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Water pollution is as a result of the introduction of either chemical or biological pollutants into large water basins such as the oceans, rivers and the lakes. These pollutants degrade the quality of the water and can even lead to the death of marine mammals. The main point of focus on this essay is on the chemical pollutants of water in the rivers and the swamps in the surrounding environment. Some of the causes of the chemical pollution include the fertilizers, pesticides, metals and the solvent works from industries and petroleum. The petroleum contaminates the water through the oil spills when the ship splits.
This oil can cause the death of thousands of the aquatic life in the oceans and in the sea. Water is regarded as the body of life and the main reason as to why I chose the chemical pollutants is because they are the most dangerous pollutants in the environment. Without much further prevention towards this pollutant it can cause the death of fishes, destruction of agriculture and even the death of the organisms leaving in the soil.
The water system I chose is the lake and the rivers. This is because the lakes and the rivers are the basins that surround us in the environment. They are the water systems that are mostly used by many individuals. Some of the use include, fishing purposes, swimming purpose, boat riding and scuba diving. When the pesticides are used in large quantities in agriculture, they move into the nearby lake or river which leads to water pollution. The industrial wastes such as the metal works are being disposed off into the lakes. This in turn causes lack of oxygen for the fishes in the lakes and rivers that can lead to their deaths. (Calhoun, Y., & Seideman, D. (2005).
Chemical pollutants have been strongly addressed both via the internet and the news. There was an incident of the acidic rain in the year 1963 both on the internet on the television news. The acidic rain occurred in the northern parts of America around the Hubbard brook
Experimental forest. The forest is around the white mountains of the New Hampshire. The rain collected there had a ph of 3.7. This form of chemical pollution as a result caused some effects on the surrounding communities. The acid rain led to the acidification of the lakes and the rivers in the surrounding communities. This in turn led to the damage of the trees and the sensitive forest soil. The acid rain also caused the decay of the building materials such as the irreplaceable buildings, the paints in the buildings and the sculpture of the building. ( Selendy, J. M. H. (2011)
Chemical pollutants have an impact on the health of many people in the surrounding communities. The chemical health effects may start appearing either immediately after the exposure or after several weeks or months. Fish in the rivers and the lakes is one of the major exposed food products to chemical pollution that can have a health impact on an individual. Fish may be a cause of food poisoning to many people in the environment when consumed. It is advised that when wanting to purchase fish, an individual should get it from trusted sources and reduce on the consumption of fish.
Spaces which are confined are exposed to chemical pollution and may have serious health issues. This is because they accumulate toxic gases which have a fatal health effect to an individual that is inside the space. When inhaled can even lead to death. It is always advised to aerate the spaces such as warehouse and storage rooms before storing food products and other types of products. Most people are usually encouraged by the doctors to take fruits and green vegetables for healthy living. With the production of commercial foods, research has shown that traces of pesticides that are used in the crops can have their way into the food system and into the body of the consumers. This can lead to the disruption of the functioning of the hormone. They disrupt the endocrine system which detects and reacts to the hormones present in the body. The area that is mostly affected is the reproductive health and foetal development. In the males the hormones that is affected is the androgens (testosterone) which controls the male characteristics. ( Simeonov, L., & Hassanien, M. A. (2009).
The well known prevention measure of the chemical pollution in the environment is utilization. This refers to the situation where the chemical pollutants such as the metals from the industries are transformed into a potentially useful product that is less toxic and friendly to the environment. This will help prevent water pollution in the rivers and the lakes. When metallic wastes are disposed off into the rivers and the lakes, they reduce the oxygen concentration in the rivers and the lakes which leads to the death of aquatic animals. To enforce the prevention measure, the government must impose legislations where any person or industry that is found disposing wastes into the rivers and the lakes, must either be sentenced to jail or pay a fine. Another measure is to increase on the awareness of the importance of rivers and lakes and how the wastes such as the metals and the solvents form the industries can be recycled and reused again. Sharma, (S. K., & Sanghi, R. (2012)
Prevention refers to the measures taken on how to control on the rate of pollution in the environment. When safe precautionary measures are kept in place, the rate of water pollution will be very low. This has implies that water will be safe for use in different fields and the aquatic life will have a stable supply of oxygen in the waters. Legislation must be kept in place to safe guard on the water. Water is considered as life and without water we cannot survive. Water is used for cooking, quenching the thirst of people, washing clothes, production of products in an industry and for the purpose of recreation. When we control on the rate of chemical pollution in the waters, the level of water in the rivers and the lakes will increasing and the water will be safe for use.
Calhoun, Y., & Seideman, D. (2005). Water pollution. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers.
