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Research Paper on Global Warming

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Awareness in the Public About global warming

Introduction:

Most of the information available on global warming is about its causes and effects of global warming. The World Health Organization (WHO) observes that each year more than 1, 50,000 people die on grounds that are linked to global warming. According to Collins dictionary, “A slight but continuing increase in the temperature of the lower atmosphere, usually attributed to an intensifying of the greenhouse effect that could lead to harmful climatic conditions.”

The reason for the selection of this topic “Global Warming” is because there is much research conducted by international forums and journalists on the causes and effects of global warming but a very less number of journalists and scholars have conducted research on awareness about global warming essays in public. Pakistani researchers have also failed to address awareness of global warming in public. If there are some articles on global warming their main focus is how our environment is affected by it. But the majority of Pakistani researchers have conducted research only on the effects and consequences of global warming. One of the articles failed to give solutions to global warming due to household toxins, another article only emphasizes on increase in respiratory diseases, and he had not discussed the steps for controlling respiratory diseases like asthma. Another one only discussed climate change due to emissions from fossil fuels. But he has not discussed what steps are needed to stop emissions from black carbon which is the major cause of climate change. In Another article, the scholar only focused on the gathering of 100 countries in the UN committee for discussing the reforms on global warming policy. However, he has not suggested the methods or reforms that must be needed for controlling climate change. One of the journalists said that the main victims of global warming will be our future generation. He said that there is an urgent need to make reforms in developing countries because the major contributors to global warming are developing countries.

The research mode for this study is a mixed research method. I conducted primary research by asking Questions of university students and faculty. Furthermore, in this paper, I have made use of 1 book and 4 scholarly articles for secondary research.

Research Questions:

  1. Q1- Is there much awareness in public about global warming?
  2. Q2- Is global warming a threat to our ecosystem?
  3. Q3-What measures are needed to prevent global warming?

Literature Review:

Pierce Richard (2007) in his article “Energy Independence and global warming” has discussed the negative impact of global warming, its causes, and its consequences. His research helps him to determine that the public did not pay attention to global warming, as their attention is more towards energy independence. This article is also helpful to create awareness in public about household toxins i.e. Air Freshener which are major reasons for global warming. He gave a reference to scientific research that predicts that global warming will eliminate 50 to 60 percent of specie in the world. However, he has not discussed any solution to global warming due to household toxins.

Ramanathan Veerabhadran (2006) in his article “Global Warming” discussed global warming due to the increase in emission from fossil fuels and black carbon, which decreased the monsoon rainfall. Greenhouse gases are also an environmental issue faced by the world. This article wants to get the attention of international communities to collaborate with each other and address the consequences of global warming. If we delay taking action against global warming our future generation will be the main victim of it. However, he has not discussed the way of controlling this problem.

Joe Kinney (2003) in his article “Addressing Global Warming” discussed the environmental diseases due to global warming. Kinney believes that the global warming issue must be addressed strongly at an early age to safeguard life on our planet from future extinction. He states that in recent years the childhood diseases like asthma and neurodevelopmental disorders have increased due to global warming and the increased amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. However, he has not discussed the steps that must be taken by international forums to solve this issue and make our atmosphere free of global warming.

Richard A. Kerr (1991) in his article “U.S Bites Greenhouse Bullet and Gags” has discussed that the United States has taken the issue of global warming seriously but still sees no need for action. More than 100 countries gathered in UN-sponsored committees and agreed on their organizational structure for negotiating but as they look forward they saw an uncertain future partly due to the United States, continuing resistance to taking action against its own emission of greenhouse gases. Due to this attitude united was left in the minority of participants because European countries think to take steps in order to reduce greenhouse gases. However, he has not suggested what steps must be taken by every developed country to control global warming.

Rory Watson (2009) in his article “Global Warming is more harmful to people with respiratory problems, warns society” has discussed that the increase in premature death among people with respiratory problems is due to global warming. He further states that pressure is building on Government to take steps for controlling the effects of global warming on people with asthma and respiratory disorders. These respiratory issues are due to air pollution, floods, forest fires, and dust storms. He also suggested that the public must be given education about the consequences of global warming and that respiratory physicians should check on patients suffering from respirational diseases. However, he has not discussed what steps are needed on the public part for controlling air pollution and flooding.

