Jul 142010

It is almost unavoidable to live in this era and not hear anything about global warming. On the other hand, there are still a lot of people who have not got a clue about what global warming is and what steps they can take to prevent it.

What comes to everybody’s mind is: Why is global warming happening? Human beings have been increasing the use of fossil fuels in order to heat their homes, run their cars and also their factories. The burning of fossil fuels leads to the creation of gases and chemicals, called greenhouse gases, which are collected in the atmosphere like a thickening blanket. They stay in earth’s atmosphere for many years. This massive air pollution which really is like a thickening blanket traps the heat of the sun and causes the planet to warm up. There exist some specific gases which are used in refrigerators and spray cans that can add to the collection of the gases already mentioned.

Another thing people have done over years is cutting down trees in rain forests. Natural forests always acted as the main source for creating balance between the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide which was present in the world weather. Unfortunately, with a lot of destroyed forests most of the carbon dioxide goes up to the earth atmosphere without being absorbed by plants.
The main source of concern when it comes to global warming is the rise in water level when the earth’s temperature rises. During the last 50 year, the earth’s average temperature has gone up at the fastest rate ever recorded. If water levels keep rising up, we will end up with a lot of melting icebergs. This additional amount of water would raise sea levels by several meters. The danger first hits coastal towns and cities which are only a few meters above the sea level. They would simply be flooded. In addition, in the long run people will be encountered with famine, water shortages, extreme weather conditions and a 20-30% loss of animal and plant species only and only if they do not reduce the rate of global warming and do not take any steps toward reducing greenhouse gases.

In 1992 a group of environmental experts from all over the world gathered in Brazil to talk about the issue at a United Nations convention. They met again in 1997, this time in Kyoto, Japan which resulted in the Kyoto Protocol. What seems astonishing was the fact that the US did not sign the protocol. Her excuse was the fact that reductions in gases would hurt the US economy.
Now that we are aware of the dangers of global warming, it is probably best to know what we can do in order to prevent it. A famous saying is of great help in this realm and that is “Think globally, act locally”. That is to say, a global responsibility makes everyone act locally. There are lots of was to help us fight global warming. Some of the easiest are listed below:

1. Insulate:

Be energy wise and insulate your entire home to prevent the heating and cooling costs. Use curtains in winter to prevent heat from escaping in winter.

The aforementioned suggestions were only a small fraction of what one can do in order to challenge global warming. Saving the earth is not what only environmentalists have to be concerned about; it is everybody’s responsibility to help keep the world safe and sound for both ourselves and the future generations.

2. Use public transportation:

By taking the bus, the train, the subway or even riding the bicycle you actually lesson the load on the roads and therefore you help to reduce one’s individual greenhouse gas emissions. So drive less, and whenever possible encourage carpooling to save energy.

3. Use energy-efficient fluorescents:

Replace all the lights in your home with this type of fluorescents which use fewer watts for producing the same amount of light. A standard fluorescent bulb will save one third of the amount of greenhouse gas which is emitted from a normal light bulb. One benefit is that you do not need to change these fluorescents frequently.

4. Buy energy-efficient appliances:

Inefficient appliances waste energy. When it comes to buying a new one, choose the one with “energy star” ratings on it. Choose the one with the highest energy efficiency rating. In this way, you can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide pollution by approximately a ton in total.

5. Plant a tree:

Choose a plant which is locally appropriate for your area. It is worth knowing that plants like bamboo which need less care and chemicals when compared to other plants grow faster and also produce 35% more oxygen than other typical trees.

6. Unplug unused electrical appliances:

Even when your electrical appliance is turned off, it uses energy. By unplugging it, you not only save a lot of carbon dioxide but also a lot of money.

7. Use locally made products:

The nearest supermarket is probably the best place for you to do the shopping. Buy local products in order to reduce the amount of energy which is required for transporting your goods. The transportation of them is usually done by refrigerated airplanes or transport trucks. In addition, choose fresh food rather than frozen one because freezing food takes much more energy than producing fresh one.

8. Eat vegetarian meals:

Vegetarian foods take far less energy to produce. Consuming vegetarian meal only once or twice a week will result in considerable CO2 savings.

9. Recycle:

Recycle whenever it is possible. You can recycle aluminum cans, newspapers, magazines, cardboards, glass, etc. Recycling anything needs less energy than producing something new. Encourage friends to buy recycled paper. And remember that you can make notes on shopping lists, unwanted notebooks, etc. So only recycle a paper when it has been completely used up.

10. Fill the dishwasher:

Run the dishwasher and the washing machine only when you have a full load in order to save energy.

How can you help prevent global warming? (2005). Viva, 2(8), 38-39.

How to take action to reduce global warming. (n.d.) Retrieved 2 March, 2008, from Wikihow Web site: http://www.wikihow.com/Take-Action-to-Reduce-Global-Warming

Global warming/climate change: what we can do about it. (2007) Retrieved 2 March, 2008, from Eartheasy Web site: http://www.eartheasy.com/article_global_warming.htm

Global warming basics. (2007) Retrieved 2 March, 2008, from Natural Resources Defense Council Web site: http://www.nrdc.org/globalWarming/f101.asp

How to prevent global warming. (2007) Retrieved 2 March, 2008, from eHow Web site: http://www.ehow.com/how_2044984_prevent-global-warming.html

Author: Elaheh Jarrahi
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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