The earth and its environment are facing growing challenges every day. There are alarming trends which environmentalists have been pointing out – our wildlife has been slowly disappearing, wetlands and farmlands are in danger, growing consumerism is leading to uncontrollable waste and leading to massive air and water pollution.
There are thus a myriad of environmental issues, which affect all of us without exception today. Some have generated a lot of debate and a lot of heat on what could be the best approach to tackle them.
Climate Change in general and Global Warming in particular, has attracted the most attention and generated the most controversies than most other environmental issues.
Also called the greenhouse effect, global warming is the effect of gases gathered above the surface of the earth. These gases trap heat close to the surface of the earth thereby heating up the planet, almost like in a greenhouse and causing harm to the environment of the earth.
There are a number of factors that lead to global warming. One of the biggest factors is the problem of overpopulation and its side effects. The more the number of people, the more resources they use, the more waste they generate, and the more pollution they cause. All these produce huge amounts of greenhouse emissions and contribute significantly to global warming.
Finding a solution to global warming can also be tricky because the kind of products and kind of human activities that can generate greenhouse gases that cause global warming are huge in number. Driving to work means gas emissions from the car we drive, turning on the lights requires energy to be supplied from a power plant that will produce these toxic emissions, and even using a simple refrigerator will cause gas emissions. As you can imagine, there are countless such, otherwise normal day-to-day activities that can lead to greenhouse gas emissions. Further, growing industrialization and globalization has meant tremendous increase in the levels of gases surrounding the Earth, with developed countries producing almost 75% of all the greenhouse gases.
In part, the fact that these gases are being generated by so many and such common activities is proving to be a big challenge towards limiting the production of greenhouse gas. With growing population and growing development, this challenge is only going to get tougher.
The consequences of global warming can be very significant – there is already proof that the temperature of the earth has gone up by a few degrees over the last few decades. If the earth heats up sufficiently, some portion of the icecaps would melt and sea levels would rise. This could be quite disastrous in some places with entire islands being wiped out and millions displaced. There would be regular flooding along coastlines meaning more displacement of people and destruction of croplands.