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SEC. RQ3003



The grievous threat posed by the various global warming issues seems
to be taking the center stage among the various environmental issues
that threaten the planet today. These global warming problems include
rising temperature, extreme weather conditions, melting glaciers,
rising sea level, extinction of plant and animal species, and many
more. Even though the evidences of global warming, such as the
increase in the frequency of hurricanes and submerging of the coastal
areas and tiny islands, is making the problems of global warming more
and more obvious, several questions about it still remain unanswered.
It is this ignorance on our behalf that is acting as a catalyst for the
hazards of global warming.

such as carbon dioxide and methane. . in a phenomena referred to as the greenhouse effect. and contribute to the problem of global warming. have the tendency to trap the Sun's heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. due to the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere as a result of various natural and human activities. These greenhouse gases.What is Global Warming? The term global warming refers to the rise in the average temperature of the planet.

Before we move on to these global warming issues. as studies reveal that it is resulting in a series of adverse effects on the planet. This rise in temperature is a matter of grave concern.8 degree Celsius over the last century. and continues to increase at an alarming rate. CAUSES: . let's try to understand what are the factors that cause the near-surface temperature to rise. The reports compiled by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggest that the average temperature of the planet has increased by 1.

depletion of oxygen as a result of deforestation. feedback effect.natural causes and anthropogenic causes (causes triggered by humans). include several human activities which result in accumulation of various green house gases in the atmosphere. thus making it virtually impossible for the lifeforms to survive. on the other hand.The main causes of global warming can be broadly categorized into two groups . The natural causes of global warming such as the solar variation. these natural causes play a crucial role in regulating the temperature of the planet. and absence of these would have resulted in freezing conditions on the planet. These activities include pollution caused by vehicles and industries. volcanic eruptions etc. In fact. natural release of the methane gas. The anthropogenic causes of global warming. . methane release triggered by mining and cattle rearing. etc. don't cause much harm to the planet.

Effects of Global Warming: .

Global warming is basically resulting in a series of domino effect on the planet. thus resulting in a watery grave for low lying coastal areas and tiny islands. is one of the best example of this phenomena. For instance. As the water expands. and deplete the store of fresh water on the planet. and the extinction of the Golden toad. When the glaciers at high altitude melt due to global warming. thus leaving us devoid of water to drink. and the chain of event continues. endemic to Costa Rica. This is just one of the various examples of some of the most severe global warming effect on earth. enormous amount of freshwater is stored on the planet in the form of glaciers. it tends to encroach upon the land. Incessant heating of water also triggers devastating hurricanes in the coastal regions. the oceans are continuously fed by the melting glaciers. On one hand. they cause flash floods in the vicinity. wherein one thing is leading a number of subsequent things. Species extinction is yet another major effect of global warming on the planet. and on the other. . rising temperature heat the ocean water and makes it expand. contribute to the sea level rise by flowing into the ocean.

if . Over the last decade or so. If these efforts continue. The European Union and Australia. which save around 80 percent of energy. Similar global warming solutions are being implemented by various other nations across the world.All this. the entire world seems to have woken up from the deep slumber. have banned the manufacturing or import of incandescent light bulbs. several countries have been trying their best to do their bit in fighting the menace of global warming. while we have been turning a blind eye to all these global warming problems. we will be able to curb the problems of global warming to a significant extent. for example. and replaced them with energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs. but lately.

isn't it possible that global warming could increase productivity. growing seasons. or insurance business in some areas? . not rout them totally. It is an important question for a concerned citizen like you to ask. you have probably wondered if there are any positive effects of global warming. After all. If you know about climate change.

It also helps you to know that Moore has been getting paid by very biased interest groups for decades. saying. "Climate of Fear. Their job is to secure our economy. a risk far too great to ignore.your life. a board member of one of the largest insurance firms in the world." But Moore is one of few critics. There is a story by Ron Scherer in the Christian Science Monitor concerning how the insurance companies are responding to the issue of global warming. your family-. this understanding is not limited to climate scientists and environmental activists. The Effect On Insurance Businesses: Insurance companies are the second largest industry in the world in terms of assets.The main source cited for the "benefits" of global warming is Thomas Gale Moore's paper. "Climate change represents an ever- increasing that are essential for supporting human life. even the insurance industry-- big business-. your home." . warming will wreak havoc on natural fearful of the effects of climate change. The article quotes businessmen like Clement Booth. You might be surprised to find that now. and as a result. but on a global level. The unfortunate truth is that the effects you will see from rising greenhouse gas levels will be devastating.not to mention that the paper was most recently published over a decade ago. and his arguments have been dismantled by many authors-. you depend on them to secure your business. It may be true that a select few areas could possibly benefit. And as you'll soon find out.

