Discourse on global warming has always centered on two main questions. Is global warming a product that is consequential of human action? If so, can the human race ignite action towards the stop of global warming? Since the discourse started there is no consensus on the right answers to the two questions. Rather, the discourse has escalated to blame game that pits the developed world against the developing nations with the latter pointing accusing fingers to the former. It should be appreciated that the blame perhaps suffice as an indication that global warming is a consequence of human activity and thus can be addressed through human intervention.
Global warming can be loosely described as the gradual yet continuous increase in the temperatures of the earth. The typical temperature referred to in this context is the atmospheric temperature under normal conditions. It must be acknowledged that due to the different geographical positions of the earth’s continents, there is no constant temperature across the entire globe. Rather, different geographical locations notably the tropics, the equatorial zones, ice lands, among others have common temperatures. It is these constant temperatures that have lately been on the rise, a phenomenal called global warming.
Causes and solutions to global warming
Human activity has been cited as the main course of global warming. The onus, therefore, lies upon the society to act and take responsibility for global warming. The earth faces the threat of a global precipice, a solution of which can only be through human action. Global warming does not occur in isolation. The main course that springs to every mind is the greenhouse gas effect.
What exactly is the greenhouse gas effect? Scientists have posited that the earth’s layers are covered with gases notably referred to as atmospheric gases. Primary among the atmospheric gases is the carbon IV oxide gas. The gases layers around the earth necessarily allow the sun’s rays to penetrate into the earth’s surface. However, the layers do not allow the rays to be reflected back fully out of the earth’s surface. This, scientists argue has been responsible for the maintenance of life on earth.This is ideally because the rays retained in the earth’s atmosphere essentially warm the earth’s surface and atmosphere. It is the continuous warming that necessarily facilitates life. In the absence of the warming effect by the retained rays, the earth would perhaps be tenfold colder than it is today. The cold temperatures would definitely deny some organisms, notably the human beings, the appropriate atmosphere to live. Indeed, the assertion is that the greenhouse effects naturally sustain life on the surface of the earth. However, it is noteworthy that the greenhouse effect ought to be simply naturally without the input into the atmosphere of additional greenhouse gases by through human activity. It is the continuous increase of the greenhouse gases that essentially contributes to the ever increasing average temperatures of the earth’s surface.
Scientists have offered numerous explanations in light of the rising temperature levels. The scientists have argued for different courses with some explicitly defending human activities. This segment of scientists has had issues with some natural processes which they credit with global warming. The following section briefly examines some of the explanations that have been brought forward by scientists on the causes of global warming.
Some scientists attribute global warming to the solar and volcanic activity. This is the class of scientists that has insisted that global warming is essentially a natural occurrence that would inevitably happen with or without human activity. Scientists opine that with the passage of time, the amount of solar energy that actually penetrates and reaches the surface of the earth from the sun has been on the increase. They argue that as such, the solar energy that gets to the earth and is retained in the atmosphere continuously increases. The logical conclusion of such an argument would be the inevitable increase of the earth’s temperature otherwise known as the global warming. Their argument is buoyed by the fact that the earth essentially derives its energy from the sun hence solar energy. On that token, one would be excused to entertain such flippant arguments.
However, scientists have criticized the solar energy argument. For starters, the distance between the earth and the sun has always been a constant. The amount of solar energy emitted from the sun has also been constant. This can be proved through scientific measures. The argument, therefore, is scientifically subject and lacks complete scientific objectivity. No justification suffices to convince one that the intensity of the sun’s rays has been on the increase.
In addition, the argument essentially sounds lame and would be an expression of intellectual bankruptcy. This arises out of the attempt to challenge obvious geographical facts about the sun and the earth in the larger universe. The sun has always been static. Instead, it is the earth that oscillates but the movement is limited to its path, the earth’s axis, and this phenomenal has been in existence throughout the previous times. Ultimately the earth oscillates around one definite path. Therefore, if the intensity of solar energy fluctuates due to the oscillating nature of the earth, then such effects should have been noticed since time immemorial.