NATO Advanced Study Institute on Exposure and Risk Assessment of Chemical Pollution - Contemporary Methodology, Simeonov, L., & Hassanien, M. A. (2009). Exposure and risk assessment of chemical pollution: Contemporary methodology. Dordrecht: Springer
Selendy, J. M. H. (2011). Water and sanitation-related diseases and the environment: Challenges, interventions, and preventive measures. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley-Blackwell.
Sharma, S. K., & Sanghi, R. (2012). Advances in water treatment and pollution prevention. Dordrecht: Springer.
Food demand is expected to double by over 50% by the year 2050; currently there are about seven billion mouths to feed. Human agriculture therefore, exerts a tremendous toll on the planet from pollution, energy loss as well as the habitat loss for many animals. However, there are a lot of solutions that have come up in regards to the growing need for agricultural expansion, and this ranges from organic agriculture to integrated pest management. People around the world are taking a look at urban farming and the offers it makes to food being local as possible. In fact, it has been determined by growing what people need around them, they decrease the food miles which are often associated with long distance transportation (Smith, 2006). Further, in addition to reducing food miles, people get the freshest produce that money can buy and are thus encouraged to eat in the season. This paper is going to discuss the importance of urban agriculture and why it should be pursued in the 21st century.
There is substantial amount of land that is potentially available for urban agriculture in different cities around the world. For example, around New York City, estimators have identified close to 5,000 acres of land that is vacant that can be used to be suitable for farming. In addition, to the land, there are other underutilized open spaces as well as green streets that farmers can take advantage of and grow their crops. It is imperative to understand that there are other large suitable sites as well as properties that are privately owned and consequently are not included in the estimators designations, they would greatly help in the expansion of the total amount of land that is available for agricultural production (Group, 2012).
Further, each of the different types of sites that exist often demands different approaches as well as strategies if they are to be deployed for agricultural purposes. Therefore, in this regards, there is a need to create data on the available land as well as its suitability if one wants to understand the true capacity and information about the amount of land that exists in the cities that can be used to grow food. More people are switching to what is regarded to as healthy diet, and consequently this means that more land under vegetable and fruit cultivation is required. There is existence of technology that promotes bio intensive production techniques. These bio intensive production techniques are extremely important as they ensure that urban agriculture can be able to effectively and efficiently achieve its goal of large scale production of food in large cities.
It is important to note that widely practiced intensive farming techniques that exist in small sites in urban areas, such as intensive soil management, intercropping as ell as hydroponical cultivation can be used in order to produce what can be described as highly productive assets. Many cities have rooftops which are vast, and are underused. These vast and underused rooftops can be described as a resource which could help in food production (Hodgon, 2011). A city like New York has large rooftops and is in an advantageous place when it comes to establishing rooftop agriculture. Many cities have access to capital, robust transportation networks as well as high consumer demand. These factors make cities rooftop to be efficient places that have large potential for feeding the masses that live in the cities. Further, rapidly changing technologies as well as skills and experience that has been developed by today’s rooftop farming pioneers can be said to make wider adoption of the trade more feasible as cities head into the future.
Urban farming will be instrumental when it comes to the reduction of crime in cities. It is of essence to understand that 60% of crime in major cities is attributed to criminals trying to steal in order to meet the basic needs such as food. Urban farming will give the potential criminals a chance to buy local cheap food and potentially keep them away from the streets. Further, the number of beggars in the streets is set to decrease with increased food security and food production (Golden, 2013).
It is important to understand that although urban agriculture cannot be able to supply the entire city with all required food needs, in certain neighborhoods; urban agriculture can significantly contribute to food security. There in fact a number of neighborhoods where there is existence of confluence of factors which makes urban agriculture particularly attractive as well as an effective and efficient means of addressing multiple community challenges. Some of these factors include low access to health food retails, prevalence of obesity as well as diabetes, low median income and finally high availability of land that is vacant. It Is of essence to understand that some of these issues are correlated and consequently it is in areas like these that urban agriculture can be able to flourish extensively and have a great impact when it comes to food security and improving the overall health of the community in question.
Urban agriculture reflects varying levels of social and economic development. Therefore, in the face of climate change as well as rising energy prices, it makes a lot of sense to grow food around and in the cities. As the population grows there is increase in demand for food and consequently, this presents the need for people to look better and easier ways to grow food. Understanding how much land that exist in cities and how much of the land can be used for agriculture and horticulture is an important step in urban farming. Ensuring that there is productive green urban space leaves a lasting as well as indelible part of urban landscape that requires clear assessment of both benefits and costs (Golden, 2013).
