Environmental Studies 3-Essay

Environmental Studies 3-Essay - September 8 2007...

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September 8, 2007 Environmental Studies 3 Prof. Graves/ TA: Quimby Views on the Current Energy Debate in Modern Environmentalism In modern day society many issues have been brought to the forefront that past generations have never had to confront. One of the most key topics that have come about in environmental conversations as of late is the topic of global warming. Global warming has become a highly controversial subject matter in the past couple of decades especially when possible effects of global warming became widely publicized at the end of the twentieth century. Although contemporary environmentalists may differ on their opposing viewpoints concerning matters dealing with possible detrimental effects due to global warming, it has yet to be determined if in fact global warming is a realistic problem facing nations of today. Something all parties can agree on is that fact that certain harmful gases when emitted into the atmosphere can become dangerous. The extent of the toxicity is not yet decided but solutions for alternative energy sources exist to replace primitive fossil fuels, which include replacing gasoline with other various types of fuel such as hydrogen and even returning to a nearly abandoned nuclear power era. Many conservationists today disagree about whether society should take more action towards limiting greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere. One of the most devastating effects resulting from global warming is damage to agriculturally productive areas and entire countries may disappear through rapid sea-level rise (Easton 145). The
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effects occurring from what would seem to be a minuscule change of temperature rise such as one degree would leave long-lasting effects and could even displace entire countries. Varying temperature levels have happened in the past, as was the case two hundred fifty million years ago in which ninety-five percent of all species on the planet were wiped out with a temperature increase of only six degrees (Easton 146). The implications of global warming are not a temporary effect; future generations will have no choice in the matter and “we will condemn our children,” according to George Marshall and Mark Lynas. The fate of the future rests in the hands of current society and if use of fossil fuels does not decrease in the near future, “oil consumption will increase by 50 percent over the next two decades” (Easton 146). People of today’s modern world are not readily suited to react to dangers that may lurk far away in the future, but are only prepared to act on critical situations that occur at present times. That is the reason why many devastating events have happened in recent years such as Hurricane Katrina or the recent bridge collapse in Michigan. Geologists knew for years that levies were not stable in New Orleans and a natural disaster could happen at any given moment. The collapse of the bridge in Michigan could have been prevented as well, as signs of possible collapse were shown as early as 1990. The main point is that since global warming is a gradual
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Environmental Studies 3-Essay - September 8 2007...

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