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Discussion:

Global warming has become a disastrous issue for the world. At this time every country is trying to get developed rapidly and increase their industry. Their focus is on developing nor on the drawbacks of increasing their development. For example, in the power sector countries are burning fossil fuels like coal, and crude oil for the generation of electricity and for transport but neglecting its effects of increasing global warming. In addition, there are also negative impacts of global warming on human beings, animals, and plants. According to Eva Rehfuess (2006), the World Health Organization conducted a survey and stated that “2.4 billion people burn biomass fuels on a daily basis to boil water and to cook food. As a result, 2 million tons of biomass are going up in smoke every day. (p.22)”

In recent years, Pakistan also starts projects of the coil to generate electricity. They neglect that burning fossil fuels will increase carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which causes climate change. Many countries are taking steps to replace their coal projects with windmills or others which will not cause global warming. I conducted primary research by asking questions from university students about ways of reducing global warming. With help of this research, I came to know that Pakistan is starting projects which other countries are replacing due to an increase in their climate. We can control it by the use of renewable energy and transforming our energy system to one that is cleaner and less dependent on coal and other fossil fuels. By reducing tropical deforestation and implementing effective climate policies. If we again delay taking steps against climate change then our future generation will be the main victim. There is much need for awareness in public about global warming.

'Over the last 50 years, humans have changed ... ecosystems more rapidly and extensively than in any comparable period of time in human history, largely to meet rapidly growing demands for food, fresh water, timber, fiber, and fuel ... The degradation of ecosystem services could grow significantly worse during the first half of this century and is a barrier to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. p (23)' Eva Rehfuess (2006). Household toxics are also causing global warming. Christine (2007) claims that consumers of household chemicals may ask “if household products even potentially pose health risks, particularly to the most vulnerable among us, aren’t we who pay good money for these products, entitled to more information about them” (p.71). No doubt household chemicals have made our life easier, but it’s important to know that many of them are dangerous and households are also affecting the climate of the atmosphere. Environmental experts claim says that the average household contains about 62 toxic chemicals. Rebecca, a senior scientist claims that “In terms of household cleaners, neither ingredients nor products must meet any sort of safety standard, nor is any testing data or notification required before bringing a product to market.” I conducted primary research to know the alternatives for household chemicals that will not affect our health and our climate. For example, we can replace air fresheners with essential oils, dishwasher detergent can be replaced by castile soap (it is biodegradable and non-toxic), and floor cleaners also have dangerous chemicals which we can replace with vinegar and water. Stew Lawrence, chief executive officer of Clean Well says that 'More and more consumers are becoming aware that chemicals like quaternary ammonium [found in many cleaning products] present risks to human health and in some cases to the environment, and they're looking for more natural cleaning solutions.' Gore Ac (2015) claims that “Exposure to one or more of these chemical classes has been associated with adverse health effects including reproductive harm, endocrine disruption and impaired neurodevelopment in children. Wilson (2009) reports that:

Many consumers assume that the chemicals in their products have been tested for toxicity before entering the marketplace, but this is a misconception. In most cases, limited pre-market safety testing took place, and the chemical classes we describe here are widely used in common consumer goods despite evidence of potential health risks p (1205).

Media is trying to create awareness in public about global warming. Mathews report that:

Twenty years after scientists and journalists first alerted the public to the [po- tentia] problem of global warming, few Americans are confident that they fully grasp the complexities of the issue, and on questions measuring actual [knowledge] about the science or the policy involved, the public scores very low. As of 1992, only 11 percent of the public answered that they understood the issue of global warming 'very well,' and across Gallup surveys taken each year between 2001 and 2005, this figure ranged between only 15 percent and 18 percent of respondents, increasing to 22 percent of respondents in 2007. Asked slightly differently, in separate polls taken in 2006 and 2007, ABC News found that only 11 percent of Americans felt they knew 'a lot' about global war. It is very important to control global warming because our complete ecosystem is affected by global warming. Lou (2007) claims “The indirect effects of global warming on terrestrial ecosystems are likely more important than direct effects p (741)”. Many animals are extinction because the temperature is increasing very rapidly and it is difficult for them to survive. Many sea animals like river dolphins are very much decreased in population and many other mammals are also in danger due to human-made global warming. According to Easterling:

Ecosystems across the globe have already been exposed to increased temperatures for almost two decades. Long-term observational data will no doubt contribute further insight into warming effects. Yet many gaps remain in our knowledge of the impacts of global warming on ecosystem processes. For example, long-term observations and model simulations show that daily minimum temperatures have increased at a faster rate than daily maximum temperatures p (741). Global warming also affects the decency of living in warm climates causing torrential rains, floods, and mudslides.

