Global Warming: Causes, Effects, and the Highly Motivated High School Solution

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   I’m a lazy person, and therefore when I found a way to complete two separate assignments with one blog post (or killing two birds with one stone) I took the opportunity. This is both my “Blog of the Week” that I need for English, and my “Civic Activism Assignment” for Civics class.  Both classes demand different citation styles, and unique components required for this post, so there will be certain parts within this blog that are meant for the civic class marks, and my English class marks.

  This blog post will be about a time-long topic, global warming. Global warming has been the topic of conversation between scientists, activists, and naturalists internationally, but I in this post will try to inform both students of Sir Allan Macnab Secondary School and maybe an educational executive or two.

   First of all, what is this global warming? Global warming in my opinion is both a literal, and metaphorical concept. There is the literal which is the concept of the Earth warming up due to non-environmentally friendly practices. The metaphorical concept is the connection of everything going wrong in the environment having either a direct or indirect correlation with the Earth’s health. There are many causes to global warming, and all are either caused by people or further driven by people. These causes include clear cutting, the increase in cattle ranches, and the burning of fossil fuels.

   Clear cutting for those who don’t know is a form of obtaining wood from trees. There are tree farms where trees are cut down, but others are planted in their place (if you’ve ever bought a real Christmas tree the place where you bought said tree would be a tree farm).

Tree farms are a better way to obtain timber than clear cutting, because the trees are being replanted, and when cut down there is no permanent affect on wildlife.

   Clear cutting is taking giant sections of a forest and cutting down all the trees in the area. This causes a major disturbance with the ecosystem that inhabits that section of the forest, and this is prevalent in areas like the Amazon rain forest which is having areas the size of football fields being cut down every minute. Now you might be wondering why have so much wood cut down in rich, lush environments that’s thousands of kilometers away, instead of having tree farms here in Canada. Well the problem is economics, rich developed countries buy wood from poorer countries, because of it’s lower price, cheap labor, and loyal suppliers.

   Clear cutting forests would lead to cause innumerable species to die. These species may include plants, animals, fungus, and other organisms that may prove useful for medicinal purposes in the future. What I meant by that is simply the international idea that if there’s a cure for currently incurable cancers and AIDS in the Amazon then why are people cutting it down.

This iconic flower not only grows here in Canada, but in international rain forests. They have multiple medicinal purposes from curing snake bites, and fevers.

“One in ten known species live within the Amazon, and any one of them could be the medicinal answer to the deadliest of diseases, and yet we destroy these species for a dated source of fuel that can easily be replaced by modern technology”

   There are numerous sources that will say that environmentalists over dramatize the events in the Amazon by saying that only 12.5% of the Amazon has been cut down (but sources like National Geographic will state that it’s near 15-20%). The Amazon rain forest is over 5,500,000 square kilometers, and 12.5% of that is 687,000 square kilometers, which is bigger than Alberta, Canada. Also another point is that one third of that number is left for regeneration, but that regenerative state that the forest was left in is just abandoned farmland.

   The video above was sent to me via. comment by Elliot and does a really good job at explaining visually the impacts of deforestation, and just the magnitude in which the Amazon is being cut.

   Now if people in South America impoverished then why abandon a farm that was built where a dense forest was. The answer might anger some, but the truth is that the soil itself sucks. The soil in the Amazon is fertilized through the wildlife that live their (such as leaf cutter ants), but even then ground level in the Amazon is dead compared to the canopy (which is where all the precipitation gets trapped, and where all the treetops reach). Ranchers will illegally clear cut a section of a forest, build a farm for livestock and agriculture, and then have to move, because the plants die once the nutrition that was there can’t be replenished. The soil quickly dries up and becomes useless for grazing purposes, and agricultural work.

Amazon cattle ranches are a temporarily cheap way to make money in impoverished areas on the Amazon outskirts.

     It may sound like I targeted the financially insecure people of South America, but I promise I make no insult to those people. Unfortunately one of the only ways that they’re able to make money is through the raising of livestock, and more specifically, cattle. Cattle are natural animals, but having an overpopulation of them can lead to some problems. See cattle/cows produce a greenhouse gas called methane, which is an extremely more efficient greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. That means that methane traps more heat, and absorbs more thermal energy than carbon dioxide ever could. Now while it’s a somewhat minor problem when compared to the burning of fossil fuels or clear cutting, eventually the build up of methane will have a permanent effect on our atmosphere. This effect will be the Earth’s average temperature raising, which would prove disastrous for all living beings upon this planet.

