PHI 103: Informal Logic
January 16, 2012
Instructor Donald Ceplenski
Today we as people live in a world filled with so much technology that provided luxuries previously unknown to man. Unfortunately in the name of progress, we have created environmental problems. However, the debate about global warming has grown ever more intense in recent years and become as much political as it is scientific. Although, many scientists have concluded that the average temperature of the Earth has risen over the past hundred and fifty years, and that this rise is due to human influences. Theres no doubt that Earth is warming– the scientific evidence shows that the planets temperature has been rising for the past century and a half. But theres disagreement about the extent to which humans are responsible for the change (Hollander, 2003).
However, global warming is one of the most serious challenges that we are facing in today??™s society. In an effort to protect our health and the planet??™s earth economic well-being of both, as well as the current and future generations. Therefore, a scientific study has shown that global warming is caused largely by many human activities that increase carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which presents a serious environmental threat.
The greenhouse effect causes the warming of the earth??™s climate. This often happens because our atmosphere acts like the glass in a greenhouse. In a greenhouse, visible light can pass through the glass. Once inside the greenhouse, the shorter wavelengths are absorbed by the things in the greenhouse, so now the heat is energy with longer wavelengths the energy cannot pass through the glass. It is trapped (Drutman, A. D., & Zuckerman, S. K., 1991).
How is the greenhouse effect happening Recently man created another major source of carbon dioxide with the massive destruction of trees. This is called deforestation. Trees and green plants naturally remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, turning it into new plant material. This is called photosynthesis. In this process oxygen is also released into the atmosphere. So now the deforestation has a double negative effect. It also adds carbon dioxide to the atmosphere while it prevents carbon dioxide from being removed. However, other greenhouse gases like methane, nitrous oxide, and chlorofluorocarbons are released into our atmosphere in different ways. People and cows produce methane and so do landfills and rice paddies.
How is the greenhouse effect a problem Changes in the temperature occur over thousands of years. When changes occur, as those caused by the greenhouse effect, the results could be disastrous. Therefore, this global warming can cause the level of seas to raise, as ice on mountains and at the poles melts. This can result in a flooding along the coastal areas. Current weather patterns may also change due to global warming. It??™s also possible that dry and wet areas of the earth would shift. However, as the global warming continues, the impact on people lives will be severe such as;
??? Increased flooding and intensity of storms on the coastal areas
??? Damage to ecosystems, including extinctions
??? Increases in malnutrition, disease, and mortality
??? An increase in extremes, with more of both droughts and flooding
??? Reduced fresh water supplies and food production.
There are some disagreements that human activity contributes to the warming. For example, some of the greenhouse gases have no natural source; they are the products of processes initiated by humans (Lauer, J. C., & Lauer, R. H., 2008).
First human activities are increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, which tend to warm the atmosphere. The very most important greenhouse gas directly affected human activities is carbon dioxide, which has increased by nearly 30 percent since 1700, and this is because of the changes in land use and the burning of coal, oil and gas. Second, there is absolutely no doubt that the Earth??™s climate has changed during the last 100 years. And third there has been no definitive detection of a human- induced global- warming signal in the climate record (Bender, D. & Leone, B., 1997).
However it is very important that our society treat human induced global warming as a serious global scale environmental threat requiring concerted global action, but there is no need to panic because timely prudent actions will allow us as people to slow global warming and develop mitigation and adaptation options without serious economic dislocation. So the question is: How do we as people help with the threat of human- induced global warming that??™s destroying the planet earth
First, we as humans began when President George W. Bush signed the Climate Convention, the primary goal of which is the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous human-induced with the climate system. Therefore, the United States can purse the goal without sacrificing our economic competitiveness, or even destroying it. Although, this would require us as a whole to utilize better energy efficiency technologies, initiating a switch to modern renewable energies such as wind, solar power and bio-management of the agricultural lands, rangelands and forests. However, with doing these things this would reduce our energy bills, dependence upon foreign oil and congestion in our streets, and following the exact same steps would also enhance rural development, improving the air quality and reduce soil erosion. These actions would make perfectly sense even if there were no threat of global warming (Bender, D., & Leone, B., 1997).
Also, as noted most significant way we as people can fight global warming is to consume less energy. We can use less fossil fuel in industry and in our homes. There are programs to set up car pools to work. Certain tollbooths and roads have a lane for vehicles with three or more people in them. This allows us to get to work quicker using less fuel. Car pools are now being set up to drive children to and from their many activities.
We as people can also help reduce global warming by using less air conditioner. We are opting to use window shades and awnings to shade themselves from the sun. We are planting shade trees around our homes as another method of cooling. In colder climates, people are now planting evergreen trees to shield their homes from the winter winds. We are also using more improved insulation to better retain the heat. Globally, attempts are also made to stop the destruction of tropical rain forests (Drutman, A. D., & Zuckerman, S. K., 1991).
However, most climate experts agree that global warming is occurring, no consensus has yet been reached on the scope and consequences of climate change. Global Warming provides various perspectives on this critical issue, including discussions of the research and science of global warming, the possible consequences of unchecked global warming, and potential solutions (Drutman, A. D., & Zuckerman, S. K., 1991).
Bender, D., & Leone, B. (1997). Global warming: opposing viewpoints. Greenhaven Press, Inc.:
Drutman, A.D., & Zuckerman S.K. (1991) Protecting our planet. Good Apple Companies:
Lauer, J.C. & Lauer , R.H. (2008). Social problems and the quality of life, (12th ed.) McGraw-
Hill Companies: New York