There is much need for international forums to start a campaign for the prevention of global warming. They must take the help of the media to create awareness in public about global warming. Abroad people are taking this issue seriously because the temperature of the earth is increasing rapidly and the ecosystem is getting the disastrous effect of climate change. Colin Lacey (1993) claims that “As a key conduit between scientific communities and the public at large, news media plays a crucial role in the dissemination of information p (21)”. Individual predispositions are key determinants of beliefs about politicized scientific issues such as global warming, and in relation to the individual selection of media, may play a role in driving public disbelief surrounding global warming. Political ideology and religiosity have been identified as [predispositional] factors that play an important role in shaping public understanding of politicized science. Recent research finds that political ideology is closely linked to beliefs about global warming, whereas ideological conservatives are more doubtful of the anthropogenic link to global warming than literals. (Ann E. Williams, 2011). We need to depoliticize it and take steps for controlling it. A major step to save the environment is preventing the extra usage of fossil fuels. Do not use household chemicals that are polluting our environment and this can be done if the media and international forums will start a campaign against global warming and make them aware of the consequences of it to the public. There will be a major role of media in creating the awareness in public about it because people will start debating on it after seeing the awareness campaign on global warming on print media and social media. “There is one issue that will define contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent threat of climate change.” (Barrack Obama on climate change)

Reference

  1. Aaron M. McCright and Riley E. Dunlap. 'Challenging global warming as a social problem: An analysis of the conservative movement's counter-claims,' Social Problems, 2000, 47: 499-522.
  2. Colin Lacey and David Longman. 'The press and public access to the environment and development debate,' Sociological Review, 1993, 41: 207-243
  3. David A. Jones, 'The polarizing effect of new media messages,' International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 2002, 14: 158-174.
  4. Easterling DR, Horton B, Jones PD, Peterson TC, Karl TR, Parker DE, Salinger MJ, Razuvayev V, Plummer N, Jamason P, et al 1997. Maximum and minimum temperature trends for the globe. Science 277: 364-367
  5. Gore AC (2015), Chappell VA, Fenton SE, et al. EDC-2: The Endocrine Society's Second Scientific Statement on Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals.
  6. Kerr, R. (1991). U.S. Bites Greenhouse Bullet and Gags. Science, 251(4996), 868-868
  7. Kinney, J. (2003). Addressing Global Warming. Environmental Health Perspectives, 111(3), A144-A144.
  8. LeBel, C. (2007). Household Toxins: The Choice Is (or Should Be) Yours. Natural Resources & Environment, 21(3), 71-72.
  9. Lou Y. 2007. Terrestrial carbon-cycle feedback to climate warming. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematic 38: 683-712
  10. Matthew Mendelsohn and Richard Nadeau, 'The magnification and minimization of social cleavages by the broadcast and narrowcast news media,' International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 1996, 8: 374-389.
  11. Nisbet, M., & Teresa Myers. (2007). Trends: Twenty Years of Public Opinion about Global Warming. The Public Opinion Quarterly, 71(3), 444-470.
  12. Nowak R (31 March 2009). Rumors of the possum's death were greatly exaggerated
  13. Pierce, R. (2007). Energy Independence and Global Warming. Natural Resources & Environment, 21(3), 68-71.
  14. Ramanathan, V. (2006). Global Warming. Bulletin of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 59(3), 36-38.
  15. Riley E. Dunlap and Aaron M. McCright, 'A widening gap: Republican and Democratic views on climate change,' Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, 2008, 50: 26
  16. Tjoelker, M., & Xuhui Zhou. (2007). the Many Faces of Climate Warming. The New Phytologist, 176(4), 739-742.
  17. Watson, R. (2009). Global warming is more harmful to people with respiratory problems, warns specialist society. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 339(7720), 534-535.
  18. Wilson MP, Schwarzman MR (2009). Toward a new U.S. chemicals policy: rebuilding the foundation to advance new science, green chemistry, and environmental health. Environ Health Perspect
  19. World health organization, Eva Rehfuess (2006), Fuel for life, World health organization.
  20. World health organization, Eva Rehfuess (2006), Fuel for life, World health organization.
  21. Yuki Sampei and Midori Aoyagi-Usui, 'Mass-media coverage, its influence on public awareness of climate-change issues, and implications for Japan's national campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.' Global Environmental Change-Human and Policy Dimensions, 2009, 19: 203-212.
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