I know that I believe that anthropogenic global warming is happening; the facts are just too hard to ignore. However, this climate crises might not have all negatives. In a report from the Science and Public Policy Institute, it shows that an increase in starch production in plants due to carbon dioxide is a very probable event, and also a very beneficial one to us.
“It is therefore likely that rising atmospheric CO2 levels will significantly boost starch production in plants, thereby increasing the availability of an important raw material that can be metabolized to help sustain enhanced growth under a variety of stressful situations.”
Most people believe that global warming has no good effects to our environment and destroys everything in its path. This article, however, shines some light on the situation. Because plants breathe carbon dioxide, an increase would give them more to breathe. That would increase their ability to produce starch; starch is a plants energy source. With more energy, plants could create new tools that could help us, the inhabitants of the Earth, in a variety of situations.
The plants could produce many things, each one differing from plant to plant. If a plant is currently used for medical reasons, then those healing properties could be enhanced when more energy is added to the mix. Trees used for construction could become stronger and grow bigger. Plants that produce fruit, vegetables, and other edible items could produce much more of their item. All of these situations would benefit us a lot. The only flaw would be if there were not enough plants to get rid of the carbon dioxide in the air.
The problem of global warming is a huge, widespread problem that would be very hard to cover up. More and more carbon dioxide gets added to the air each day, and not many people take notice to it. Trees and plants are destroyed in order to build more factories that produce harmful gasses. The uncertainty of what these plants could do is simply not worth the risk of adding carbon dioxide to the air; it causes too much damage.
The small light that plants producing more starch shines on global warming is not enough to eliminate the darkness. With new buildings being built on top of the homes of many plants and trees being cut down constantly for the use of their wood, plants would most likely not be able to help eliminate carbon dioxide from the air. They could still make lots of benefits to humans, but not to the environment. In the end, it all comes down to the Earth. Humans are constantly taking away resources and putting harmful gasses into the atmosphere. This is what led to global warming. If plants were not able to help out much then, they will not be able to do much in the future, where there will be even more carbon dioxide in the air.
According to New York Times, Theodore Roosevelt was the “greenest” president. Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter follow shortly behind. Roosevelt brought in many new conservation plans for America, trying to keep the planet healthy. He set aside parks and reserves for wildlife. Richard Nixon launched the clean air act, as well as many other environmental protection organizations. Jimmy Carter supported the cleaning up of Alaska, to eliminate toxic waste. Our current president, Obama, is fourth on the list.
“Now we’re in an era when that enthusiasm has gone. A lot of the time, problems are more prevalent in the minds of Americans than the possibilities.”
When Roosevelt was president, people were much more enthusiastic about preventing the destruction of our Earth. But as time passed, the enthusiasm for helping the planet lessened. Richard Nixon did less to help the environment, and Jimmy Carter even less. Now with Obama as our president, there is even less enthusiasm for environmental protection. There are so many other problems that people want solved, things such as the economy, that affect people more directly. Still, President Obama is the fourth “greenest” president. So what is President Obama doing to help our environment? What is holding him back?
“If you look at Clinton or Carter or Nixon — every single president was able to sign legislation that Congress passed. Go through each one. Obama doesn’t have that. He has to do it in the face of this head wind from Congress.”
President Obama’s efforts are held back by Congress, who do not believe that global warming is happening. Another problem is the politics side of global warming; Congress is divided much in a harsher way between the two political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats. This has made it much harder for President Obama to get his ideas passed; he must push through to both parties, both of which do not want to make compromises.
President Obama also has not mentioned global warming in his election campaign. Most people do not think of global warming as a problem, and many potential voters might think he was talking nonsense. Also, many large oil and coal industries would not vote for him because they would not want their funds to be taken away.
In the end, President Obama may have the “greenest” ideas, but society has changed and therefore he cannot share his ideas to the world. When Roosevelt, Nixon, and Carter were presidents, people realized that the environment was a major problem and wanted to support it. In current times, most people are more concerned with the economy than they are with global warming.
I read an article from National Geographic that said that the melting of arctic sea (as a result of global warming) could lead to extreme weather. This weather could include increased heat waves, more severe storms, draughts, and cold spells. I found a quote from the article where the writer is interviewing Jennifer Frances, explaining this idea further:
“Arctic sea ice reduction can both raise temperatures in the northern hemisphere and influence the “meander,” or flow, of atmospheric jet streams, which are like rivers of air that circulate the globe. Already, said Francis, the Arctic melt has meant that “these meanders in the jet stream are both getting larger and moving more slowly.” Since jet streams generate and steer storms, she added, their slowing meander can prolong fall and winter weather patterns across the entire Northern Hemisphere.” Many extreme weather events are associated with weather patterns that are stuck or moving very slowly … including droughts, cold spells, heat waves[.]”