The importance of urban agriculture includes the fact that it plays a critical role when it comes to providing green urban infrastructure. It is imperative to understand that there is significant potential for urban farming to provide what can be described as critical environmental services to an urban center. These include storm water run off mitigation, soil remediation as well as energy use reduction. Further, at the same time, the municipalities that strain to address complex infrastructural challenges and have limited budgets can benefit from the urban green spaces because of their capacity to function as effective and cost effective form of distributed green infrastructure (Hodgon, 2011).
Unlike the different forms of green infrastructure that exists, urban agriculture is unique as it has the ability and potential to generate revenue as well as provide long term employment. This coupled with the environmental benefits that it brings to the table makes it a suitable choice for many people living in cities as it decreases storm water run off, by harvesting rainwater and also by the increase of surface permeability. Further, conventional cost benefit analysis which consider complex problems in isolation in many cases miss potential synergistic solutions which are able to address multiple problems as the same time.
Urban agriculture often plays an important role when it comes to community development. The benefits of urban agriculture when it comes to community development can never be underestimated, this is because they show that indeed urban agriculture is not limited to food alone but it also advocates strongly for community development and empowerment. Through urban agriculture there is realization of environmental justice, education, public health as well as general togetherness. The farming can be used effectively as a tool of transforming underutilized and neglected space into what can be described as useful public resource that provides opportunities for social interaction, self sufficiency, and engagement of young people in undeserved neighborhoods as well as greater community cohesion (Smith, 2006). These benefits accrue with urban farming and therefore, its practice will ultimately guarantee some if not all of the community development benefits.
Urban agriculture will come with a lot of health benefits, the first will be increased nutrition as well as food security. It is of importance to note that small well tended plots of land will be able to yield large amounts of food. The small plots of land will be able to provide a household’s yearly vegetable’s needs and this includes the nutritional requirements for Vitamin A, B, C and iron. In many areas where urban agriculture is practiced, the food that is often grown includes vegetables and fruits. This consequently means that an area that practices urban farming is more likely to experience growth in fruits and vegetables. There are often select urban spaces that produce large amounts of food, they include bodies of water, rooftops walls, balconies and courtyards.
The urban food production will ensure that an area has food security and the residents of the area will be able to receive food that is fresh and is produced locally. It is imperative to understand that the practical experience that comes with fresh food handling such as growing, harvesting, identifying varieties in food stands as well as the general understanding of seasonality, preserving and cooking can be said to positively impact the dietary habits of the growing community. An allegiance to the food that is home grown or farm purchased is often developed amongst the locals (Smith, 2006). They often try to promote their own and in time they are able to increase their dietary knowledge as their interest in the homegrown varieties of the food grows. This often leads to what can be seen as skills that are important in transforming fresh and raw food into cooked savory food. It is at this time that people look at their dietary needs as they are presented with the opportunity to understand what happens in growing of crops.
There is evidence that shows that when builders and gardeners are planting they save food dollars by producing their own food. Most of the times, their overall food consumption patterns as well as their dietary knowledge increase dramatically. This is because they often tend to believe that what they grow is fresh and consequently it is good fro them and they eat it. A number of different studies in different areas of the world have shown that fruit and vegetable intake, as measured by the recommended doctors servings per day, tends to be higher amongst gardeners as compared to people that buy food from the grocery shops without knowing where it is grown. Recent research has shown that gardeners in the United States that reside in cities have increased vegetable consumption as compared to fruit consumption. This might be because vegetables are often relatively easy to grow and consequently they benefit the diet which most of the times lacks fresh green and yellow vegetables. Fruits as compared to vegetables take more time to grow and need more care as compared to vegetables.
There has also been an increase in land and water livestock production in cities. These areas are a big source of fresh protein to the city locals. The increased production of pasture as well as free range poultry has increased drastically the supply of protein in cities that used eggs as the only source of proteins. Urban production, processing as well as distribution of small scale livestock is rapidly increasing in the city of New York. Farm fishing has also not been left behind and it has grown rapidly since its massive introduction in the 1990’s. Farm fishing is often done in and near large cities.
Fruits and vegetables are described as low calorie and dense in terms of their nutrient value. Many limited income households tend to buy bulk foods that are known to fill them up. Therefore, community and residential gardening is important as it enables persons to save food dollars. Further, in addition to this, it also promotes nutrition and releases the food dollars for non garden foods as well as other items (Hodgon, 2011). Studies have shown that every $1 that is successfully invested in a communal garden plot often yields roughly $6 worth of vegetables. During a time of crisis, the emergency food providers often have great access to breads and canned goods. However, in most of the cases they suffer a chronic shortage when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables. Through the project of garden donation, the required food can be donated precisely to the people in need of it.