   The prospect of the temperature rising to a dangerous level is already a reality in the making. Temperature’s rising is easily caused by the burning of fossil fuels or the over production of greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases are gases that trap heat within our atmosphere and absorb thermal energy/heat and trap it within the planet. These greenhouse gases are emitted immensely through the use of fossil fuels, and to be a bit more specific the burning of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels is the carbon from prehistorically living beings, that over millennium have been pressured into a solid form (coal) or a liquid form (oil). Burning these fuels release the pressurized carbon within the atmosphere and interact with other chemicals to make greenhouse gases. These gases include carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, and carbon monoxide. All these gases trap heat and store it which in turn heats up the Earth, and creating the cycle of global warming. Now a simple minded counter argument would be that natural processes such as volcanic eruptions, and the cycle of life produce greenhouse gases. That is true, but people further drive this carbon cycle to insane degrees with technological advancements such as cars and factories.

This was actually all being taught to me within my science class, and if it’s so easy a concept that it’s being taught to tenth graders then it shouldn’t be that big of a problem then, right?

   The temperature rising will cause natural calamities such as the polar ice caps melting, which will cause water levels to rise internationally. All that in turn will eventually lead to the changing of weather, and the increase in natural disasters such as hurricanes, and tornadoes. The weather can also turn into a more disastrous effect with an increase in smog and acid rain.

Acidic rain may sound like a figment of science fiction, but it is quite damaging. This is a stone gargoyle with the mouth and nose melted off from acidic rain.

What will be the outcome if nothing is done about the global warming problem. The answer could vary, but from what I learnt while doing this my prediction is that:

  • Weather patterns change due to changing ocean currents and wind patterns
  • The environment changes to fast for most wildlife to adapt causing mass extinction 
  • An imbalance in the food chain from mass extinction further turmoils animal kingdom (including us)
  • With major disturbance in both cycle of environmental life and carbon cycle food products can’t grow

Now what could a student like me help in the crusade to preserve the Earth. Well for starters educating others would be the best option. To educate people though in a way that will show change will have to include facts or studies that will truly shock or intrigue people. Why not choose a more communicative option, well people in this day and age don’t care. The general populous don’t have a proper understanding of this drastic problem, and if they don’t see the direct correlation with their life people won’t care. A donation could help, but why waste my energy making a 20$ donation when that alone won’t make a difference? That is why when you educate others you teach them the ways that will make an effective impact. Also without a large demographic behind you a rally won’t work. A rally or protest would come after enough people know about the topic, and support the leader within the rally or protest.

   Now I stated that educating people is the best way to go here would be my SMART (Specific.Measurable.Attainable.Realistic.Timely) goal will follow suit in ease, and possibly efficiency. If I were to attempt to tackle this problem I would wait until the Binbrook fair comes back in September, and set up a booth. After setting up a booth I would provide games and rewards that revolve around children’s trivia based on global warming in order to educate them. The kids would have knowledge and the motivation that adults lost throughout their life. Children have heavy influence on their parents, and that would what happens in this ideal situation. The parents would donate and/or spread the word, and after word hits a few people through social media or via newspaper then I will know I have achieved my goal.

Bonus: If you want to see a cool list of animals that have gone extinct in the past 40 years here’s the URL(http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/animals/g201/recently-extinct-animals-list-470209/?slide=10), I didn’t even know half of these animals existed.

Final Question: Do you think in this modern age of technology, and current state of environment that it is possible for the Earth to mend, if humanity miraculously fixes it’s ways? If you think it’s possible for the rejuvenation of Earth to commence then how would you solve accomplish this? 

Civics citing:

“Rain Forest Threats” National Geographic Society. Accessed April 6th, 2015.           http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/habitats/rainforest-threats/

“The Clear-cutting Facts About the Rainforest” CFACT. Accessed April 6th, 2015.     http://www.cfact.org/2001/01/01/the-clearcutting-facts-about-the-rainforest/

“Small-Scale Logging Leads to Clear-cutting in Brazilian Amazon” Rob Gutro. NASA. Updated February 23rd, 2008.     http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2006/brazil_logging.html

“Amazon Rainforest: Clear-cutting the Myths” Fordaq. Accessed April 6th, 2015.   http://www.fordaq.com/fordaq/news/Amazon_Rainforest%253A_Clear-cutting_the__5289.html

