The word global warming has been in the mouths of many scientists and environmentalists in the past couple of decades. It has been used to talk about either what are dangers it has and will continue causing or what can be done to stop it. Conferences, meetings seminars and demonstrations have been held in order to emphasize what we have gotten ourselves in to. Unfortunately, a number of people do not believe that Global warming is real and causing some of the disasters, we are experiencing today. As Rob Watson puts it, it is not as if we are on the titanic trying to avoid the iceberg, but we have already hit the iceberg. Nevertheless, people do not want to leave the dance floor or even leave the buffets.
It is now loud and clear. We will never be able to stop global warming. Even if everybody became environmental conscious and obeyed what the environmentalists are telling us to do in order to stop it (it is not realistic), the “poison” already released may take very many centuries before it is neutralized. This is with the assumption that the natural causes of global warming have stopped happening (which is not possible). Green power is one of the projects/strategies that have been put in place in order to minimize the effects of global warming. In simple terms, people are turning to other sources of energy apart from fossil fuels, carbon and other greenhouse gasses.
The use of green power includes making vehicles that do not need to use gasoline, but can use other less harmful natural gases, getting electricity from the sun and wind, just to mention but a few. The Toyota Company’s invention of a Chevrolet Volt that uses electricity is to show that the automobile companies are ready to do something about stopping the rapid global warming going on. T. Boone Pickens had made plans to build a wind farm that would generate electricity enough to cater for a million homes. “It would be the world’s largest wind farm in the year 2008” (Bradsher 280).
Unfortunately, barriers stopping the full completion of such projects have presented themselves. The recession that started in the late 2008 got worse, the fall in price of natural gases made making the wind power economically expensive. This made Boone build smaller farms. Many people are not as willing to use the green power as it was expected. Only 7% of the people in the U.S.A have attempted to use the renewable sources of energy. The other 93% are still contributing to the high rate of global warming going around.
Governments have put many laws, rules and regulations to try to control the amount of green house gases emitted into the atmosphere but little has been done to the people who are actually causing the mess. The current number of cars worldwide is estimated to be 625 million and may double by the time we reach the year 2030. There are no policies put in place to subsidize this number, as they are the greatest contributors of carbon in the atmosphere. In the western developed countries, “one hardly gets any well-paying job without having a car” (Lemonick, 2008).
The election of President Barrack Obama gave many people including the environmentalists a hope as he made many promises to minimize the rate of global warming in the universe. These included penalizing companies, which emitted large amounts of carbon gas into the atmosphere and giving subsidies to the companies that, are doing something in substituting greenhouse-gas energy with renewable energy. He also promised the development of more fuel-efficient vehicles and other policies that would see a recognizable reduction for carbon being reduced in the atmosphere.
Countries like India and china that carry a 1/3 of the world’s population have disappointed the world in the policies and actions done to reduce global warming. They have not been as cooperative as expected according to the other countries. China has had a rapid economic growth in the past couple of years. This means that more industrialization has taken place in order to produce the products it has widely exported. For example, coal usage has been on the increase in China than in any other country in the world. Although it is the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases after the United States, the rapid increase is really threatening. General motors, will forecasts that “china accounts for 11% of the new car sales from the year 2002 to 2012. India accounts for 9% of the car sales” (Bradsher, 2003).
The developing countries are also far from putting some of the regulations put in place. Some renewable energy is more expensive to put up. Wind farms for example, are quite expensive to put. These countries do not have enough funds to put up such projects. The energy may also not be enough to serve the nation as needed. Solar energy has only been used in households in a number of countries but has not been fully recognized as a source of energy in industries and big production firms. “These reasons make these options ignored by most industries and firms” (Weart 80).
Corruption in many developing countries has also put a barrier in the implementation of the policies put in place. Large firms are able to pay their way into emitting large amounts of these gases without interference from high authority. In other cases, they give the wrong figures of the amounts being produced so that a lesser figure of the actual amount is given. The are companies that go a step further and even used materials that have been banned due to their high emission of carbon and other related gases and still get away with it.
As people continue to talk about global warming and the emission of carbon into the atmosphere, oil and oil products sellers continue to count increasing profits. Many countries do not use the wind and solar energy as a source of electricity. The cars that will use electricity or other renewable energy apart from gasoline are way far from replacing the existing ones. In simple terms, the only thing that can be done is to adapt rather than fight global warming. The world has learnt ways of adapting “to the calamities and disasters that have come because of the global warming” (Revkin, 2011).
Better transport and communication systems have been developed in order to deal with the disasters when they come. Efficient and improved systems have been used to detect coming tsunamis, hurricanes and earthquakes in order to prepare for them. El ninos and other floods have been detected and countries warned to prepare for them in the past. Good and efficient transportation systems have been improvised to reach the disaster areas and take food, medical care and other types of help. Although not economical, many countries have set aside funds to deal with the disasters that are brought about by global warming. This includes “funds to do research on the diseases and some pests that have been to evolve due to global warming” (Weart 200).
Global warming may not be stopped as few are willing to implement the strategies and policies put in place in order to reduce the rate at which global warming is taking place. The countries seem to be saying one thing and doing the other. More gases are being emitted and the bad economic position in some countries does not allow them to set up other energy-giving firms of renewable energy. The only good thing is to learn how to adapt to the changes that are slowly taking place due to this. A percentage of the money gotten from these economic activities should be used to deal with these effects and do more research. This should be done with the hope that at some point, people will value their lives more than money and do something real in minimizing these effects before it is too late.
Bradsher, Keith. “China’s Boom Adds to Global Warming Problem”. New York Times. Oct. 22, 2003. Web. 19 April 2011. < http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/22/world/china-s-boom-adds-to-global-warming-problem.html >
Lemonick, Michael. “Global warming: beyond the tipping point.” Scientific American. 6 Oct. 2008. Web. 19 April 19, 2011. <http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=global-warming-beyond-the-co2 >
Revkin, Andrew. “Global Warming”. New York Times. 13 Jan. 2011. Web. 19 April, 2011. <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/science/topics/globalwarming/index.html >
Weart, Spencer. The Discovery of Global Warming. New York, NY: Harvard University Press, 2008. Print. < http://books.google.co.ke/books?id=qX8yCpETS-IC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Weart,+Spencer.+The+Discovery+of+Global+Warming&hl=en&ei=VC-2TZPoD8Gd4QbBkdDaDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CEYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false >