Are We In Trouble?


Period 2

English 4

Mr. Braden

Essay (1500 words)

Is the planet warming up?

Yes, the planet is warming and there is strong evidence to back up that statement.  The whole process is sort of like a domino effect, one vital part of the Earth is harmed and the rest of the Earth is slowly affected.  The reason the planet is warming is because of the level of CO2 emissions damaging Earth’s atmosphere. This is from all the vehicles of transportation, (cars, trains, cargo ships, etc.)  Disposal of wastes into the ground, (dumping oil into the ground) and the CO2 emissions from power plants and factories. 

A weaker atmosphere makes the Earth more vulnerable to the sun’s rays causing the ice glaciers to melt ultimately causing sea levels to rise.  This is what is causing the planet to warm up because of the steady rise of sea levels.  With more water comes more moisture bringing more heat, and on top of that heat, the water is slowly rising, engulfing land.  In time most of the land on Earth will either be completely under water or be partially taken over by it.

Many people say that the earth is just going through its natural cycle which is that the planet will tend to warm and cool on its own.  James Lovelock presents a new theory of Gaia.  This theory is that the earth is a super organism that uses its resources to regulate itself.  In recent history there has been a series of ice ages and melting so warming is but a natural process.  

The term Global Warming is nothing more than a comfort blanket for the public and media.  This is why the public and the companies that use fossil fuels don’t pay attention and carry out with business as usual.  The planet is technically warming but it is also rising in sea levels, losing the atmosphere which in turn is making the sun’s rays even more powerful, experiencing tremendous and spontaneous disasters, different areas are becoming disease infested; and lastly the seasons are slowly becoming more severe in weather.  

In recent years the planet has been warming up.  Studies have shown that in the last 15 years the earth has begun to show signs of climate change.  Different parts of the world are experiencing colder winters, hotter summers, and even drawn out seasons.  The sudden change in seasons is bringing about more diseases from mosquitoes and other disease carrying bugs.  

Many people believe that the planet is warming because the growth in population, but the more logical answer is that the more people there are the more fossil fuels we will use to provide them with energy.  With more people there is going to be more vehicles in use, there will be more houses that need electricity and water, we even need to count the littlest details.  Such as smoking cigarettes, leaving the light on, driving almost anywhere you go, having barbeques every weekend, all of these things effect the Earth in some way and they alter the Earth’s atmosphere tremendously. 

When the question arises, “is the planet warming?” we go for the most logical answer which is that the planet has always been warming.  Although this may seem like the reason behind the planet’s current state it is to scientists but a mere last resort of why there have been sudden climate changes recently.  Despite popular belief Global Warming is not a minor threat anymore, the name may be soft but behind that lays a means to the destruction and the elimination of all life on Earth.

Are humans a major cause of that warming?

Humans are a major cause of the current warming of today.  We as humans do not realize how much of our daily activities affect the planet in its entirety.  Like the examples given before simple actions such as littering, burning coal for barbeques, driving around town, all affect the planet in some way.  These activities contribute to the domino effect mentioned before which can lead to a term known as the “butterfly effect.”  

The way the butterfly effect works is somewhat like a light switch.  In order to turn on a light switch there is a certain amount of pressure that is applied to either turn on the switch or turn it off.  Our daily activities effect climate change in the same way.  A cigarette being lit here may cause a hurricane or a tornado miles and miles away, this is how the butterfly effect works.

Humans are an ever growing population but there is only one earth.  With 6.77 billion people there is a growing stress on earth.  As we advance in technology we have become more destructive, careless, and selfish than ever before.  The earth is warming and humans do have an effect on this natural process.  Trees and other natural occurrences in our agriculture are a part of the Earth’s temperature regulation system.  In order to provide basic necessities such as food we have destroyed a vast portion of our agriculture.  This is an example of humans disrupting the natural regulation process.

Many people are influenced by all the gas and oil companies that believe global warming is a fraud by scientists in order to make more money and get publicity.  There are even some companies that have told people that the CO2 they emit from gas and oil is good for the planet. It is no wonder why we’re in such bad shape and why we choose to ignore.  

Other than simple ignorance there are also scenarios where the voices of people who know the truth aren’t being heard.  There have been countless cases where scientists have done everything in their ability to try and convince the public that climate change is very real and threatening.  The public and the government especially, simply set aside this issue and claimed it to be a hoax.  

It is evident that many of these companies are out only for their own needs, just until their retirement at least. It is because of such thinking that coal fired power plants are still booming with success.  Many of our sources of transportation emit the most CO2 including cargo ships/cruise ships which are considered to be one of the worst sources of transportation because of its high quantities in CO2 emissions.

 The excessive need for technology has worsened our predicament and has led to where we are today.  On top of using technology excessively we can also be accounted for not choosing to be more fuel-efficient.  The companies choose not to use more eco-friendly alternatives because they simply don’t care of the outcome and again, are out for their own needs.  Our situation is basically like pouring salt in the wound, because we are polluting the Earth but at the same time not choosing to salvage as much as we possibly can. To put it in better words, humans are a major cause simply because of ignorance and influence.  

Can the warming trend be slowed and/or reversed?

It is possible that we can change the current warming trend for the better.  There is strong evidence that shows it is more than likely that the planet is indeed very sensitive to our actions.  In the book “The Weather Makers” chapter 23, it talks about a mysterious opening in the ozone layer in Antarctica.  The first signs of the problem occurred in the 1970’s when readings of the stratosphere showed that the ozone layer above Antarctica had dropped at a phenomenal rate.  It had gone from 320 Dobson units (named after Gordon Dobson from Oxford University) in 1955 to barely 90 in 1995.  

Paul Crutzen, F Sherwood Rowland, and Mario Molina found that Fluorocarbons (chemical used for refrigeration, making styrofoam, propellants in spray cans, and in air-conditioning units.) had been damaging the ozone immensely.  This in turn gave birth to the Montreal Protocol in which the public and the government were now involved to stopping the issue from growing any bigger.  In 2004 the ozone hole over the Antarctic had been reduced by 20 percent.

This goes to show that reversing or slowing down the process is in fact possible. The human race and our destructive nature are beginning to take a toll on the earth and we are creating an unsafe environment for ourselves.  In order to resolve or even slow the process of global warming we must find the true cause.  If we continue to be so careless we will create a problem that we could only resolve as a whole.  In order for such a large problem to be completely reversed we would have to change our lifestyles and completely respect the Earth.  

If the rest of world recognizes how effective their actions are towards the planet, there is a chance to turn all of this around.  To completely reverse this problem is impossible but to slow it is a more reasonable suggestion.  Even slowing the process would take a lifetime of effort. The energy efficient vehicles, methods to renewable energy such as windmills, solar panels, and photovoltaic cells, and most important the reduction of use for coal, oil and gas will save us and ultimately our planet from being destroyed.