Professor right or wrong. In this paper,

 

Professor
Wilhelm

ENG112

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10
December 2017

Global Warming

            In the last few decades, global
warming has become an increasingly discussed topic. However, in recent years
and especially following the 2016 presidential election, speculation surrounding
the topic is at an all-time high. Typically, there is little debate on if this
phenomenon exists as there is a wide-spread consensus among the scientific
community that this is a real occurrence. There are still individuals who deny
the existence of global warming but they make up a small percentage of the
population. Rather, it is over if global warming is a legitimate threat to
humanity and our planet as a whole. In addition, there is also speculation
about what impact humanity has on global warming and how great this impact really
is. The second argument is intriguing because evidence has been found, through
multiple scientific studies that have been conducted on global warming, that human
activity has an impact and is the greatest impact of them all. The issue of
climate change should not be a bipartisan one, but should be dealt with by
united parties where the focus is on the greater good of our planet and
humanity rather than who is right or wrong.

            In this paper, I will be discussing
the different factors that contribute to the planet’s changing climate patterns.
These changing climate patterns have an impact on global warming. Multiple
scholarly articles have examined the previous statistical data that provides
evidence for the existence of global warming while also looking at research studies
that are currently being conducted. A number of scientific studies have found evidence
that there have been changes in the Earth’s overall climate, more specifically
that, “Over the last 100 years the average temperature on the Earth has risen
approximately 1°Fahrenheit (F), increasing at a rate twice as fast as has been
noted for any period in the last 1,000 years” (Afzal). Secondly, statistical
data from different scientific studies will be used to discuss the specific
impacts that contributing factors have on this phenomenon. Some of the
reoccurring topics within these studies include ozone layer depletion, health
issues that stem from global warming, and weather patterns along with the natural
disasters that may accompany them. As stated earlier, there is also a strong
interest within the scientific community in the factors that are related to
different human activities. According to a research study conducted by the
IPCC, “…most of the global warming changes are attributable to human
activities; the Pew Center on Climate Change (2001) has noted that global
warming is largely the result of emissions of carbon dioxide and other
greenhouse gases from human activities, including industrial processes, fossil
fuel combustion, and changes in land use, such as deforestation” (2). The specific
impact that these contributing factors have on the overall issue of changing
climate patterns will also be discussed in further detail later within this paper.

            The public’s opinion on global
warming has a larger impact on the acknowledgment of its existence than most
would assume. For example, the way that global warming is referred to or the
context it is in may impact an individual’s viewpoint on the topic. A study was
conducted in 2016 that found 85.8% of individuals agree with the existence of “climate
change” while only 80.9% agree that it exists when it is referred to as “global
warming” (Schuldt). This study also found evidence that this difference is much
greater when comparing samples of Democrats and Republicans, with Democrats
being the more flexible party with its label. Democrats, regardless of the term
used, had a higher consensus of the existence of global warming at 94%.
However, approximately 10% more of the individuals who identified as Republican
agreed with the existence of climate change over global warming (2). Another
study conducted examined additional factors that contribute to a lack of belief
in global warming. One factor, in addition to what political party a person identifies
with, was an individual’s religious affiliation. One man performed a study that
combined data obtained from the 2012 American National Election study and the
United States Historical Climatology Network’s monthly temperature log to show
that the evangelical fundamentalist viewpoint had the highest correlation with a
denial of global warming along with its human implications (Shao). Public
opinion on global warming is best described as a domino effect. Gaining
knowledge on such a detrimental, world changing phenomenon is an incredibly
important duty that we as Earth’s inhabitants have. Reaching the conclusion
that humans are the leading cause for global warming is the first and most important
step we can take. Taking this step leads us to the next, which is intervention.
A common ideology is that the effects of global warming will not be seen in our
lifetime and that they will not be visible for hundreds of years. This is
simply false. The effects of global warming have been occurring for years and
continue to happen today. If individuals are made aware of the impact that they
have on our planet and the impacts global warming can have on us personally or
our family members, it will change the minds of those who are in question.

