Solutions to Global Warming

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You hear about it from television news broadcasts. You read about it in newspapers and magazines. You talk about it with friends and co-workers. There have even been movies made about it. The “it” is global warming. “Global warming refers to the global-average temperature increase that has been observed over the last one hundred years or more” (Spencer). Some experts argue that global warming is a result of human activities, while others believe the warming and cooling of the Earth’s atmosphere is a natural cycle. Supporters of human induced global warming stress that since the Industrial Revolution we have released excessive amounts of carbon dioxide, a known “greenhouse gas,” into the atmosphere and increased the Earth’s temperature. On the other hand, some scientists declare that based on ice core samples the Earth has experienced several warming cycles for thousands of years (Barry, 2000). Despite the ongoing debate on whether “global warming” is a natural cycle or caused by human activities, there are things individuals and nations could do to protect and conserve our environment.

Before discussing possible solutions to address global warming, I would like to present some background information about global warming. Plants, animals, and humans are able to survive on this planet because of the atmosphere’s natural “greenhouse” effect. The Earth’s atmosphere is primarily composed of water vapor, carbon dioxide, and methane, which re-radiates the sun’s infrared radiation back down to the Earth’s surface (Barry, 2000). Consequently, an increase in these “greenhouse” effect components could result in more heat being trapped and an increase in the atmospheric temperature. Bjorn Lomborg (2007, p. 10) states that with...

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