Many studies have shown that gardeners and the people that buy from them often identify wanting fresh produce as a major reason as to why they grow food or purchase the locally grown products. This can be attributed to taste, which has been named by health professionals as an important lever in a bid to increase fruit and vegetable consumption (Foundation, 2011). The sensory experience of eating what can be described as fresh picked produce appears in many cases to enhance fruit and vegetable consumption. Different studies have shown that there is indeed a relationship that exists between freshness and health.
In conclusion, urban agriculture needs to be embraced as it is an integral part and component of large environmental and social systems that will eventually warrant more in depth analysis. There are clear solutions and opportunities that are emerging from urban agriculture. Many problems will be tackled with increased food production in the cities and the potential of enhancing connections between emerging alternative urban and rural food systems will go on an all time high.
Foundation, R. W. (2011). Health Policy Brief. Health Affairs, 1-4.
Golden, S. (2013). Urban Agriculture impacts: Social, health and economic: A literature review. University of Califronia, 1-22.
Group, A. H. (2012). Helath Insurance for working adults. 1-7.
Hodgon, K. (2011). Investing in Healthy suistanable places through Urban agriculture. Funders Network , 1-16.
Smith, D. (2006). Understanding the links between agriculture and health . For foods, agriculture and the environment, 1-2.
Coastal cities are being inundated; ocean currents that have stayed the same for centuries are now changing, tropical diseases are spreading quickly, and glaciers are melting. However, there are several pertinent questions that have been raised in regards to the rise in global temperatures. Have the global temperatures risen higher than ever before, and is an increase in temperatures as a result of heightened emissions of carbon dioxide? This can be described as the key questions that touches entirely on the current modern discourse of global warming and climate Change. The Medieval climate optimum allowed the Vikings to grow crops in Greenland around 900 A.D until it got cold again. It is of interest to note that there have been increases in temperatures many times in history. Emissions rose in the 20th century where it could be argued that man had a detectable influence. However, this saw the beginning of cooling the trend that ended in the 1970’s. The global cooling panic was explored in different books, and it was blamed on the increased emissions. However, several decades later, with global warming, it has prompted the same exact movement and the same people that argued science showed that emissions led to global cooling have changed their stance and now state the emissions are causing the increase of temperatures. Therefore, who is to gain from this energy related drama? The answer lies in environmentalists who are using these energy-related drama for political gain.
Global warming alarmism can be described as being the choice for a mélange of people with several interests, and they insist that whatever happens in the world is often the fault of man. It has also been a vehicle of choice for corporation that often seek to make millions from different and diverse government favors that they would have otherwise not made in a legitimate marketplace. There has been a call by governments all over the world that companies that show remarkable carbon footprints will be able to receive tax subsidies from the government. For this reason, many big companies have paid billions in advertisements in order to show the world how climate change is affecting the word and what they are doing about it. They label it as their corporate social responsibility; however, this is not the case and in fact, most of these companies aim to make the cut for these subsidies.
Bad news sells, and this is what politicians turned environmentalists have been using for their political mileage. The desired response to the calamitous ‘We must act right now’, climate change is getting out of hand is the same that was proposed by the same movements in response to the apparently man-made global cooling. This is entirely consistent with the politicians and environmentalists of that time. In addition to political mileage, there are those that wish to benefit from all this hullabaloo by leveling the playing field for companies globally and controlling energy. Canada’s Minister in 1998 stated that despite the science behind climate change being phony, there are a lot of collateral environment benefits. She went on to further argue that climate change provided the greatest chance to bring equality and justice into the world. Therefore, politician turned environmentalists; big companies and companies dealing with recyclable energy are the ones always to benefit with the energy drama that has been witnessed for almost a century now.
The manner in which the benefit to these parties has been achieved is not in the least way ethical. There has been a lot of misconceptions and inflammatory statements that have been stated and even documented in journals in order for several people in the society to push forward their selfish agendas. The research about climate change can be said to have been done shambolically with almost each and every scientist coming up with their individual conclusions. The media as a tool of communication has been in used in a negative way in order to propagate these fictitious propaganda. Large companies have posted advertisements detailing what they have done and making it appear colossal towards solving the problems that affect climate change. Further, companies that are making recyclable energy have come to understand that the persons that control power often controls the economy. Therefore, they have propagated the propaganda in order to assure that they get their hands on real quick money that will have the continuous flow because of the panicking masses. Not all facts have been laid bare on the table and in fact, science has been contorted and disfigured in order for it to reach pre-determined conclusions.
In conclusion, environmentalists, large companies and companies that produce recyclable energy are the ones that are likely to benefit from the energy drama that has been happening, and that will be happening over the next couple of decades or even centuries. Science has been disfigured in order to produce different propaganda in order to serve several selfish interests. There is however, a need for the information to be laid to the public, every bit of it in order for them to understand whether they have really caused globally warming or it is just a cyclic nature process.