The fact that global warming and melting ice could lead to meanders was understandable, but when the article mentioned cold spells I became very confused. The more I considered this, the more I wondered, how could melting ice and global warming, two things that add heat to the earth, cause cold spells, or more rain? This discovery lead me to a similar thought I had back in 2010-2011.
Where I live, we do not get much snow. Maybe a thin layer, not even a full inch some years, but never much more. I had never seen a real snow before the “snowcation” of 2010-2011. We had just come back from winter break, maybe two or three weeks back into school. Everyone talked about how it might snow, and we all became all super excited. On a Sunday night, around 10pm, it started to snow. This snow was much heavier, thicker, and longer than any of the others I had seen. The ground quickly became covered with a fairly thick layer of snow, or so I thought even though it was probably only about 4 inches. Schools all over the area cancelled classes for a whole week because the temperatures never rose high enough to melt the snow, which had turned to ice overnight. No one could drive on the slippery ice either. The next weekend I saw an article on the news about global warming, and started talking to my dad. I said that I did not see how global warming could happen if we just had a huge snow.
After reading this article, I have been able to connect my string of thoughts; now I understand what is going on. I see now that our “snowcation” was, possibly, an effect of global warming. Another example of this is the huge storm in 2009-2010 that lead to a devastating, city wide flood that I believe spread state also state wide. Even earlier, a major draught caused new regulations on water. Now I realize that all this time global warming has hidden in plain sight. While I thought these weather patterns lead towards no global warming, possibly even global cooling, these weather patterns actually showed that global warming is happening. Our planet needs saving before anything more catastrophic can happen. Global warming has hidden in plain sight the whole time, but I have not been able to see it. I hope that the rest of the world, especially the leaders of our society, are more observant because our world is changing at this very moment, whether we are aware of it or not.
Both An Inconvenient Truth and The Great Global Warming Swindle share interesting information and perspective on the topic of global warming. An Inconvenient Truth says that humans cause global warming by producing too much CO2. The Great Global Warming Swindle says that while global warming may seem like a threat to the planet, it is simply a heat wave. 97% of scientists agree with An Inconvenient Truth, and believe that global warming is anthropogenic. However, only 47% of the general public agree with the scientists. Why is there such a gap? News broadcasters have turned global warming into a scandal, and the general public does not know which side of this scandal to believe. Since many people do not know which side to believe, the question comes down to which one they want to believe. Which side of the global warming story does the general public find more compelling?
The human mind wants life to be as easy and simple as possible. Just like water, humans follow each other down the simplest path. Cars were made to make transportation easier. Calculators were invented in order to make math easier. The Internet was made to help people obtain information more quickly and, of course, make information easier to reach. Almost everything humans have made is used to make life easier and simpler.Humans use these tools because it has become the norm to stick to the status quo and follow the others down the simplest path. The goal: to get as much done as possible with as little effort as possible. However, when scientists throw global warming into the mix, matters become much more complicated; the general public knows that global warming will not be easy to fix.
Humans also do not like to take the blame and fix something when there could be another, more simple option. The human mind is similar to a child’s in this way. When a child makes a mess, she does not want to have to clean up. She might run away from the mess and leave it for someone else to clean up. The child might deny that made the mess, and blame the incident on another person. Even after everyone knows that the child made the mess, the child may still procrastinate and not clean up her mess. The child represents the general public, and the mess respresents global warming.
The general public finds the message of The Great Global Warming Swindle more compelling, as shown in the 47% of people who agree with anthropogenic climate change. The general public either does not know about global warming all together, or they are in denial. The general public does not want to pay more money, take the blame for global warming, or change their life style in order to fix the problem of global warming. This is because cleaning up the global warming mess means humans have to step out of their comfort zone. Instead they choose to believe that nothing is wrong and that they can keep living their normal lives.
Because so many people do not want to fulfill the responsibilities given to them when they stepped foot on the planet, global warming could severely harm Earth. The fact that people do not want to be responsible for the planet explains part of the reason why there is a gap between the scientists who agree with anthropogenic climate change and the general public who agree with anthropogenic climate change. The scientists are fulfilling their responsibilities by warning us about what could happen to the planet, but people are shying away because they want to stick to what is simple. There is not much that can be done to make these people realize what is really going on; you cannot change the way someone thinks. Everyone already knows that global warming could be happening and they know the basic dangers. When videos like An Inconvenient Truth are made, it helps to get the point across but people might just procrastinate and put the job on others. The choice is up to the people about whether they feel compelled enough to help or not. For the people that do not feel compelled to help fix global warming, it could take a major disaster in order to show them that they really need to start helping out.