Changes of behavior, decrease in global warming

Addie Conway
Opinion Coloumnist

What do stronger hurricanes, intense droughts and heat waves, spread of diseases and polar ice caps melting all have in common apart from being in a doomsday movie? Global warming.

Global warming (noun): An increase in the earth’s atmospheric and oceanic temperatures widely predicted to occur due to an increase in the greenhouse effect resulting especially from pollution, as defined by the “Merriam-Webster Dictionary” online.

In other words, when items like fossil fuel, wood, coal, oil and natural gas are burned, they release what is known as “greenhouse gases,” which include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. These chemicals are produced faster than the environment can get rid of them and so these chemicals have built up, which has led to said chemicals eating holes in the ozone layer.

The ozone layer surrounds the earth and protects all living organisms from the more harmful effects of the sun’s radiation, but due to holes in the ozone layer, radiation gets through.

Scientists have shown this because some of the effects are already beginning to show in the environment, like more devastating natural disasters (Hurricane Katrina, Hati Earthquake, Joplin Tornado and the Japan Tsunami), record temperatures of the Earth’s surface (14.5 Celsius or 58.1 Fahrenheit), more intensified weather (devastating ice storms or threating droughts) and of course, the melting of the polar ice caps.

Everyone knows what the effects of global warming are, but few people do something to actually change their behavior. Other than the fact that people don’t believe in global warming for either political or religious reasons (which is perfectly within their rights), people simply don’t want to have to change their behavior because that would mean giving up certain comforts, like longer hot showers or using more electricity.

 Personally, I’m a part of the group that finds it pretty hard to give up personal comforts, but once you stop to think about it, it’s really not that hard. All it really consists of is just taking shorter showers, turning off the lights or walking to the store instead of driving.

Even if you don’t believe in global warming, there is no denying that the world’s natural resources are quickly running out, and scientists predict that things like gas, coal or even fresh water, all things that everyone uses, could run out, in our lifetimes.

 Of course, I’m not trying to say “doomsday is coming!” but honestly, I would like to be able to continue having the resources we have available like heat or clean water. I don’t only want this for myself, but honestly, there are generations of people, like our children and our relatives, that would want these things as well.

All it really takes is some slight changes to your behavior like using gas or taking cooler showers. All it really takes to help the environment is for you to change and all it really takes is a little more effort on your part. Not hard at all.

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