Global warming and climate change have over a long period now, been the main topics during international conferences. While most people rely on sources such as the IPCC for information concerning climate change and global warming, it has been revealed that reports published by the organization were misleading. The act of publishing wrong information was not only misleading, but the misuse of office. Worse even, the UN based organization could not come clean about the fact that they had misled the world (Paul, 2013). Obviously, there is a party or parties that intend to benefit from the misleading findings if this continues over the next few decades. The main question here is who?
Does the IPCC stand a chance to gain from the publishing of faulty results to the world? It is important to agree to the fact that even independent bodies are today subject to the influence by politicians. Often, political leaders push for policies, reports or publications that present better opportunities for them to become more powerful. Being economically sufficient is one element that political leaders pursue. Presenting misleading information could have been an element of political influence by political leaders in exchange for financial and political support (Paul, 2013).
The world’s super powers would want to control the business of alternative energy sources more than anything. However, it is not easy to lure the world to shift into alternative energy sources without substantial information to prove the need to do so. By publishing overrated facts to the public, IPCC intended to portray global warming as an emergency. The ultimate reaction to such news would be a shift to the use of alternative energy sources. This would present several investment opportunities for the developed countries since they have enough capital to cater for the high cost of installing and maintaining alternative energy power station (Goklany, 2011). The publication of the misleading facts was geared towards ensuring that developed countries continue to control the world’s economy.
Another line of thought in trying to identify the beneficiaries of the misleading information is that IPCC could have published the results so as to solve the problem of global warming early. Instead of waiting until global warming intensifies, the organization decide to hold on to the increasing global warming so that the world could find a terminal solution for it. This would have benefited the world by ensuring a safe environment for habitation. The organization had the choice to present the real figures, but this would have made nations more relaxant in adopting safe environmental practices. To some extent the publication of such data was a positive strategy in ensuring conservation programs continued. Additionally, reports, although misleading, would have led to more emphasis on environmentally friendly industrialization. Developing countries would still have become industrialized, but with safe energy (Goklany, 2011). In this respect, the problem of global warming would not reappear in future.
Publishing the misleading information has some benefits some of which demonstrate self-centeredness while others are genuine. However, it is against the ethical standards for such an influential organization to deceive the world. First the organization risked losing the trust of the people in the provision of information concerning climate change. Again, it is expected that an organization such as IPCC must uphold integrity in it acquisition, analysis and presentation of data. Using such a method to influence the response of people towards change is not only unethical, but also unexpected of such an organization.
Goklany,.I.M. (2011). Misled on climate change: how the UN IPCC exaggerate the impact of global warming.
Paul,.C. (2013). UN’s new climate change report and embarrassment, self-serving and beyond misleading.
Climate change refers to significant changes in the distribution of the weather patterns in the region, which have a lasting impact. The impact of climate change can last for different periods, ranging from just a number of years to decades or even centuries. The world today has been affected heavily by the impacts of climate change causing various types of disasters. Despite nature having a hand in the factors that have instigated climate change, it is not a major cause for climate change. However, the main cause of climate change has been man-related factors or reasons. The climate changes are often referred to as global warming, which refers to the rise on global temperatures. Despite the various efforts by individuals and organizations to avert human beings from engaging in behaviors that cause climate change, human beings have done very little to follow the guidelines set. The major economic powers in the world have the highest rate of pollution to the environment. In this essay, the discussion revolves around the impact of the activities of human beings in instigating climate change.
Over the past few decades, the universe has been experiencing some serious effects of climate changes. Some of the effects include the rise in sea level, cyclones, floods, drought, cyclones, melting glaciers and loss in vegetation. Above are just part of the results that the universe is suffering due to the adverse effects of climate change (DiMento & Pamela, 67). The main effects of climate change are experienced by the poor and communities, which are on the low-income end. The surprising detail is that despite the major contributors of climate change being the developed nations, the impact is felt on the whole world even for those who contribute very little to the problem. There have been different global forums that are aimed at minimizing the effects of climate change. Despite the forums being attended by representatives from the undeveloped and developed nations, there are slow measures in place to reduce the impact of global climate change.
One would wonder what the role of a human being on the planet in the critical issue of climate change. Climate scientists come to one agreement that the major cause of climate change is the human expansion of the greenhouse effect. According to climate scientists, the natural factors that contribute to climate change only accounts for less than forty-percent of climate change. One of the natural causes of climate change is solar radiations, which are variations in the orbit of the earth. The variations in the path of the earth change the distribution of sunlight on the earth's surface seasonally (Letcher, 48). This is the reason behind the different seasons in the earth, which are autumn, winter, summer and spring. The variety in the seasons causes the difference in the distribution of sunlight in the different regions in the world. Another natural cause of climate change in the world is life, which related to carbon and water cycles.
