Global Warming: An Inconvenient Truth

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An excellent example of a student paper by Rayko Diaz.

Our world as we know it has been orbiting around the sun for over four billion years and has seen many changes. Mountains have formed from the shift of tectonic plates and America's fiftieth state appeared from the depths of the Pacific Ocean. Homo sapiens have only existed on Earth for around two hundred thousand years, a relatively young species in terms of four billion years of life. Yet, in this small amount of time we have been the most destructive force our planet has ever seen. I believe global warming in part is an adverse effect of the development of human civilization. Before us the world went through its cycle of changes, but now it seems the balance of the Earth is in our hands.

I think the origins of the modern day global warming crisis can be traced to the beginnings of the Industrial Age in Britain during the eighteenth century. In past years individuals worked the land to support themselves and their families, but their lives would dramatically change. Agriculture jobs were replaced with the introduction of textile factories, thus humans began emitting harmful gases such as coal into the atmosphere. An event of this magnitude soon spread to North America and all around the world, as a consequence the degradation of the Earth on an unimaginable scale began. These individuals did not know their actions would be the cause of conflict and the biggest threat to the continuation of the all life on Earth. Over the years toxic gases emitted into the atmosphere have ate away at the ozone layer, warming the planet at an alarming rate, never seen before in recorded history. I am not saying that the Industrial Revolution is solely responsible for global warming it just started our modern day capitalistic society based on consumer goods.

Now let us fast forward to the present day America where the degradation of the Earth can be seen on a monumental scale. Ever day millions of cars and trucks pack the roads emitting toxic gases such as carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Oil refineries pump oil out of the Earth's already depleted supply of this natural resource. My point is in today's American consumer based society the Earth is seen as a resource for our expansion. The United States has always held itself on a higher pedestal than others nations, extending our knowledge to other countries in hopes of a better future. We may seem like a role model, but our country produces twenty-five percent of the carbon dioxide pollution from fossil-fuel burning. That is something we should not be proud of and in my opinion the rise of global warming can be linked to the phenomena of globalization.

With globalization brought the idea of worldwide commerce, which in turn was a need for the natural resources and a lack of respect for Earth. I think the thing people forget is, while we as a human civilization is on a rise our planet will not grow exponentially with us. It seems we are in a frenzy to make money, yet it is hurting our planet and most importantly future generations. What will the world be like in 2040? Scientists say the sea level could rise with only a couple degrees of temperature increase in the planet Earth. I think this problem would affect people living on the coast line of the United States the most; cities would face the threat of severe floods. A natural catastrophe such as this would cost our government greatly; living individuals displaced looking for a new beginning. If we do not recognize that global warming is occurring then we will surely face some kind of major catastrophe in our near future. The world is already experiencing significant changes due to a warming planet. The Greenland Ice Sheets are virtually melting away, animal species populations are dropping, and millions of individuals face starvation on a daily basis. These changes may seem small, however overtime their effects could be felt by all individuals. When ice sheets melt they pour huge amounts of water into our oceans, in effect rising the sea level a potential threat to island nations. I grave to see a world when the daily news consists of an animal species facing extinction due to the harsh conditions of the Earth causes by global warming.

I fear if we do not change right now and take action our world will be far different for future generations of human beings. To me it seems some individuals are still somewhat hesitant to take the necessary steps to clean up our planet. I think part of the blame can be placed on our government, because we have not fully educated people about the effects of this process. I mean sure we hear about the government's policies on the emissions of greenhouse gases, yet we are still burn more fossil fuels than any other nation. Now in today's world we have cars running on hydrogen and my favorite bio-diesel, but only a small percentage of the public is taking advantages of these inventions. If America is to see a change it will be like the trickle-down effect, first it starts off small building momentum as it gains followers. If our government put global warming as one of their main priorities then the public would become more aware of their daily actions.

Right now in America it appears we have far greater problems than the threat of global warming, most notably the overextended War in Iraq and our ever increasing struggles with oil dependency. I want a national figure to stand up and take action on this threat like Al Gore did with his film An Inconvenient Truth. I thought the title of the movie speaks our countries problem with global warming; it is simply an inconvenient truth that we will eventually have to deal with. If our president were to stand up during his last months in office and devise a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions people would listen. The reality is he probably will not do this, but I hope our next president whether it is a black man, a woman, or another white guy to make global warming on the top of America's priority list. Significant change will not be seen until everyone learns about the inconvenient truths of this threat to our existence.
Even though I am so adamant about global warming I still drive a car that emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. I know right now I do not have the money to but an eco-friendly car, but when I can I will. If others have these same views the government should reduce the prices of these cars greatly cutting down the amount of gases being spewed into the atmosphere. For now I will simply recycle and do my best to take public transportation when it I do not need to drive my car. I hope to see a day when houses all across America are powered by solar panels, using the sun as an energy source, not watts of energy. One day this world will be possible the technology is out their, now it is the responsibility of Americans to make these changes in our lives.

On a sociological level our county must change its rhetoric about alternative energy options, equaling a step forward in preventing the warming of our planet. Any step we take in preventing global warming will benefit our lives and most importantly the lives of future generations. If we change now our impact on the human civilization will be felt for generations to come. Hopefully, in the future, my generation will be seen as individuals who took a stand to prevent the warming of the Earth, not those who saw the beginning of the end of modern civilization.

Bibliography Page

1. Global Warming: How It All Began. Still Waiting for Greenhouse

2. Eitzen, Stanley D. Zinn, Maxine Baca 2006. Social Problem: Tenth Edition. Pearson, Inc,: Boston.

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