“Farming the Amazon” National Geographic Society. Accessed April 6th, 2015.   http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/habitats/last-of-amazon/

“Amazon” World Wildlife Fund. Accessed April 6th, 2015.   http://www.worldwildlife.org/places/amazon

“Ways to Kill Two Birds With One Stone” WordPress. Accessed April 6th, 2015.   https://esmondkhoo.wordpress.com/2010/08/24/ways-to-kill-two-birds-with-one-stone/

“File:Christmas Tree Farm IA.JPG” Wikimedia Foundation, inc. Updated December 21st, 2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Christmas_tree_farm_IA.JPG

“Extinct in our Lifetime: 11 Species We’ve Lost Forever” Hearst Communications, inc. Accessed April 6th, 2015.   http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/animals/g201/recently-extinct-animals-list-470209/?slide=10

“Cattle Ranches” Smugmug, inc. Accessed April 8th, 2015.     http://thomaslkelly.smugmug.com/keyword/cattle%20ranches/

“Flowers in the Amazon Rainforest” Demand Media, inc. Accessed April 8th, 2015.   http://www.ehow.com/list_6184455_flowers-amazon-rainforest.html

“Effects on Man-Made Objects” Awesome inc. Accessed April 8th, 2015.                                                         http://acidrain-joseph.blogspot.ca/2011/05/effects-on-man-made-objects.html

English Citation:

Cfact.org,. ‘The Clear-Cutting Facts About The Rainforest’. N.p., 2015. Web. 7 Apr. 2015.

Esmondkhoo.wordpress.com,. ‘Ways To ‘Kill Two Birds With One Stone”. N.p., 2010. Web. 7 Apr. 2015.

Fordaq,. ‘Amazon Rainforest: Clear-Cutting The Myths’. N.p., 2001. Web. 7 Apr. 2015.

Gerstein, Julie. ’11 Recently Extinct Species’. Popular Mechanics. N.p., 2015. Web. 7 Apr. 2015.

Harris, Kimberly. ‘Flowers In The Amazon Rainforest | Ehow’. eHow. N.p., 2015. Web. 9 Apr. 2015.

Nasa.gov,. ‘NASA – Small-Scale Logging Leads To Clear-Cutting In Brazilian Amazon’. N.p., 2015. Web. 7 Apr. 2015.

National Geographic,. ‘Rain Forest Threats, Rain Forest Species – National Geographic’. N.p., 2015. Web. 7 Apr. 2015.

profile, View. ‘What Is Acid Rain?: Effects On Man-Made Objects’. Acidrain-joseph.blogspot.ca. N.p., 2011. Web. 9 Apr. 2015.

Thomaslkelly.smugmug.com,. ‘Thomaslkelly With Keywords: Cattle Ranches’. N.p., 2015. Web. 9 Apr. 2015.

Wallace, Written. ‘Amazon Rain Forest, Deforestation, Forest Conservation – National Geographic Magazine’. National Geographic. N.p., 2015. Web. 7 Apr. 2015.

Wikipedia,. ‘Christmas Tree Farm IA.JPG’. N.p., 1999. Web. 7 Apr. 2015.

World Wildlife Fund,. ‘Amazon | Places | WWF’. N.p., 2015. Web. 7 Apr. 2015.

25 thoughts on “Global Warming: Causes, Effects, and the Highly Motivated High School Solution

  1. Nice topic Sebastian. This is well-written, although I think adding in more media (pictures, videos, links) would improve the blog post, as well as clearly stating where you got information by labeling specific facts with citations. Although you did put your citations in the bottom, you don’t associate them with anything you’ve written, and this could be done via numbers as done in websites such as Wikipedia (i.e. [3]). As to your question about meding Earth, I don’t really know if it’s possible, but I do believe that humanity can quite easily adapt to the 2mm rise per year by building higher cities (although there are plenty of cities that can make it for the next 100,000 years or so), or by creating some sort of technology either to slow down global warming or counteract it.
    Good job, and I look forward to reading more of your blog posts!

    • I agree with Alex, and would encourage you to add more media to your post. Here is a good example of how deforestation in the rain forest is really taking hold.

      Also, in response to Alex saying we can easily deal with climate change. Its important to mention that the rise in sea level and temperature are not the primary concern. Its the shifts in weather patterns that make weather more wild, unpredictable, and dangerous. as well as making accesses to water more varied.