Volcanic eruptions that are mostly caused by natural reasons cause a large effect on the global climate. The eruption of Mount Pinatubo, for example, of 1991, affected the global climates substantially. The eruption was considered as the second largest terrestrial eruption in the twentieth century decreased the global temperatures significantly by around 0.5 °C, for a period that lasted for about three years (Downie et al., 38). Over a couple of million years, the world has been experiencing tremendous plate tectonics, which affect the position of the continents. The shift in the plate tectonics is the reason behind the separation of the earth from a global mass of land to the seven continents. However, the influence of human-related activities has had a great impact on the climate changes being experienced. The problem with the human-related activities that cause global warming is that the activities or most of them, are irreversible. A major contributor to the climate change is the greenhouse effect, which has been focused on from time to time.
The rapid increase in the levels of carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases risk the effects of greenhouses gases on the world. For centuries, the supply of carbon dioxide in the world was stable, and the environment could successfully manage the levels of carbon through natural processes. However, with the rise in emission of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, the environment is unable to regulate the levels of the gases. The human activities that increase the levels of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere include deforestation, burning of fossil fuels and intensive agriculture. Fossil fuels are used by most machines in the world and, therefore, the intensive use of fossil fuels cause the rise in the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. To state how serious the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are, there is an increase in the levels of carbon dioxide at forty-two percent compared to the time when the industrial era started.
Currently, levels of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere are relatively higher than they have ever been in about half a million years. Carbon dioxide, which is the major contributor of greenhouse gas effects, is produced mainly through the burning of fossil fuels. Methane, on the other hand, is produced naturally when the vegetation rots, is burned or digested in lack of oxygen. There is a large amount of methane that are released through cattle farming, rice farming, waste dumps and the production of gas and oil. The Kyoto Protocol is a legal agreement binding all industrialized nations to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases by 5.2% (Downie et al., 74). The Kyoto Protocol has a provision for six gases, which are methane, carbon dioxide, hydrofluorocarbons, sulphur hexafluoride, perfluorocarbons and nitrous oxide. The main concern about all the six gases in the Kyoto Protocol is that they all associated to human-related activities, and none has a natural association.
The various greenhouse gases have different heat-trapping abilities, and some of the gases can trap more heat than carbon dioxide. Nitrous oxide, for example, is three hundred times stronger than carbon dioxide. Therefore, with such strength, one would think of the possible effects if the levels of Nitrous oxide were the same levels as those of carbon dioxide. Since 1990, the emissions of greenhouse gases have risen to about six billion metric tons of carbon dioxide. The figure is equivalent to about a twenty percent increase in the release of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The impact of greenhouse gases on the increase in global temperatures is because the gases block heat from escaping from the atmosphere (Letcher, 54). Though this seems like a good thing, the high concentration levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere makes the levels of heat blocked from escaping from the atmosphere. The retention of heat by the greenhouse gases increases the levels of temperature in the world increase the global temperatures.
An increase in global temperatures increases the levels of evaporation and precipitation in an overall level. Therefore, some areas will end up becoming dryer than before while other become wetter. The increase in the global temperatures warms the oceans and melts the glaciers. The melting of the glaciers increases the level of water in the oceans, increasing the sea level. The increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, however favors the growth of some plants. Some plants can use the high levels of carbon dioxide in the environment to their advantage and manage to grow faster and use more water. In some areas, the climate change may affect some areas that crops grow normally and cause a reduction in the dependence of the land. The change in the climate of the region can affect the planting and harvesting seasons, affecting the schedule for the region when it comes to agriculture.
The largest threat to the biodiversity and ecology of planet earth is the generation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The increase in the population growth in the world also has a role to play when it comes to the climate change. When it comes to the discussions on climate change, the focus is on the carbon emissions of an individual over their lifetime. It is important to classify the carbon emissions of an individual for the lifetime of the individual. However, there is a challenge of the growth in population and an increase in the global consumption of resources. The increase in population raises the consequences of the productive choices of individuals (Schmidt & Joshua, 245). The size of carbon emissions has a close relationship to the consumption patterns of the human beings. Under the current global conditions, a child born in the United States is entitled a responsibility of about seven times that of a child born in China. A child born in the United States also has a responsibility, a hundred and sixty-eight times a child in Bangladesh.
