GOVT 2305 S26
Global Warming Research Paper
There is one thing that all people have in common, and that is that we all must live on this Earth. There is not one single person, group or nationality that can escape that truth, at least not yet. Mother Earth, as we call this beautiful planet that is our home, is completely irreplaceable and no amount of money can buy us a new one. We as humans are utterly stuck here, so the Earth's health and climate should be paramount to everyone. Sadly in most instances this is not the case. The Earth's temperatures are rising and global warming is the silent culprit. We as inhabitants and stewards of this planet must change our ways to preserve our home or be forced to face some serious consequences.
Global warming is not to be mistaken with natural temperature fluctuations, it is something entirely different. It is caused by carbon dioxide and other pollutants such as methane and nitrous oxide which are emitted into the atmosphere (nrdc.org). These gases act like a thickening blanket and trap the heat from the sun. Over the last fifty years the global temperature has increased at the fastest rate ever in recorded history (nrdc.org). These temperature changes have effects on weather patterns, wildlife and ocean temperatures. We can see signs of global warming today especially in the polar ice caps which are melting at an alarming rate. It has been estimated by the U.S. Center for Atmospheric Research that by year 2040 (less than 25 years from now) that the Arctic will be ice free (nrdc.org). This is beyond the point of alarming it is petrifying. Not only could global warming melt the ice caps but sea levels are rising as well and there has been an large increase in category four and five storms over the last 35 years (nrdc.org). The cost of global warming to our planet is apparent but what about the effects of global warming on our wildlife. According to the National Federation of Wildlife global warming has contributed to coral bleaching, forest loss due to wildfires and loss of wetlands. All these environments are home to wildlife and countless species have been affected (nfw.org).
Although most environmental scientist agree that global warming is legitimate, not all Americans agree that it actually exists. According to polls there is a clear divide between conservatives and liberals on the issue. About seventy percent of Steadfast Conservatives and Business Conservatives do not agree that there is enough evidence to support global warming (people-press.org). On the other end of the spectrum Solid Liberals agree at ninety-one percent that there is enough evidence to support global warming and seventy-eight percent of that group says that it is due to human activity (people-press.org). There have been several warnings from scientist about greenhouse effect and burning fossil fuels starting as early as 1896 when a Swedish scientist introduced the idea that emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere would raise the planet's temperature (The Discovery of Global Warming, by Spencer R. Weart (Harvard University Press, 2008). But during that time it was only a theory and thought to not have any effect on the Earth for tens of thousands of years. People did not really start to take notice and begin to get active about the environment until the 1970's and in recent years. In 2001 The International Panel on Climate Change in very ambiguous wording said "it was much more likely than not that our civilization faced severe global warming,".
Even with all the misinformation and skeptics there are activists and interest groups concerned with global warming and its acceleration. One is The Union of Concerned Scientist whose interests are defined as "Science for a Healthy Planet and a Safer World". This organization has had several publications on the issue and is striving to fight to education people on the issue. They also call to reduce emissions by: expanding the