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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

It’s Getting Hot in Here So Take Off All Your Chlorofluorocarbons

Its Getting Hot in Here So Take Off All Your Chlorofluorocarbons

I laughed when I read an article about an official in Africa blaming American voodoo for their droughts. Too bad it’s not far from the truth. Global Warming is one of those cute issues that everyone sort-of knows about. It seems that most people do not know much about it overall, if they do, they are deemed “tree-huggers.” The debate is fueling, especially when the Environmental Liberation Front decided to burn down a couple of Hummer Dealerships in California. This affects every facet of our lives. It starts with another cute phrase everyone sort-of knows about-the greenhouse effect. This is one of the natural systems of the Earth, a good thing for humanity. Without the Greenhouse effect Earth would look like Mars. It keeps the Earth warm, by trapping in the heat of the sun. However, as we emit more and more fossil fuels, less and less heat is being emitted from the atmosphere, raising the temperature of that which absorbs it-oceans, land, microbes, etc. This is because carbon eats infrared radiation. Infrared is the form the energy taken to emit itself from the atmosphere. This rise in Earth’s temperature is known as Global Warming, and it is the reason for this moderate winter in Boston. The argument over Global Warming states that the Earth’s temperature goes in cycles, and that this is just a high point. But Global Warming states that the cycles are getting more and more severe. Most scientists agree and the evidence is difficult to dispute; it is the politicians who disagree. When presented to Congress, only the best-case scenario was shown, causing them to make their decisions accordingly. We can already see the effects and the projected temperature increase of 2 degrees is enormous in scientific terms. If something isn’t done soon, in about a decade we will see drastic changes in our daily lifestyle. The Kyoto Protocol is supposed to be the first step in a series of policy changes among countries to reduce overall emissions. But with the US rejecting it to protect business, it is doubtful that the stringent measures needed to counter these issues will come in time. So, there’s better weather, and fewer snotty skiers… why does this matter? The glaciers are melting, which causes the ocean levels to rise, causing flooding problems (think Venice). New York City’s subways are expected to flood by some accounts. Also, with more fresh water in the ocean’s, the water is less dense and warmer, causing greater climate change, meaning more hurricanes in some areas and more droughts in others. Also, with the increase in temperature, there is an increase in tropical diseases such as the West Nile virus. There are also increases in urban mortality due to the unpredictable spikes in temperature. With a doubling population, and a growing middle class expecting middle class “stuff”, it is not feasible to continue wasting energy the way we do currently. Solar, wind, nuclear, and other alternative energy sources are available, but are simply not as effective as oil or coal. Other scientists are trying to build rotating skyscraper size structures that actually suck the carbon emissions out of the atmosphere. However, it is very unlikely that any of this technology will be made widely available in the next couple of decades due to social-politics-economic stalemates. In Arizona, the women’s association has prevented government funding in solar panels because they aren’t ‘pretty’. The next couple of decades are also where our ‘material’ generation is expected to do the most damage. Go to www.carbonfootpring.com to see how much you destroy the Earth, the lives of others, and the future of civilization.