Essay on The Invisible Threat : Climate Change

Essay on The Invisible Threat : Climate Change

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The Invisible Threat: How Climate Change Came to be Regarded as a Social Problem
The dawn of the twentieth century marked the beginning of dramatic changes around the world. The invent of steam and coal driven machines was creating an industrial boom the likes of which the world has never seen. As the world’s focus was turned to the exploding economy of the Second Industrial Revolution, behind the scenes, carbon dioxide pollution was beginning to collect in the atmosphere. The collection of this gas caused the atmosphere to absorb more solar radiation and was slowly heating the earth. At the time many people believed shift in the climate was not caused by gases in the atmosphere, but the ever present forces of earthly elements such as the ocean, etc. (Chamberlin 1906). There were, however, a dedicated few that firmly believed that the climate was being affected by the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by humans. By looking at historical temperature data and considering advanced, for the period, atmospheric models, some researchers discovered that the gas collecting in the atmosphere released from manmade sources would have enough of an impact on solar radiation levels to affect the yearly global temperature by a measureable amount (Callendar 1937). Unfortunately, their warnings went widely ignored due to either the lack of or, in often cases, the uncertainty of their evidence. It would take many years and dozens of studies before climate change was considered a manmade problem. Slowly but surely, the advancements made in technology allowed for better atmospheric modelling techniques and the collection of new data that caused the public to realize that climate change was a problem that had to be dealt with (We...


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... was flat out denied to the turn of the twenty first century in which responsibility is accepted but urgency is lacking, the progress made has been a culmination of the work of countless researchers and dozens of technological advances. G.S. Callendar started the ball rolling with his identification of the possible effects of human emissions in the atmosphere. Then, capitalizing on nuclear terror and the advancement of computer modelling, Roger Revelle exposed the public to the consequences of climate change that loomed in the future, reaching widespread media for the first time. Finally, the world’s governments came together to form organizations such as the UNFCCC and the IPCC to begin the battle against climate change, waged through global research and policy, and continue their campaign to gain public sympathy for the problem in hopes that someday it is halted.

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