The United States has the highest population out of all developed nations and is the only developed nation currently experiencing a rise in the population. Before the 21st century come to an end, the population may end up doubling (Mathez & Jason, 72). The three hundred million inhabitants of the nation produce a per-capita rate of greenhouse gases five times the global average, is more than double the average of Europe and more than ten times that of developing nations. The high contribution of greenhouse gases by the United States is due to a combination of high population growth, and massive consumption levels. Other reasons are significant growth and the lack of the will by politicians to stop the use of fossil fuels. Therefore, in the light of such facts, nations should ensure that use measures meant to reduce the impacts of climate change. The United States can, for example, consider population regulation methods to reduce the dependency of the environment to sustain the increasing population.
The deforestation activities that are ongoing in the world should be stopped immediately. The increase in forest cover gives the vegetation a chance to try to reduce the levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The major cause of deforestation in most places is to clear up land for farming and settlement of the human population (Newman, 60). Therefore, the issue of deforestation brings back to the problem of an increase in human population. A few centuries ago, the forest cover was more due to the reduced human population. However, the increase in the human population comes with increased needs in terms of settlement and food. Therefore, more land has to be freed up to create space for the settlement of the increasing population as well as provide food to feed the population.
The dependency on fossil fuel for running most machines should also be reduced in order to avoid increasing the current greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The combustion of fossil fuels is the reason for the increase in greenhouse emissions in the atmosphere. Therefore, alternative energy sources should be sought in order to reduce the gases released in the atmosphere. The use of alternative sources not only saves the world from climate change but is also more economical (Mathez & Jason, 46). The business and officers users of electricity should also try to conserve and watch their electricity consumptions levels. The use of electricity in businesses and even at home should be done, only when it is necessary. The saving of electricity also regulates the release of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and makes the air cleaner.
Companies are also encouraged to filter the emissions that they release to ensure that the gases released are not harmful to the environment. In Northeast and Europe, there is the use of a cap and trade system. A cap and trade system works in a way that financial incentives are used to encourage companies to reduce the level of carbon dioxide that they release. A regulatory body is in charge of setting a limit on the annual carbon dioxide emissions released from the companies (Schmidt & Joshua, 167). If a company is willing to emit more than the set limit, then the company needs to buy emission permits from a company that is emitting less than the set limit. The limits are commonly ratcheted down, which makes it expensive for a company go on with pollution and releasing high levels of carbon dioxide.
In conclusion, earth’s climate has always changed; from a sunny day to a rainy night. The rate of change is the major reason of current concern to scientists. In addition, it’s an environmental challenge that faces our planet that people are not aware of (DiMento & Pamela, 78). The melting of the north and south poles, are an example of a huge change in climate. The water levels are rising causing temperatures to vary. For example, in winter 2013, it snowed in Egypt, on the pyramids for the first time in 100 years. At the same time, Australia suffered from extreme high temperatures that they never experienced before. Carbon Dioxide rates are higher now than it was ever before and has reached a level of density in the air that it’s now one of the biggest fears that the earth faces today. The density increased about 40 parts by million in the last 60 years (Downie, 81). The earth’s temperature will change depending on the increasing and decreasing of Carbon Dioxide. Statistically, the climate of planet Earth is not stable, from the ice age to today. In the next 86 years, NASA predicted that the Earth’s temperatures are going to rise every year in different patterns. This might raise the average temperature to 20 Co. It is time for human beings to participate in reducing the impacts of climate change, or risk a quarter of the human population globally to be extinct by 2050.
DiMento, Joseph F, and Pamela Doughman. Climate Change: What It Means for Us, Our Children, and Our Grandchildren. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2007. Internet resource.
Downie, David L, Kate Brash, and Catherine Vaughan. Climate Change: A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio, 2009. Print.
Letcher, T M. Climate Change: Observed Impacts on Planet Earth. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2009. Internet resource.
Mathez, Edmond A, and Jason E. Smerdon. Climate Change: The Science of Global Warming and Our Energy Future. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009. Print.
Newman, Jonathan A. Climate Change Biology. Wallingford, Oxfordshire: CABI, 2011. Print.
Schmidt, Gavin, and Joshua Wolfe. Climate Change: Picturing the Science. New York: W.W. Norton, 2009. Print.
An overly simplistic understanding of global warming is to define it as the gradual increase of the earth's temperature as a result of increased coverage of the earth's atmosphere with carbon dioxide and Chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs) as well as other pollutants (Thompson, 2010). But in reality, global warming entails much more than just the gradual rise of the earth's temperature and this phenomenon portends potentially life-threatening changes to the human habitat. It is well that most people understand the causes of global warming and which is why it is uplifting when various organizations come together to do more in terms of educating the masses on the reality of global warming and the likely consequences the species that inhabit the earth today are likely to suffer should this event go unchecked.