On the other hand, some scientists have cited volcanic activity as a major course of global warming. They posit that volcanic activity releases substantial amounts of gases that ultimately settle in the greenhouse gases zone in the atmosphere. Consequently, their narrative attributes global warming to the increased amount of gases due to volcanic activity. While the argument is theoretically upright, in practice, it is intellectually dishonest and an absurdity in the field of science. This could be attributed to several reasons. First, over the last one and half centuries, the level of volcanic activity has been conspicuously low, while the increase in the earth’s temperature has been consistently on the rise. In fact, statistics confirm that what has occurred in the last one and half centuries amounts to mere volcanic eruption and does not necessarily release substantial gases into the earth’s atmosphere. This phenomenal does is not commensurate with the consistent increase of the earth’s temperatures. It should be appreciated that the two classes of scientists have missed the point. What should be interrogated of them is whether that is by default or by design. My crystal ball tells me the blatant misstep is actually a deliberate diversion of attention from the matters at hand. The beauty of science and to a large extent, intellectual discourse lies in the necessity to prove one’s assertion beyond reasonable doubt. Otherwise, the assertions are considered as mere theories without scientific objectivity.
It is in appreciated of these factors and the screaming necessity to speak the truth that several scientists have taken a keen study of the human activities. Scientists observe that global warming arises from the increasing levels of greenhouse gases. They have gone further to examine the contributors of the greenhouse gases. The scientists have identified industrial and domestic activities by human beings as the main contributors to the greenhouse gases. This is because the gases they release thicken the greenhouse fundamentally. Perhaps we ought to interrogate exactly how this occurs. The answer lies in the mischief that the Kyoto Protocol of 2005 attempted to address. The ideal of Kyoto Protocol 2005 was the objective for the industrialized countries to cut their constituent emission of greenhouse gases into the ozone prospectively by the end of 2012. It must be noted that the greenhouse gases in contest include carbon IV oxide, nitrous oxide and methane gases. Incidentally, all the mentioned gases are products of industrial activity. Industrialization has, therefore, come with a huge price to pay. It must be exercised and enjoyed responsibly. The governments and stakeholders need to lay a framework that balances the needs of industrialization with the compromise of our clean air and ecology. The gases released by industrial activities not only add to the greenhouse gases that effectively contribute to global warming, but also pollutes the atmosphere threatening the health of human beings and other organisms.
Further, it is noteworthy that the three gases mentioned, unlike other normal gases, have the ability to absorb and radiate back infrared energy from the earth’s surface. This also contributes to the increasing temperatures. According to statistics, prior to the industrial revolution, the earth was three to four degrees colder. The onset of the industrial revolution has seen the increase of the earth’s temperatures making it warmer. Today, it threatens to melt the ice lands which could possibly lead to flooding and submerging of land bodies by the increased levels of water from the melted ice. The transportation industry has also not evaded a mention by the scientists. Vehicles and fuel powered machines contribute substantial amounts of greenhouse gases. A suitable example lies in the City of London. Two centuries ago, London transportation system employed horse drawn chariots. The City was free of pollution and the world’s temperatures were much lower. Today, the same cannot be said of the City of London. It has become the uncontested epitome of mechanization and vehicle transportation system. In London, millions of vehicles cover thousands of kilometers on a day to day basis effectively releasing carbon IV oxide into the atmosphere. What implications do these released gases have in light of global warming? Ultimately, the greenhouse gases increase and cause global warming.
The question then remains whether human activity could ignite action to contain and reduce global warming. Adequate measures have been proposed by scientists and human scholars. The crux of the matter lies in the avoidance of retrogressive activity that is responsible for global warming. The time to use clean energy sources has finally arrived. Industry and domestic demands should be met responsibly without compromise of the ecological balance. It is worth reporting that several nation states including the United States of America have started the pursuit of clean energy sources especially bio-fuel and solar energy both of which are renewable and have limited pollution related effects.
The stakeholders should appreciate the gravity of the matters at hand. The political class should be able to divorce politics from policies and drop the unnecessary rhetoric that often characterizes their arguments. The Kyoto Protocol should be effectively addressed and more stringent rules and penalties developed to contain global warming.
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