Global warming.Do we need to change ourselves?

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In our first lecture,Global warming was discussed as a burning issue of 21st century. It is agreed by scientists that the mean global temprature is rising. CO2 is considered as a major gas reponsible for global warming along with water vapor,CFCs,ozone,and methane etc.CO2 is contributing about 60% in global warming. Once released into atmosphere, it may remain about 50-200 years. Miller, T,. (1996) Living in the environment.

If we look at its sources,power staions are its major source of  production (37%)  followed by transport  21%, industries 18%, domestic 16% and other 8%.( Climate change: The uk programme 2006).Along with its release from these sources,we are also contributing to rise in its level be means of deforestation. According to an estimate, the CO2 concentration in the air was 314 ppm in 1958 that was gradually rise to 355 ppm in 1992 and 388 ppm in 2010.To see full table click Here . Droughts, rising sea level, loss of biodiversity are some common problems linked to it.  Miller,T,.  (1996) Living in the environment. p. 305.

As we discussed about the copenhagen conference, which was ended without any significant result, make me think that why we are relying on few thousand peoples to decide about our future. Global warming is an issue of every single specie inhabiting on earth. What i believe, more or less, every one of us is contributing to global warming. When i was trevelling on the tube, i saw 100s of people many of them were comming back from offices. What about if every one of them was driving rather than travelling on the tube and what about 100s of people on the following tube. As we know that transport is contributing 21% to global warming, and  according to an estimate, a small car emits 0.1 kg of CO2/passenger/km while a tube emits 0.07 kg of CO2/passenger/km. It is just an example.We should change ourselves and work individually for the betterment of environment and it will make difference at some point.

“Never underestimate the power of a small group of comitted people to change the world.

Infact,it is the only thing that ever has” (Margaret Mead)

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2 Responses to “Global warming.Do we need to change ourselves?”

  1. solidaarisuus Says:

    Climate change is definately the problem of all of us and nobody should go on thinking that there is nothing an individual can do about it. We can make choices in our daily lives; think about our consumer choices and the things we buy, to recycle, maybe take the tube instead of driving – or maybe just walk if possible – and so on.

    However, I believe that without real commitment in international and national level for changing our way of living, our forms of consumption and the world system that desires continuous growth, we cannot stop the climate change just on individual level.

    For example, the case of taking the tube instead or driving; what if the city or town where you live in just does not have functioning public transportation? You still need to go to work or take your children to school. Then it is not only up to an individual and his/her choices when it comes to changing the way of living.

    Luckily in London we have good public transportation system that – most of the time – works as well. But some other things could still need a lot more work, like recycling. I am used to in my home country, that besides the normal carbage bin, you get separate ones for all the recyclable things. As it is just there in front of your home, recycling becomes easy and people are more keen to do it. In London I have lived in places were you have to take your recycled items sometimes very far away and then the likelihood of a person not doing this increases.

    Naturally a reponsible individual would make the choice for recyling and here I agree that we have to think about it on an individual level as well but unfortunately not everyone think like that. And what about countries and places where there just is no recylcing system in use? I also understand the limitations of recylcling; what about the environmental costs of transporting the recycled waste or, like mentioned in the class, does it really help when the total consumption only increases?

    However, I still think that like public transportation – that I think is very important in this matter – also recycling is at least one form of trying to make your contribution but an individual cannot really do much, unless in the national or council level something is done, be it transportation or recyling or any other such issue.

  2. Jhonny Says:

    Looking at the effects of global warming around the world, it is only wise that we as individuals endeavour to contribute to the alleviation of this global problem. I agree with you that we can play a part. In fact, there is a lot that individuals can do to by way of monitoring our activities to reduce the emission of the gases that cause climate change and its concomitant effects. There are many straightforward ways individuals could contribute to the reduction of these gases ,for example , not driving unless you need to – walk, jump on a bicycle or take a bus , fly less, insulate homes and turn off lights when they are not required. Over the years we have also seen the reduction of the production of CFC producing fridges, the use of renewable sources of energy (solar and wind turbines) and the emphasis on the need to recycle.
    But we must take cognizance of the fact, a huge proportion of the emissions responsible for climate change come from power stations and other activities from developed countries. These developed countries have failed or refused to sign binding agreements or pacts to reduce gases responsible for climate change and global warming. The non compliance by these countries has accounted for the fruitless outcomes of climate change summits/conferences and presents a much more complicated problem in curbing the issue. The Kyoto summit in 1997, the Copenhagen conference in 2009 and others have all failed as a result. Even the ongoing climate change conference in Cancun (Mexico) has seen countries expressing differences in the opening sessions. Japan is refusing to agree to the extension of curbing targets unless China and USA join in. This has lead to developing countries accusing Japan of breaking a pledge to extend a U.N. pact for the fight against global warming beyond 2012 and claim climate talks in Mexico would fail unless Japan changes its stance. http://www.nerc.ac.uk/research/issues/climatechange/emissions.asp. It is no surprise that developed countries fail to agree pacts or even they agree they fail to meet set targets as this will impact immensely economic on their economies.
    There is growing desire to drastically reduce emissions before it gets to a point where even if we stop the emissions, the earth will continue to suffer the effects of climate change. Science is playing a key role in developing new technologies to curb greenhouse gas emissions and investigating various ways to store carbon dioxide-which is seen as the main contributor to global warming.One solution that has been identified involves trapping all the carbon dioxide emitted from power stations chimneys then piping it underground. Countries like Norway and the USA have proved that this solution is viable. http://www.nerc.ac.uk/research/issues/climatechange/emissions.asp. It is vital that for agreements at climate change meeting to be adhered to if any inroads is to be made. In addition, Science remains an option to finding a solution and as such commitments should be made by countries into researching possibilities.

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