      • I watched the video and added it to my blog due to it’s spectacular visual representation thank you for sharing the video. In response to the fact to your mass extinction statement you are correct. Previous mass extinctions have ended by life replenishing itself once again, but in this case the animal kingdom will not have the capability to have generations of evolution and adaptation compacted into the short century long time span that is left before the catastrophic consequences of global warming occur.

    • Alex, I thoroughly agree with your criticism, and will start implementing the changes, but your concept of building higher cities, now that is where we reach a differing opinion. See all over the world the biggest cities were always coastal, and that goes into the modern age. Cities like Tokyo, London (on a river that connects to the Atlantic), Rio de janeiro, Sydney, and those are just a few are all coastal. If sea levels do rise to the (while a bit over dramatic) 10-15 meters that has been predicted to happen within 50 years these cities will not survive. Also with what Elliot was saying there will be changes in climate which will lead to droughts and floods alike, and in combination with rising water levels coastal cities will be submerged. Finally building taller has no effect when there is no foundation to build on due to consistent erosion from ocean water, and the cities that would survive for 100,000 years are inland cities like Urumqi, China.

  2. Hey Sebastian, interesting article! The grammar and writing was superb, although, if I could make a suggestion, I would encourage you to use one of the introduction techniques and create a stronger hook, for your opening paragraph.
    Also, you may have understated some of the larger effects of climate change. while raising global temperature and sea level is a concern. Its the sudden climate shift that holds the most concern. In the years to come, extreme droughts and heat waves will occur in some areas, while floods and intense winds rage in other areas. access to clean water will become a larger global issue. Finally, a shift in weather patterns, may make current agricultural areas unusable. I understand that climate change is a massive issue with a huge variety of sub-topics, the article misses some of the key concerns when it come to climate change.

  3. Question response:

    Yes, the earth has experienced MASSIVE extinction events in the past in which 90% or more of all life on earth died out. However, life always returns. Global warming, while it may cause the deaths of many species now, the earth will always recover, after all it has been hit with much worse. Global warming is not a threat to earth itself, but the current inhabitants of earth (us)

  4. Great article, I like the killing two birds with one stone picture! I do not think it is possible for all of the Earth to mend if humanity were to change because, even though it would prevent future damage, you stated “the build up of methane will have a permanent effect on our atmosphere.” To me, I understand that some of the things we have done to this Earth will be permanent problems like global warming. Though some things we have done to this Earth are reversible, not all of them are. So, I think it is not possible for Earth to mend if humanity changes, because some things we have already done to the Earth are not reversible and never can be.

    • That ideology is both very cynical and realistic (which could be a biography of humanity), but I thoroughly agree that as people we have made some irreversible changes to this planet. To add a optimistic view of things I think that if the scientific and engineering communities push a little harder (without corporate over watch) then I think humanity can eventually start a rejuvenating process to fix Earth’s man caused issues.

  5. I forgot to mention this when I had to sell my blog, but at the end of the writing component I added a link to a list of interesting animals that have gone extinct. This list includes two different wild cats which I would very much like to see if they existed. I would also like your guys’ opinion upon these creatures (if you don’t mind of course).

  6. Wow Sebastian! I sure did learn a lot about global warming. Specifically how it has affected different species in the world today, why it is a major problem, how it happens, and what we can do to help. Some of my suggestions include giving credit to the people who you are taking quotes from by adding [1], [2], etc at the end of the quote. A punctuation error you have made several times is adding periods, and commas at the end of the bracket when it should actually go inside the bracket, it’s an easy fix. Also, for you caption with the trees I would change that completely. This is because you stated the obvious by saying “this is a Christmas tree farm,” this can easily be seen therefore, try giving context to the image and relating it to your topic. Lastly, I am very interested in the topic, so I was wondering if you knew/have seen any good documentaries on global warming that you would recommend?

    • Those are great points, but there are a few things that I did that weren’t explained in my presentation. These things would include that I was to lazy to find an actual quote so I highlighted my personal thoughts as quotes. Also I will fix my punctuation errors, but the reason that they’re present is because I spent minimal time writing this blog post. it probably took longer for people to read this post then it took for me to write it. A good documentary that I am watching in science class is by Al Gore, and is called “An Inconvenient Truth”.