You likely had a childhood with relatively secure sources of food. he tells of the immense impact this change is already having on people like you: "Some consumers are already noticing a negative effect of this shift.000 homeowners living in a zone that an insurer considers a high storm risk in an era of climate change have seen their policies cancelled or not renewed. you need to learn how u can help. Unfortunately. even big business is worried about humans' impact on the planet and the terrible effects we will begin to see. Prevention for Global War ming : .The Effect on Your Insurance: Your insurance premiums may skyrocket because of the effects of global warming. Unless you want your children to live in a future like this. it is this history that prevents many people like you from believing in the reality of global warming. shelter and protection from natural disaster. This includes coastal areas stretching from Texas to New York. As Scherer continues. In the past year. some 600. Now." So what does this mean for you? An unstable future for your children is likely if people like you don't begin making decisions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In past decades Americans have been very fortunate to grow up with such security.

Take bikes. Delicious Reddit Stumble Upon Facebook Google Flag Article Instructions Difficulty: Easy Step 1 Drive less. Combining any few of these suggestions can make more of a dramatic effect than most people understand. . 6 Decrease your air travel.Global warming refers to the Earth’s air and oceans gradually heating up to a point that disrupts balance. 7 Wash clothes in cold water and line-dry whenever possible. 3 Replace all the light bulbs in and around your home with energy-efficient fluorescents that use fewer watts for the same amount of light. The goal is to emit less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It sounds like a problem too massive for any one individual to take on. 9 Cut down on your garbage—buy fewer packaged materials to prevent further global warming. but it really isn’t. which will lessen the hot water used but not drop your water pressure in the shower. 5 Choose energy-efficient appliances when it's time to buy new ones. a problem that is continually getting worse. walk or carpool whenever possible. 4 Clean or replace your filters monthly. 2 Consider investing in a hybrid or electric vehicle to help prevent against further global warming. 8 Use a low-flow showerhead.

Insulate your water heater. Fresh takes less energy to produce. use the energy-saving setting. Responding to the challenge of controlling global warming: . At the very least. 17 Use nontoxic cleaning products. 15 Plant a tree. and check tire pressure often to save gas. 12 Insulate your home better. 11 Run the dishwasher and clothes washer only when you have a full load. 18 Shop locally for food.10 Unplug electronics when they are not in use. 20 Eat less meat and more organic foods in your diet to do your part in preventing global warming. and if available. 16 Have an energy audit done on your home so you can find the trouble areas and fix them. 19 Keep your car tuned up. 14 Bring your own reusable canvas grocery bags when grocery shopping. turn items off when they’re not being used. A farmer’s market is an excellent place to visit. And choose fresh food over frozen foods. because they still take up energy. 13 Buy recycled paper products and recycle as much of your waste as possible. and don’t forget to repair or replace worn caulking or weather-stripping.

when trees are burned to clear land. industry. is a necessary strategy for controlling global warming. soak up a great deal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store carbon atoms in new wood. One is to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels. Slowing . Worldwide. such as farming or housing developments. also called greenhouse gas mitigation. There are two major approaches to slowing the buildup of greenhouse gases. Carbon Capture: One way to keep carbon dioxide emissions from reaching the atmosphere is to preserve and plant more trees. particularly in the tropics. a strategy known as carbon sequestration or carbon capture. they release stored carbon back into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. In many areas. government policies. Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions.Responding to the challenge of controlling global warming will require fundamental changes in energy production. forests are being cleared at an alarming rate. In addition. Trees. especially young and fast-growing ones. transportation. These changes take time. and development strategies around the world. The challenge today is managing the impacts that cannot be avoided while taking steps to prevent more severe impacts in the future. there is little regrowth as land loses fertility or is changed to other uses. The other is to keep carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere by storing the gas or its carbon component somewhere else.

