INSTRUCTOR: CARMEN SCHLAMB
NAME: XIN WU ID: 021 255 096
DATE: JAN 23, 2009
Since the industrial revolution during the 18th Century, people have continuously improved their productivity with technology. Industrialization changed peoples' lives in many ways. While it generated an era of prosperity, it also brought many problems to our society, many of which we are just discovering today. The most important problem started by the industrial revolution is a significant increase in Carbon Dioxide emission, which leads to global warming.
Globe warming brings about various natural disasters.
The most significant disaster is the rising of sea level. Global warming increases the melting of the polar ice caps, which brings about a rise in sea level. As sea level rises, islands near sea level sink into the sea. Residents on these islands lose their beloved homes, and are forced to live in refugee camps. The number of environmental refugee is rapidly increasing. The current number of environmental refugee is thirty three million, more numerous than the twenty five million political and war refugee.
Global warming leads to extremely weather conditions such as hurricanes, floods, tornados, and acids rain. According to United Nation statistics department, the frequency and magnitude of reported disaster is on the rise. Among the worst is hurricane Katrina in 2005 when1836 people lost their lives, and millions of people lost their home. The hurricane is estimated to be responsible for 81.2 billion U.S. dollars in damage.
Global warming causes the extinction of many species. The polar ice caps have been melting at frightening speed. As the ice cap melting, there are fewer places for bear to live instead more water surrounding them. It makes bear harder to find food. Polar bears will disappear if the ice continues to melt at this speed.
Since we have known the global warming have brought us so many devastation, how to effectively reduce it become crucial.
According to article Kyoto Accord "Kyoto Accord is an international treaty whereby countries agree to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases they emit if their neighbors do likewise. It is a very complex agreement that allows trading pollution credits. If it is cheaper to reduce emissions in country A, then country B can buy the pollution credits, and have them count toward its own quota of reductions. Happily, the global atmosphere does not care where the greenhouse gas reductions come from."
This is good idea for all countries to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions. Unfortunately, most of the country such as United State, China, Korea and so on has not signed it yet. Why most of the countries refused to sign the treaty? The main reason may be authorities are too local. I persuade that all countries do not just think their own country' benefit and refuse to sign the agreement, all the politicians should think about save our earth for our offspring. Since we live on one planet, we share the same earth, we should help each other, and the First World should stretch out their friend hand to the Third World to avoid doing the same mistake to the earth.
On the other hand, Canada has signed the agreement, this give us hope. Further more, there are some successful initiatives such as Mayor of San Francisco; San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is the pioneer in green initiatives. He had planed to use clean energy in transportation, buildings and environmental justice, also, the city has accomplished from 2004 to 2008. The plan includes seven categories. Renewable and efficient energy; Climate action; Clean transportation; Green building; Zero waste; Environmental justice. San Francisco has done an excellent job in the past 4 years and settled a good example for all of us. This really is an encouragement for environmental worker. At the same time we should think what we can do for save our environment.
We should think about our ecofootprint, do our best to save the limited resources on the earth, for example, turn off the light when daylight is bright enough; Drying clothes rather hung than using drier; do not cook the food that need long time and so on.