            As previously mentioned, there are
negative health implications that come along with the growing threat of our
planet’s increasing climate changes. One of the negative impacts global warming
may have on an individual would be their respiratory health. A study using a group
of adults from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom set out to provide
evidence that in areas of high air pollution, a factor in global warming that
is mostly due to human activities, there were higher rates of individuals with
wheezing and shortness of breath. This study concluded that when these adults
were exposed to particulate matter as well as nitrogen dioxide air pollution,
their wheezing and inability to catch their breath increased (Dorion). Even
though this study was completed outside of the United States, it does not mean
that a similar situation cannot occur here as well. Air pollution is not an
issue that is present solely in other countries. Air pollution is an issue the
United States deals with as well; one that has sparked discussions in different
cities across the country on how to combat this problem. The respiratory
problems observed in these individuals exposed to these high levels of air
pollution could be seen in different locations across the country, if they have
not been observed already.

            Decreasing birth weights in infants
is an additional negative health phenomenon that is correlated with the Earth’s
changing climate. A study examined data from nineteen different African
countries to find evidence there is a relationship between patterns of precipitation
and temperature with birth weights in children. Data collected during the study
provided evidence that there is indeed a relationship but that it, similar to public
opinion, is a domino effect one. It found an inverse relationship between
temperature and precipitation. As temperatures increased, there was an observed
decrease in precipitation. This pattern would cause the affected communities to
suffer from an unstable food and water supply. As a result, children would have
lower birth weights (Grace). The article also examined the potential for this
pattern to continue through many generations as women who were underweight when
they were infants are more likely to give birth to children who are underweight
as well (2).

            Lastly, an additional health repercussion
due to global warming is the interference it has with TB (tuberculosis)
treatment. The study that was conducted surrounding this interference focuses
on just one specific type of air pollution, traffic related. The sample used for
this study was a group of individuals who were going through TB treatment and
lived in California at the time. A correlation was found between air pollution due
to cars and mortality rates during these treatments (Blount). The group of individuals
who conducted this research was also able to adjust it around multiple outlying
variables such as demographics, additional health problems and different health
histories, and socioeconomic factors (2). This study is one that I have a
personal connection to, as one of my family members who resides in California was
going through TB treatment.  I would have
had no idea that something I do on a daily basis could be interfering with my
own family member’s health and recovery if I had not done the proper research.

Another issue that is highly debated within
the scientific community, along with members of the general public, is that of
the depletion of our ozone layer. Studies conducted over the last few decades
have found evidence proving that there is depletion of the ozone layer that has
been occurring for some time. In fact, a study done by R.L. McKenzie and others
explicitly states in its findings that, “There are strong interactions between
ozone depletion and changes in climate induced by increasing greenhouse gases
(GHGs). Ozone depletion affects climate, and climate change affects ozone” (McKenzie).
Along with the previously stated interactions, this depletion is having an
impact on global weather patterns and the increasing frequency of severe
natural disasters. It is clear with the recent hurricanes surrounding the
Atlantic Ocean that global warming should be taken seriously. Natural disasters
similar in severity have been occurring more frequently and have required
government intervention. These interventions include providing medical care to victims
along with efforts to help stimulate the ruined economies of said effected
places. The repairs that are needed after these disasters can cost governments
millions of dollars and the money needed will only increase along with the disasters’
severity. For example, one study showed that the average intensity of a
hurricane may go up anywhere between 1.8% and 4.2% and in comparison to the
last two centuries, the lifetime intensity of the hurricanes may reach a
maximum increase of 5.3% (Balaguru). The government has a responsibility to examine
the impact we have on our planet and to take the necessary steps to ensure we
are investing resources into researching this topic further.

Many people are increasingly questioning
why we do not already have more thorough research on this topic along with legislation
in place to aid in eliminating as much damage to our planet as possible. A
study done by James Hein addresses this question. Hein’s research found that
the criticism and objection by the nation’s top business executives are the reasons
why the United States still does not have an effective policy regarding global
warming (Hein and Jenkins). The criticism these individuals, among other
members of our country, have against global warming is that it either does not
exist at all, or that humans have no input on it when both of these things have
been proven to be untrue. This is why it is our duty as inhabitants of our
planet to do what we can as citizens to reduce the effects of global warming.

Some of the things we can do to lessen
the negative effects of global warming can also be done at home. One way we can
do this is by buying energy-efficient household appliances such as washers and
dryers. Another way we can reduce our contribution to climate change and the
overall heating of our planet is to take public transportation or begin making
a shift to driving electric cars. This would make a huge difference in the
amount of air pollution we release into our environment on a daily basis. The
last and most obvious way to help would be to begin recycling if you do not do
so already. There are also things you can do outside of the home to help reduce
the effects of global warming. One option is bringing your at home recycling
habits to the workplace and encouraging others to participate as well.  Some places of work still incinerate their
used or disregarded materials instead of recycling them and this worsens our
already polluted air supply.