and then injected into an aquifer deep below the seabed from which it cannot escape. since 1996 this process has been used at a natural gas drilling platform off the coast of Norway. Deep ocean waters could also absorb a great deal of carbon dioxide. With the advent of the Industrial Revolution in the mid-1700s. or any large stationary source. Carbon dioxide has traditionally been injected into depleted oil wells to force more oil out of the ground or seafloor. Wood was the first major source of energy used by humans. However. compressed. The feasibility and environmental effects of these options are under study by international teams. In most cases. coal became the dominant energy source. . The same process can be used to store carbon dioxide released by a power plant. although the environmental effects may be harmful to ocean life. Carbon dioxide brought to the surface with the natural gas is captured. Energy Sources: The total worldwide consumption of fossil fuels is increasing by several percent per year. energy use around the world is slowly shifting away from fuels that release a great deal of carbon dioxide toward fuels that release somewhat less of this heat-trapping gas.the rate of deforestation and planting new trees can help counteract the buildup of greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide gas can also be captured directly. factory. the process of carbon capture would also involve transporting the gas in compressed form to suitable locations for underground storage. For example.

combustion of natural gas releases less carbon dioxide than oil. which in turn releases less of the gas than do either coal or wood. such as biodiesel (made from used and new vegetable oil) and ethanol (a plant-based gasoline additive). and hydrogen fuel cells also emit no greenhouse gases. In addition. Newer technologies for cleaner coal-burning power plants may help offset the effects. the relative abundance of coal reserves in countries such as China and the United States may lead to a new upswing in the use of coal for generating electricity. a reversal of this trend may be seen as reserves of oil are used up. By the 1900s. These energy sources can be practical. Nuclear power plants release no carbon dioxide at all. natural gas began to be used worldwide for heating and lighting. but nuclear energy is controversial for reasons of safety. However. Solar power. Use of these fuels can help reduce total carbon dioxide . Other alternatives include fuels made from plants. and the high costs of nuclear waste disposal. wind power. fueling the internal combustion engines that were eventually used in automobiles. In this progression. Other fuel sources such as tar sands (also known as oil sands) are beginning to be utilized. security.By the mid-1800s oil had replaced coal in dominance. Producing oil from tar sands involves extraction and refining processes that release carbon dioxide. low-pollution alternatives to fossil fuels. Significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions can only be achieved by switching away from fossil- fuel energy sources.

International Agreements: International cooperation is required for the successful reduction of greenhouse gases. 160 nations drafted an agreement known as the Kyōto Protocol. which uses both an electric motor and a gasoline or diesel engine. which commits nations to stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would avoid dangerous human interference with the climate. The first international conference addressing the issue was held in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro.emissions from automobiles. The hybrid electric vehicle (HEV). This is to be done so that ecosystems can adapt naturally to global warming. and economic development can proceed in a sustainable manner. food production is not threatened. In 1997 in Japan. emits less carbon dioxide than conventional automobiles (see Electric Car). more than 180 nations have ratified the UNFCCC. See also World Energy Supply. 150 countries pledged to confront the problem of greenhouse gases by signing the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Industrialized nations that ratify the . The nations at the Earth Summit agreed to meet again to translate these good intentions into a binding treaty for emissions reductions. Brazil. This treaty set mandatory targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. To date. At the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. an amendment to the UNFCCC. informally known as the Earth Summit.

He also claimed the treaty put an unfair burden on industrialized nations. The protocol could not go into effect unless industrialized nations accounting for 55 percent of 1990 greenhouse gas emissions ratified it. In 1998 the United States—then the world’s single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions— became a signatory to the Kyōto Protocol. and it went into force in February 2005. Notable exceptions included the United States and Australia. economy. and commitments to start achieving the targets are to begin in 2008. However.S.treaty are required to cut their emissions by an average of 5 percent below 1990 levels. 166 nations had signed and ratified the treaty. He claimed that the treaty’s goals for reducing carbon dioxide emissions would be too costly and would harm the U. By the end of 2006. These opponents claimed that the economic costs to carry out the Kyōto Protocol could . president George W. Developing nations are not required to commit to mandatory reductions in emissions. the coal industry. Under the Kyōto rules. in 2001 U. and other enterprises that manufacture or depend on fossil fuels. This reduction is to be achieved no later than 2012. Bush withdrew support for the treaty. industrialized nations are expected to take the first steps because they are responsible for most emissions to date and have more resources to devote to emissions-reduction efforts. Opposition to the treaty in the United States was spurred by the oil industry.S. That requirement was met in November 2004 when Russia approved the treaty.

