Earth Issue: Global Warming
15 January 2009
Prior to the world getting busy with the global economic crisis, the public had been swamped with serious discussions, debates on global warming, particularly the economic consequences.
In fact, political leaders recognized this as a hot topic and announced various agenda to address the issue according to what they think is best. Some appear to do it to earn political points to get elected. Others seem to do it because they understand that it is a real, very serious issue that the world must unite to face it together.
Already, the effects are felt not just by the poor segment of our society. With sea levels rising rapidly, wealthy beachfront suburbs across various parts of the world already feel the pinch and the fear of flooding. And, one can also recall the violence of storms, cyclones across cities, destroying multi million dollar properties.
The outgoing US President, George W. Bush, indirectly acknowledged the American public’s complaint of the slow federal response to hurricane Katrina. So, even the world’s most powerful nation too suffered from some of the impact.
And of course, the poor are still the worst hit. With occurrence of flooding and various other natural disasters increasing in frequency and extent of damage, they are the ones who stand to lose practically all of their material possession.
Furthermore, there are even some countries that stand to lose their entire land area as a result of rising sea levels. Indonesia is also projected to lose many thousands of its smaller islands. These will inevitably lead to many millions of people forced to relocate, and the world simply cannot ignore their plight or risk social unrest.
The next most precious commodity is not going to be oil. It is going to be water as drinking water gets scarcer and more expensive to produce using more sophisticated filtering technologies, e.g. it will make increasing sense to filter sea water and turn it into drinking water for those places where water is scarce and the population can afford to pay for water sourced from this method.
Water distribution across the world will be increasingly uneven. Some places will be desperate for water & those are where agriculture will suffer, while in other places, violent storms and floods rage, also to the detriment of many.
Nevertheless, for any solution to be effective in containing the impact, governments need to educate the masses and each individual citizen needs to do each bit of simple things on daily basis and make life gradually more eco-friendly.
And certainly, there are eco-friendly things that can be done by an average household person without the need of any level of sophistication whatsoever. Examples that come to mind include:
- Try to conserve the use of clean water, e.g. not to take overly long showers and waste too much water;
- Use a shopping bag when going into supermarkets, thus reducing the use of plastic bags that are harmful to the environment because they are not biodegradable;
- Throw rubbish in proper bins, not just anywhere on the road;
- Use public transport whenever possible, thus help reduce carbon emission, or simply walk or ride a bicycle;
- Conserve the use of electricity, e.g. switch off unused appliances, turn off standby modes in PC’s & monitors, switch off unused lights.
- Not to waste food;
- Not to use paper unnecessarily, e.g. use emails, receive electronic statements;
- Donate unused items rather than throw them away for waste.
And there are things that various governments could do too such as:
- Enlarging the urban area rather than encouraging high-rise construction because as various research reports show, high-rises actually emit larger greenhouse gases;
- Have certain days when all lights in the cities are switched off;
- Plant more trees, reverse deforestation;
- Provide assistance to the agriculture sector since this will be increasingly critical;
- Educate the masses.
With joint efforts by every individual, global warming can be address and the trend can be gradually slowed down and reversed in the next few centuries.