When the topic of global warming comes up in conversation many people either groan and avoid conversation, or don their dueling gloves and prepare for a heated debate. Some people feel guilty and concerned; some simply do not care. Different points of view yield different stances on the subject. Coming from the scientific and environmental points of view, myrmecologist Edward O. Wilson discusses the severity of global warming, some of the threads of thought that oppose his own, and some of the consequences of continued mistreatment of the environment in his book The Future of Life. While some people may claim ignorance on the subject, global warming and substantial data showing annual increases in global temperature have been broadcast throughout the media and discussed in schools and seminars around the world. While there may be developing countries that do not understand global warming or how humans contribute to it, the developed countries that are the biggest contributors to global warming are very well-informed of the situation. The question is will the people who can act and make changes to save the environment do so, or will they play dumb and look the other way while the world as they know it crumbles at their feet?
Assuming that most individuals cherish their beloved planet, many environmentalists and ecologists post blogs, write essays, publish works, and give speeches informing the public about the future threat their planet faces. They hope to educate and persuade as many people as possible to fight for the future of the planet. From the scientific point of view, this issue is of extreme importance, and requires close examination of historical patterns, modification of current practices, and close monitoring of the atmospheric content in the future. In his book, Wilson jests but maintains a serious tone as he holds human beings accountable, “we have driven atmospheric carbon dioxide to the highest levels in at least two hundred thousand years, unbalanced the nitrogen cycle, and contributed to a global warming that will ultimately be bad news everywhere” (23). Although Wilson discusses these advanced chemical and biological concepts, he keeps his point simple and hopes to use guilt to evoke action in his audience. Many scientists assume that the general public is familiar with the science behind the atmosphere, a...
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