In a keynote address delivered during the commemoration of Nelson Mandela's 100 year anniversary, President Barack Obama made a poignant point that he found it hard to hold a meaningful conversation with anybody who did not believe that global warming was a reality and that unless preventive measures were taken to reduce the intensity of human activities chiefly responsible for the emission of large volumes of toxic pollutants into the atmosphere, the human race could face possible catastrophic turn of events (CBS News, 2018). At a time when most people would have thought the former U.S. Commander-in-Chief would concentrate on matters such as social justice, human growth and development, nationalism and oppressive capitalism, Obama did not forego this opportunity to weigh in on the urgency with which global warming should be treated.
And rightfully so because scientists and researchers at NASA have time and again evidenced the reality of climate change by highlighting not only the changes in temperature that have been recorded in various places all around the world but they also cite the rapidly shrinking ice cover in the North Pole, the rising levels of oceans and seas, the rising temperatures of water bodies, longer and hotter heat waves, prolonged droughts in various geographical areas and the ever-increasing frequency of national calamities like hurricanes, tsunamis, and wildfires as the telltale signs that something is amiss (McMillan, 2016; Thompson, 2010). Undoubtedly, these conditions were not prevalent in the old world when industrialization had not happened but at the turn of the 18th century when man when civilization entered the Enlightenment age, new inventions and innovations led to the rise of modern human greed unfazed by the damage being done to the environment.
Large conglomerates and corporate organizations are only interested in how they can widen their profit margins to make the Board and the investors happy. The much-vaulted capitalism that is credited with propelling western democracies to world dominance and instigating the rice of Asian tigers like Japan, Singapore, and South Korea is also the curse of the modern era. As more and more people are buying into the idea that western capitalism is the template for prosperity and development, they are also losing interest in preserving essential values that help in protecting mutual co-existence between man and his environment (Machan, 2010). As Obama observed, the decisions made by these multinationals are in complete oblivion to the challenges that the ordinary people are facing in some parts of India as a result of a coal-powered plant being put up in their area under the guise of job creation, or monies paid to bribe poor countries to allow wealthy nations dump waste, or cover-ups to hide oil spillages in the oceans by sea-going tankers.
So is it our fault that our planet is dying a death that can be prevented? Absolutely. The fact that the concentration of carbon dioxide and other toxic gases has significantly gone up since industrial revolution begun in the 19th century is proof that human activities are primarily responsible for climate change we are witnessing now. A report published in The Guardian highlighted that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was approximately 126 parts per million (ppm) before the industrial revolution started but a decade after industrial revolution began, the concentration went up to 212 ppm (Watts, 2017). Today the figure has risen to 440 ppm, and scientists now argue that there have been more carbon emissions since the age of industrial revolution to-date than the combined emissions of natural processes like volcanoes, earthquakes, and solar storms since the formation of the earth millions of years ago. With this piece of evidence, there is no doubt that human activities are the primary contributors to global warming and the wrong assertion of a clique of isolated bourgeois individuals that human activities have little effect on the carbon concentration in the atmosphere is simply far-fetched.
The world would be a better place if people in authority used their positions in society to do good rather than perpetuate evil. The irony is that eventually, it all catches up with them because they breathe the air ordinary people breathe, they get their food from farms irrigated with water they helped contaminate, and the waste they dump in poor third world countries are recycled as sent back to them as baby toys. This is a zero-sum game in which neither the main players nor the non-players win - we all lose. But there is a lot that can - and ought to - be done. For one we can start by teaching ourselves and our children simple basics that will go a long way in instilling a culture of preserving the environment; we can begin by educating ourselves and our children not to dump rubbish anywhere; that rubbish pits and waste bins are meant for that purpose. We can start by opting for eco-friendly sources of energy and embracing solar-powered panels, electric cars, and the likes. We can learn to close the tap and to switch off lights when there is enough natural light. In the end, it is the small things that make the greatest impact.
Machan, T. R. (2010, July 1). Capitalism and the Environment. Retrieved July 31, 2018, from Foundation for Economic Education: https://fee.org/articles/capitalism-and-the-environment/
MacMillan, A. (2016, March 11). Global Warming. Retrieved July 31, 2018, from https://www.nrdc.org/stories/global-warming-101
CBS News. (2018, July 17). Former President Obama's full speech in South Africa. Retrieved July 31, 2018, from CBS NEWS: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/president-obama-full-speech-south-africa/
Thompson, L. G. (2010). Climate Change: The Evidence and Our Options. Journal of Behavioral Analysis, 33(2), 153-170.
Watts, J. (2017, October 30). Global atmospheric CO2 levels hit record high. Retrieved July 31, 2018, from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/30/global-atmospheric-c...
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