Now that some of the things citizens can
do to make an impact on global warming have been established, another topic of
discussion should be what the government can do to help. As I previously
discussed in this paper, climate change is an issue of speculation among the
corporate elites of our society. A scholarly journal written by Shane J. Ralstan
discusses a possible solution to our planets increasing climate and how to
reach that goal. He suggests first that we raise awareness and then begin the
geoengineering process. He states that this process will at least improve the
current state of our planet if not completely reverse global warming as a whole
(Ralstan). Another way we can make an impact on global warming is to stop
waiting for government level intervention. With the state that our planet is
in, we cannot afford to wait for the government to step up and do something. Another
journal suggests that we do the same as well as begin to make improvements on
the state level. As one example, it discusses the Healthy Air Act that was
introduced in 2006 in Maryland (Afzal). This Act was created with intent to
reduce carbon emissions from power plants. This goes to show that not everything
has to be done on a national level in order for it to be heard or to make an
impact of some degree. Making a simple phone call or writing a letter to your
Senator or House Representative expressing your concern about global warming is
a great way to start.

            In conclusion, our job as occupants
of this planet is to take care of it and to respect it. This notion should be
set aside from all political or religious affiliations since it falls nowhere
near either of these categories (even though that is what it is made out to
be). Our planet is abused on a daily basis by our own activities. Our lack of
recycling, deforestation, fossil fuel combustion, and numerous other methods of
polluting our planet has brought us where we are today. It is our job to do
what we can to reduce the effects of global warming and that includes spreading
awareness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afzal,
Brenda M.. “Global Warming: A Public Health Concern.” Online Journal of Issues in

Nursing,
vol. 12, no. 2, 2007, pp. 2. EBSCOhost,

 

Balaguru,
Karthik, et al. “Future hurricane storm surge risk for the U.S. gulf and
Florida coasts

based on projections of thermodynamic
potential intensity.” Climatic Change,
vol. 138,       no. 1-2, Fall 2016, pp.
99-110. EBSCOhost,
doi:10.1007/s10584-016-1728-8.

 

Blount,
Robert J., et al. “Traffic-Related Air Pollution and All-Cause Mortality during

Tuberculosis Treatment in California.” Environ Health Perspect, vol. 125, no.
9, Fall

2017. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1289/EHP1699.

 

Doiron,
Dany, et al. “Residential Air Pollution and Associations with Wheeze and
Shortness of

Breath in Adults: A Combined Analysis of
Cross-Sectional Data from Two Large

European
Cohorts.” Environmental Health
Perspectives, vol. 125, no. 9, Fall 2017, pp. 097025(-97023). EBSCOhost, doi:10.1289/EHP1353.

 

Grace,
Kathryn, et al. “Linking climate change and health outcomes: Examining the
relationship

between temperature, precipitation and
birth weight in Africa.” Global
Environmental            Change, vol.
35, Winter 2015, pp. 125-137. EBSCOhost,

doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.06.010.

 

Hein,
James E. & J. Craig Jenkins. “Why does the United States lack a global
warming policy?

The corporate inner circle versus public
interest sector elites.” Environmental
Politics,

vol.
26, no. 1, 2017, pp. 97-117. EBSCOhost,
doi:10.1080/09644016.

 

McKenzie,
R.L., et al. “Ozone depletion and climate change: impacts on UV radiation.”

Photochemical
& Photobiological Sciences, no. 2, Winter 2011,
pp. 182-198.

EBSCOhost,
doi:10.1039/C0PP90034F.

 

Ralstan,
Shane J.. “Engineering an Artful and Ethical Solution to the Problem of Global

Warming.” Review of Policy Research, vol. 26, no. 6, Nov. 2009, pp. 821-837.

EBSCOhost,
doi:10.1111/j.1541-1338.2009.00419.

 

Schuldt,
J.P., Enns, P.K. & Cavaliere. “Does the label really matter? Evidence that
the US public continues to doubt ‘global warming’ more than ‘climate change’.” Climate Change, vol. 143, no. 1-2, July
2017, pp. 271-280. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s10584-017-1993-1

 

Shao,
Wanyun. “Weather, climate, politics, or God? Determinants of American public
opinions

toward global warming.” Environmental Politics, vol. 26, no. 1,
2017, pp. 71-96.

EBSCOhost,
doi:10.1080/09644016.

 

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