Environmental theory and collection of ideas/About global warming and wastage

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Global climate change is probably the most famous environmental problem. It was even taught in schools and there was great news coverage about it. Politicians and environmentalists often met for attempts to solve it, and a lay person cannot add much to its science. For the completeness of this book, though, it is necessary to write something about it. If the Sun did not shine, the Earth would be cooling and cold. But the Sun is there and thanks to that, the Earth's average temperature is about at equilibrium. Sunlight heats the Earth in such a way that the Earth's energy emission and energy absorption are about equal, and this can only happen on a greater temperature of the planet than it would be if the Sun were not there. Because the Earth has an atmosphere, some heat is captured in the air instead of going back to space, and is reemitted in many directions, raising the planet's temperature needed for the equilibrium mentioned. This effect of the atmosphere is called the greenhouse effect. Now the environmental problem is that various human activities, like burning fossil fuels or clear-cutting forests, change the composition of Earth's atmosphere, for example, change the oxigene (O2) in the air to carbon dioxide (CO2), and this leads to an increased greenhouse effect and global warming (other gases go into the air too, which raise global warming in different scales, depending on the wavelengths of light they let through).

Humankind and animals use the plant material in our days much more efficiently than in the ancient times, because agriculture plants crops that have greater harvests relative to their mass. This means that a similar mass of plant material can sustain more people and animals than in the old times. More people and animals breathe more, and exhale more carbon dioxide into the air. Apart from this, people process the plant material of the past too - coal, crude oil and natural gas - and this way fossil fuels are diminishing instead of being produced. This great efficiency of humankind in processing plants leads to more people, and thereby more carbon dioxide in the air, which causes global warming through the greenhouse effect. Global warming has many threats, like that of the inland ice melting, and their water flowing into the oceans, and this raising the sea levels, and the sea flooding the areas at shore. The size of plant biomass should perhaps be increased in comparison to the animal or human biomass. So humankind should keep plants which are less and less eaten or burnt by people or animals, but at the same time, humankind should eat less meat too.

It is taught that carbon dioxide levels have increased in the atmosphere since the 19th century, and one of the noblest ways to counterweight humankind's carbon emissions is to support green areas: nature reserves, national parks, botanical gardens, urban parks, private gardens, single trees, flowers, houseplants and organic farming, and to support all the other plant-related parts of environmentalism, like vegetarianism, veganism, GMO-free food, etc. Humankind's amount of carbon dioxide emissions, however, should not only be counterweighted, but it should be decreased, too. Carbon emissions are particularly worth decreasing in those cases when the carbon emissions are unnecessary and decreasing them does not harm the environment in other ways. It is not always clear whether wastage does wrong to the environment, but it is almost sure that fuel wastage does wrong, so it would be noble to decrease it. It is also not trivial that the sparing lifestyle of one person leads to the sparing lifestyle of humankind, as it is not trivial either that a more advanced technology is more economical (Jevons Paradox). These are some reasons why it is important that we should have an advanced environmentalist theory.

Call for more arguments to support or disprove this theory or ideas!

Further readings[edit]

William Stanley Jevons - The Coal Question - An Inquiry Concerning the Progress of the Nation, and the Probable Exhaustion of Our Coal-Mines (London: Macmillan and Co., 1866)

Al Gore - An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It (Rodale Books, 2006)

Alex Kirby (UNEP, GRID-Arendal) - Kick the Habit - A UN Guide to Climate Neutrality (ebook /or/ Progress Press Ltd. - Malta, 2008)

Core Writing Team, Pachauri, R.K. and Reisinger, A. (Eds.) - Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, 2007)