मंगलवार, 4 मार्च 2008

Effects of Climate change

"Imagine a world where the water that runs from your tap is no longer safe to drink, and recreational areas like beaches are swallowed by rising sea levels. Visualise a period where electricity bills of over hundreds of dollars each month is used to run air-conditioners to battle the searing heat from the Sun. These are in fact, spine-chilling thoughts. The threat of climate change is becoming reality, and world leaders are now scrambling for solutions to tackle this petrifying phenomenon, and avoid feeling the wrath of nature.Globalisation is blamed by environmental activists for being the main cause of climate change through global warming. Natural resources are being used up at a faster rate like never before, and many countries are far more concerned with economic growth than protecting the environment. Rainforests in places like the Amazon Basin are being cleared to make way for economic activities such as mining and cattle ranching. Indeed, deforestation would lead to more economic growth, but at the expense of allowing global temperatures to rise, and the loss of flora and fauna which may be beneficial in medical science?Climate change is eminently driven by the increasing rate of global warming, which may lead to more natural disasters. With global warming, global temperature is expected to increase by about 5 degrees Celsius by the end of the twenty-first century. Polar ice shelves in the arctic and antarctic regions will melt off, and increase in global temperatures would also result in thermal expansion of sea waters, resulting in escalating sea levels. This may eventually lead to more wide-scale catastrophes, such as floods, hurricanes or even severe droughts in dryer regions. The result of this devastation is definitely beyond words, as millions of people eventually become homeless and forced into poverty with destruction of their property and belongings.At present, we are already lamenting about the sizzling heat from the Sun. The effects of global warming can be felt all around us.
Take for an example, restaurants all over the world are now equipped with air conditioners, which seem to be losing the battle against the blistering heat. The city of Tokyo in Japan has recently experienced almost a snow-free winter as well. Can we imagine developing countries like India, where people die of dehydration and intense sunburn as they have no access to water and even basic electrical equipment such as fans? The impact of climate change is calamitous, and the quality of life all across the globe will be greatly diminished, without facilities such as ski resorts to cater to our wants during the winter vacation.The effects of climate change not only affects people, but wildlife as well. Some plants and animals may die as they are unable to adapt to the change in temperatures quickly. This affects other organisms down food chains, and threaten their survival. Eventually, man will be affected as well, as we depend on nature for our food. Food prices will be likely to increase, as the demand for food surpasses the food supply. Lower income groups of people all over the world will be badly affected by the inflation, as they can no longer afford basic necessities like bread. Middle income groups will be hit as well, as inflation causes them to see their savings wiped out and becoming valueless.Animals are able to adapt to changes in global temperature by migrating to cooler regions of this planet, although this has major side effects. For example, sharks move south to Antarctica allow themselves to adapt to the surrounding water temperatures, but at the expense of seals and crabs who become prey of these sharks. This causes wildlife to be endangered and eventually extinct, due to long term effects of human activity. These animals are unblemished, but yet we are indirectly taking their lives just to make our life more convenient and comfortable.
Have we ever stopped to think of the aftermath resulting from switching on the air-conditioner whenever we go to bed on a tepid night?Environmentalists already have the scientific proof of our ailing Earth. Why not we start now and begin in our campaign to save the earth? Saving the earth is a pressing matter that should not be disregarded. Fortunately, we still have some time before the effects of climate change become totally unalterable.Firstly, more needs to be done to generate public awareness on the global problem, and that everyone can play a part to put a stop to this. For a start, we can help to save electricity at home. Simple steps such as setting the temperature of an air-conditioner at 25 degrees Celsius when in use, switching off household appliances instead of leaving them on standby mode, and even watching less television can help conserve resources. Less usage of electricity means less requirement of power stations to burn fossil fuels, and hence lower emissions of carbon dioxide gas into our atmosphere. If everyone can play a part to do these simple things, we can go a long way to help reverse climate change.
Secondly, the authorities can also promote the use of public transport, over owning a vehicle. As people become more well to do, they are more inclined to get a car of their own to show that they are of greater financial status. This leads to more vehicles on the road, contributing to more traffic congestions, and hence the burning of petrol in a stationary car, which releases unnecessary amounts of greenhouse gases. Taking public transport not only promotes ease of traffic on the roads, but also goes a long way to help prevent the Earth from “eventual overheating” and help to conserve the environment for many generations to come.
Thirdly, we could encourage the use of renewable energy. Although this has been seen as expensive to maintain and be used widely, more people and governments are beginning to invest in 'green' energy, such as solar energy, nuclear energy and hydroelectric energy. We are already able to convert energy from the sun to electrical energy to heat up water for our daily baths. Hence, by doing so, we are able to reduce our carbon footprint and release less greenhouse gases during the course of our daily activity.Fourthly, we can further advocate the recycling of materials and reducing the use of raw materials. Materials such as steel and plastic have to go through prolonged periods of refining and mining, which releases exorbitant amounts of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere. If we can do simple things like saying no to plastic bags whenever we shop for grocery items, it would mean less demand for it, and less need for factories to produce them. In a year, the average human would be able to cut back on two hundred plastic bags, and a small country like Singapore would be able to make use of 1 billion plastic bags less if every one plays his part to save the environment!Climate change is not something new to us. After all, in recent months, newspapers across the globe report on the danger the world is headed to. It is imperative that each and every individual knows that he has a part to play to protect the environment, and not only their governments.
We need to spread the word through the media and education that saving the environment begins with each and every person. Hence, in conclusion, it is paramount that we now begin to do our part to save the environment, lest we want future generations suffer the result of our folly."

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