it's time we put them to use. These solutions willreduce the amount of heat-trapping gases that we emit into the atmosphereAmong the solutions are ways of reducing the amount of fossil fuels we use to power our vehiclesand generate our electricity, and protectingthreatened forests, which store carbon intheir biomass.
 
There are many simple steps you can take right now to cut global warming pollution. Make conserving energya part of your daily routine. Each time you choose a compact fluorescentlampbulb over an incandescent bulb, forexample, you'll lower your energy bill and keep nearly 700 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the air over the bulb'slifetime. By opting for a refrigerator with the Energy Star label - indicating it uses at least 15% less energy thanthe norm - over a less energy-efficient model, you can reduce carbon dioxide pollution by nearly a ton.
 
 Above all, send a message to the American president - because, overall, the U.S. is the world'sbiggest polluter -urging him to get serious about stopping his country's global warming activities.
 Alternative Energy Sources 
 Do high energy costs have you down? Do you feel trapped by the big oil companies? Do you need another source for  your energy? If so, here are some alternatives to petroleum
 
Global Warming a Serious Threat
Nicole BerryIssue date:
2/23/07
Section:
 
Page
1
of 1Global Warming is a beast that is expanding and ruining our earth's sensitiveatmosphere. It can be seen in the eyes of an unusually temperamental storm. It can be feltin the melting bodies of the polar icecaps. It aids in the infectious spread of diseases thatrise out of the unnatural rise in the earth's temperature. Global warming is a monster that people have unknowingly aided , and it is making an assault on the planet.It has been said that some environmental groups have used global warming as a politicalscare tactic, but groups such as Green Peace do not use the threat of global warming as atool to control their supporters. Their goal is to educate and inform, so that theenvironment can be saved before it is too late. They also have evidence that support their claims.A joint statement from 11 national academies of science stated that most of thewarming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities. Environmental groupsuse scientific proof to support their claims; they do not spread unfounded information asa source of propaganda.According to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) the earth's climate has been hotter than it has been in years. This increase in temperature is very unnatural.People have been relyinh heavily on fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas for their energyneeds. Burning these fuels has released gas carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.According to the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, pre-industrial levels of carbon dioxide were about 280 parts per million by volume andcurrent levels are about 370 ppmv. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere today hasnot been exceeded in the last 420,000 years. This increase in carbon dioxide is largelydue to the increased use of fossil fuels.Global warming is a dangerous risk to the earth. It raises the earth's temperature whichleads to a rise in sea level, repercussions to agriculture, reductions in the ozone layer,increased intensity and frequency of extreme weather events, and the spread of disease.The global temperature is increasing, throwing the world's climate out of balance.According to Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC), the unnatural risingtemperatures caused by global warming have led to prolonged droughts, severe wildfiresand diminished snowfall.. The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) projected thatmountains in the Pacific Northwest are to lose as much as 88 percent of averagesnowpack by 2090; the Central Rocky Mountains could lose up to 75 percent, and partsof the Southern Rockies and the Sierra Nevada range could lose 98-100 percent. Currentdroughts afflicting the West are the worst in 500 years and has radically reduced availablewater resources for people and wildlife (www.nwf.org).The NWF also reports that the increased heat can construct an incubator for infectious

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