What can we do to Stop Global Warming? Climate change may be a big problem, but there are many little things we can do to make a difference. If we try, most of us can do our part to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that we put into the atmosphere. Many greenhouse gases come from things we do every day. As we have learned, these greenhouse gases trap energy in the atmosphere and make the Earth warmer. Some of these gasses occur naturally while others are caused by humans. The most common of these gasses that are causing the earth to heat up is the gas carbon dioxide (CO2).
According to the ICCP the CO2 emissions have grown between 1970 and 2004 by eighty percent. Emissions rose by 15. 8 percent from 1990 through 2004 and emissions and from 2003 through 2004 emissions increased by 1. 7 percent. The main factors that contribute to the greenhouse gasses are economic growth in 2004, which lead to increased demand for electricity and fossil fuels. The expanding industrial production in energy-intensive industries, also increasing demand for electricity and fossil fuels, and increased travel all leading to higher rates of fuel consumption. So what can we do as individuals to help stop global warming?
As individuals we can try to get global warming under control by slowing down the release of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping “greenhouse” gases that we let into the atmosphere. We can contribute to this global cause with our own personal actions. Our individual efforts are very beneficial to the United States and Canada, where individuals release over 10,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per person every year. One of the first things we can do is improving our fuel efficiency; did you know that every gallon of gasoline burned puts 26 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere? Seaman) You can boost the overall fuel-efficiency of your car as much as 30% by simple vehicle maintenance and attention to your style of driving. The first way to drive more efficiently is do not start fast and then break hard, Tests show that fast starts and hard braking reduce travel time by only four percent, while toxic emissions were more than five times higher because of these lead foots. Instead accelerate slowly. In city driving, nearly 50% of the energy needed to power your car goes to acceleration.
I do realize that not everyone can afford a more fuel efficient car and no matter how they drive it will not get good gas mileage. (Seaman) That being said there is something that everyone can do on a daily basis to help slow the causes of global warming. Recycling is one of the easiest ways we can help slow down global warming and contribute to its end. According to the EPA, the national recycling rate is only 30%. Increasing material recycling in the United States to 60% could save the equivalent of 315 million barrels of oil per year. Recycling is a great way individuals can make a difference, both locally and globally.
Plastics are made from a resource not generally known for being environmentally friendly, petroleum which our gas is a byproduct of. The packaging our everyday items come in account for one third of all landfill space that is being use. Of that more than half that packaging is plastic. While some plastics are readily recyclable (those labeled “1” and “2”), many are not biodegradable and are bad for landfills. (Recycling) Plastics are used for an ever in increasing variety of disposable and durable goods. Plastics are inexpensive to produce and extremely versatile from bags to flat-wear.
Large amounts of energy are put into the making of plastics. When grocery shopping try to avoid plastics, especially the squeezable bottles that are made of multi-layered plastic because they cannot be recycled. Instead of getting a paper or plastic bag at the grocery store checkout you can bring your own environmentally friendly bags, they are often sold for about $5. 00 at many stores so you don’t have to chose between paper or plastic. Now if we don’t recycle it will have negative impacts on everyone. The landfills are filling up very fast. Many of them are getting too full and are having to close down.
One third of the landfills in the United States have closed since 1980, and more than half the cities on the East Coast will run out of room in their landfills by 1990. In New York, 14 sites have closed in the past 10 years. (Squidoo) With all of these places either closing or being full very soon we are running out of space to put all the trash. Some say that we should just burn our garbage but when garbage is burned, it can release dangerous gases into the air. Each year Americans throw away 1. 6 billion pens, 2 billion razors, 220 million tires, and enough aluminum to rebuild the entire U.
S. commercial airline fleet. Dr. Timothy F. Ball is one skeptic of global warming and has published articles in the Canada Free Press and other news papers. Dr. Ball has a Ph. D. in climatology from the University Of London England. Scientists like Dr. Ball believe that global warming is a myth, he believes that the climate changes we have been experiencing in the last few decades are well “within natural variability and explained quite easily by changes in the sun. ” He says there is nothing unusual going on with regards to global warming because it does not exist. Dr.
Ball is quoted in the Canada Free Press news paper (CFP) saying that the belief of global warming “is the greatest deception in the history of science. ” Also, that “We are wasting time, energy and trillions of dollars. ” (CFP) This Dr. of climatology believes that weather just comes in cycles and the earth just heats up and cools down. Ball argues that other scientists share his views as well but, he has personally been attacked for his views. If a scientist speaks out against the theory that global warming is real they risk persecution, damage to their reputations, and lose job security.
The natural greenhouse effect keeps the earth warm when functioning normally. Since global warming research has started we now know that human activities are altering the climate of our entire planet. People have increased the total amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 25% from the burning of fossil fuels and the destruction of forests. No one really knows how much plastic get dumped into the world’s oceans every year, but a recent report estimated that up to 350 million pounds of packaging plastic and fishing gear may be lost or dumped by fisherman and sailors each year.
Millions of pounds more may come from individuals, private boats, and factories. (Squidoo) Another positive of recycling plastic is some places even offer money back for returned plastic bottles so they can be reused. While reusing disposable plastic does not guarantee to make you money, it can keep some money in your wallet. One way everyone can do this on their own is to buy refills of things like soap and shampoo that are available in bulk. For example when you buy shampoo at a place like wal-mart, it comes in a large bottle that costs you less than it would to buy a bunch of smaller bottles.
You can pour the shampoo into small plastic bottles you already have on hand and then you can recycle the big bottle when it’s empty. These are but two ways you can get some money back or at least save money when it comes to your plastic bottles. You can get very creative on ways to reuse or your plastic bottles. Some people even make house hold goods and clothing out of it. If we don’t recycle the things that can be recycled, we’ll run out of landfill space and the water and air pollution will increase. These things as we know are not good for us as people or the planet.
So next time you are in the grocery store and you see your favorite Australian grape juice in its nice new plastic bottle take a minute to think about true costs of these products. Your choices do make a difference. We can transform our planet and change over consumptive society, one purchase at a time. Works Cited Ball, Timothy. “Global Warming, climate change facts, articles. ” Canada Free Press: Online conservative newspaper, News, Politics, Editorials. 5 Feb. 2007. Web. 19 Sept. 2009. http://www. canadafreepress. com/2007/global-warming020507. htm. Recycling Basics for the Home. ” Eartheasy – Sustainable Living. 2007. Web. 10 Dec. 2009. http://www. eartheasy. com/live_recycling. htm. Seaman, Greg. “Eartheasy Blog. ” Eartheasy – Sustainable Living. 3 Mar. 2009. Web. 18 Dec. 2009. http://www. eartheasy. com/blog/2009/03/global-warming-climate-change-what-we-can-do-about-it/. U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. Web. 13 Dec. 2009. http://www. epa. gov. “What Will Happen If We Don’t Recycle? ” Squidoo:_ Welcome to Squidoo_. Web. 12 Dec. 2009. http://www. squidoo. com/recycle-pollution#module34923452.