In part this is because the Kyōto provisions did not take into account the rapid industrialization of countries such as China and India. much stronger and broader action is required. the 27 nations of the EU reached a . Proponents of the Kyōto Protocol believed the costs would prove more modest—$88 billion or less—much of which would be recovered as Americans switched to more efficient appliances. due mainly to higher energy prices. developing nations are projected to produce half the world’s greenhouse gases by as much as $300 billion. In the past. vehicles. is only a first step in addressing greenhouse gas emissions. and industrial processes. At a “green summit” held in March. In 2007 the European Union (EU) took the initiative in coming up with a new international plan to address global warming. The Kyōto Protocol. Leaders of these nations argue that emissions controls are a costly hindrance to economic development. which are among the developing nations exempted from the protocol’s mandatory emissions reductions. prosperity and pollution have tended to go together. However. as industrialization has always been a necessary component of an economy’s development. Whether or not an economy can grow without increasing greenhouse gas emissions at the same time is a question that will be critical as nations such as China and India continue on the path of industrialization. which expires in 2012. To stabilize or reduce emissions in the 21st century.

For example. the Environmental Protection Agency. but goals for individual EU nations and rules of enforcement were to be determined through additional negotiations. This program rates appliances for energy use and gives some money back to consumers who buy efficient machines. product manufacturers. The accord also called for a 10 percent increase in the use of plant-derived fuels. following the example of countries such as Australia and Chile that are officially phasing out less- efficient incandescent light bulbs. . such as solar and wind power. In addition to these targets. such as biodiesel and ethanol. and retailers have collaborated to implement the Energy Star program. local utilities. would make up 20 percent of overall EU energy consumption by 2020 (an increase of about 14 percent). The agreement set ambitious targets for the EU overall. the United States has so far relied on voluntary programs to reduce emissions.landmark accord that went above and beyond the Kyōto Protocol in setting targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Programs in the United States: At a national level. EU leaders agreed to work out a plan to promote energy- saving fluorescent light bulbs. They also agreed that renewable sources of energy. the Department of Energy. In the accord EU leaders agreed to reduce emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels by 2020—or by as much as 30 percent if nations outside the EU joined in the commitments.

Environment al . Supreme Court issued a landmark environmental ruling—and its first relating to the issue of global warming—that greenhouse gases are air pollutants as defined by the Clean Air Act. if the economy grows faster than emissions. such as information technology and services. The court also ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reevaluate its policy of not regulating carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles. In other words. The lawsuit.S.v. the emissions intensity of carbon dioxide in the United States decreased by 17 percent from 1990 to 2002. For example. which is the ratio of emissions per unit of economic output. Greenhouse gas intensity can decline even when total emissions rise. However.S. total U. emissions have grown steadily. In 2007 the U. Greenhouse gas intensity targets contrast with absolute targets. greenhouse gas intensity is usually expressed as emissions per dollar of gross domestic product (GDP).S. This trend of decreasing emissions intensity is expected to continue in the future. which limit total emissions (as in the Kyōto Protocol). even as total carbon dioxide emissions grew by 18 percent over the same period. This has already been the trend in the past few decades in the United States. Massachusetts et al.The U. Emissions intensity has decreased due to improvements in energy efficiency and rapid economic growth in relatively clean sectors. For the economy as a whole. greenhouse gas intensity goes down while the total amount of emissions goes up. government has also focused on targets for greenhouse gas intensity.

recycles materials. the mayor of Seattle announced the Climate Protection Initiative. The same choices that reduce other kinds of pollution work against greenhouse gases. uses energy-saving light bulbs. . a mandatory program to limit emissions from power plants (while allowing emitters to trade allocations). he or she is fighting global warming. Since then. seven Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states established the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Second. adds insulation to a house. Apart from the national government. the government of California committed to return to 1990 levels by 2020. too. hundreds of other city mayors representing about 50 million Americans have committed to this initiative. and reduce emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.. can take steps to curb their own emissions. or commutes by public transportation. was filed against the EPA by 12 states and 13 environmental groups that had grown frustrated with the agency’s inaction on global warming issues. committing Seattle to meet the original Kyōto Protocol target for the United States (before it withdrew support for the treaty) of 7 percent reductions below 1990 levels. chooses to live near work. In 2005 three major initiatives were announced. many state and local governments are also working to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Individuals. First. Every time a consumer buys an energy-efficient appliance.Protection Agency et al. Third.