Within 25 years a quarter of
all earth mammals will be extinct
By now everyone is aware of the dangers of global warming. There have been films, reports, articles and documentaries on the effects of climate change and that if attitudes don’t change quickly generations to come will have to clean up our mess.
What many people don’t know is that global warming will also have a devastating effect on the world over the next 25 years. Global warming is no longer a problem for the future.
Within 25 years weather will continue to become even more extreme, the oceans will rise, food and water resources will decline. This will have a negative effect on the economy and the likelihood of war over the dwindling resources will increase. Quite a high price to pay for leaving the TV on stand-by.
Since 1970 cyclones have been getting stronger and this trend will continue, and is likely to be repeated in other aspects of extreme weather. This extreme weather will put low lying coastal areas at increased risk, making disasters like New Orleans more frequent and ruinous.
As the Earth warms up Permafrost’s, ice under the Earth, will melt causing road and building subsidence. Even more worrying is that the melting Permafrost’s will also release billions of tonnes of methane gases into the atmosphere, gasses which are 22 times more potent than CO2. This will cause the climate to warm up even further and will result in reduced rainfall, draughts and vanishing glaciers meaning water supply will diminish. When this is coupled with the warmer weather catastrophes like the 2003 European heat wave which killed 30,000 people may become more frequent.
The worsening conditions will negatively affect the world’s economy. Countries that rely on exporting food resources will be the most affected and the gulf between the developed world and the third world will widen.
As the times get harder the poor, elderly and disabled who be the ones to suffer the most.
The declining resources will mean that competition between nations will increase as they fight over control of the remaining food and water supplies. A leaked report from the US pentagon in 2004 predicts nuclear war over water, food and environmental resources will happen.
The big question is can global warming be reversed, or is the Earth damaged beyond repair?
The good news is that global warming and the climate change it will bring about can be reversed. However there is no magic pill, it will not happen overnight. Whilst action needs to be taken on a very large scale people on a day to day level can take measures to cut their energy usage and fight global warming.
The biggest contributor to Greenhouse Gasses is electric power generation; because of this the average home contributes more to global warming than the average car. To reduce the amount of electricity used in our homes there are several steps we can do;
- Switch to energy efficient lighting. Whilst energy efficient light bulbs may be dearer to buy than normal bulbs, they last much longer and will save you money over the life off the bulb, and they will also save nearly 700 pounds of CO2 from entering the air.
- Buy energy efficient appliances. The more energy efficient your appliances are the cheaper they are to run. An energy star labelled refrigerator, for example, will use at least 15% less energy and reduce CO2 pollution by nearly a tonne.
- Reduce energy needed for heating and cooling. Properly insulated walls and attics will drastically reduce your heating costs. This will also prevent millions of tonnes of harmful gasses from being pumped into the atmosphere.
- Always recycle wherever possible. Recycling aluminium cans, newspapers, magazines and glass reduces the energy used to create new products. Visit www.recycle-more.co.uk for your nearest recycling centre.
- Choose clean energy suppliers. Always make sure that your energy supplier generates at least 50% of its power from clean sources, wind, solar energy and other renewable sources. Go to www.foe.co.uk for more details about “green” energy suppliers.
- Eat vegetarian meals. Vegetarian meals require significantly less energy to produce. Enjoy a vegetarian meal twice a week and your CO2 emissions will drop.
- Eat locally prepared foods. The transportation of food around the world releases staggering amounts of CO2 into the air from planes, lorries and trucks. Eating locally prepared food is healthier and greener,
Whilst you may not be able to adopt all of these changes, any amount of energy saved is significant.
Over the long term the requirements to prevent global warming need to be much more ambitious.
Ideally a transformation needs to take place throughout the world with most energy coming from clean energy sources rather than fossil fuels. Tough action by world leaders is needed. We also need international cooperation with enforceable agreements covering both industrialised and developing nations will be crucial.
Human activity, not natural factors is the primary cause of global warming. We caused the problem and it is up to us use the solutions we are aware of. To not use them is not just stupid, it is profoundly destructive.