  7. you have a lot of facts and statistics, however even though you talk a lot about economy and other countries while also talking about Canada, the one thing you don’t have a lot of is personal opinions. What is your true and personal opinion on global warming without knowing any facts?

    • I’m not really sure what you mean (and maybe you could rephrase it), but are you asking me to form an opinion without fact? The only way to form a justifiable opinion is by having a knowledgeable foundation. Also, I explained during my presentation that I posted this blog without opinion, because a neutral post is more educational, and removes bias or emotional drawbacks to the facts.

  8. Hello Sebastian! You’re article is very well written and is also very informative! I love that you have taken the time to post Eliots video, because I feel that this video really adds to the article and allows the reader to really connect with the article. It really puts into prospective deforestation! However, I feel that your citation was off. There are lots of stats in this article that I feel you got from other sources! You need to put the bracketed # beside it and link the link that you received the stat from. You have done very good citation at the end of the article, however! Another thing to add is that some of your scentences sound strange. I feel that some could be worded differently and come off clearer, and more professional sounding! Some of these examples include: time-long topic – this is said at the beginning of the article and should be worded differently. How long ago was when this topic originated? Maybe add some stats. One way to hook a reader is to start your article with stats! Another example is: but I in this post will try to… – this sounds a little off. Maybe reword it to – but, in this post (removing the Í’) another example is when you said in the beginning of the article Ïn my opinion” this should be removed because in the beginning of the article you are trying to hook your reader, not with opinions, but facts. Another example is: Clear cutting forests would lead to cause innumerable species to die. – as much as I love the great use of vocabulary words (meaning innumerable) I feel that it wasn’t best suited for this sentence. If it was reworded, it would fit better. (It makes no sense when you say – would lead to cause – take that out and you can probably still use that awesome word!) Also, there are some times when you left out a simple word like ‘the’ or á’ and this leads to the article being harder to read. Overall, this article is amazing and it is loaded with awesome information! I am just nit-picking with these suggestions, and even without you using them you will get an easy A+! I could never write an article this good 🙂 great job! <3

    • Thank you for this criticism, I thoroughly agree that I need to fix the grammatical errors within this post, but as I explained earlier this is because I spent minimal time and effort on this blog post. The corrections will be made so if you could revisit this blog at the end of this week I would value your criticism.

      • Sorry, I mustn’t have been there that day. Don’t worry, I’m blogger of the week this week and I am going to have SO MANY errors…LOL. I will revisit this blog, however. I’m better at picking apart other peoples work, but when it comes to my own I can’t seem to see the errors. 😉 🙂

  9. Overall, this is very well done. It is obvious that lots of research was done as you provided lots of information. Whilst this is written in kind of an informal style, it does not take away from the informational aspect of the piece, which often happens, so good job there as well. My only prominent issue with this is the grammar and punctuation; there were many places I noticed while I was reading that could’ve used a comma, semi-colon, or something similar. That is only my opinion though, so you can choose to look into that or not. As for your final question, no; I doubt there is anyway we can reverse all the bad we have done to the world, even considering the technology and time we might have to do so. Many of these damages that have been committed to the world cannot be undone, and some can never be stopped (unless you killed like ever cow on the planet, but still, that would not reduce the current methane levels in the world, it would just prohibit much more from being produced). But again, overall, very well written, and the presentation was very clean for the most part, well done.

  10. In my opinion, it is entirely possible for the Earth to mend. Though some of the damage caused is irreversible, it is possible to ease the damage. By educating and raising awareness throughout the younger generations, we will be able to drive out prior, harming actions. “Better late than never.”

  11. Like the article ,I love the fact that you made this for two classes because I would probably do the same I am totally lazy.But I feel like because of it aswell it wouldn’t grab my attention if I was just another person coming past the blog.The introduction I think you should have started off with why your topic is important and should end with a statement ,so that your viewers will understand what exactly your topic will be about because a lazy person like me reads the beginning and if its not interesting its hard to keep reading.However,I do agree that this could be a cause of global warming and people need to start recognizing it because not only is it taking away animal habitats but also when too many trees are removed, surface water runoff can cause flooding and damage the area.But my one question is why did you choose this cause of global warming than other major causes that are more known and effect more?

  12. Your post is very well written but there are a few minor grammatical mistakes. I recommend that you go back and proofread your post. I think you did a splendid job writing this post and you spent a lot of time researching your topic. I learned a lot and really enjoyed it.

  13. By the blessèd wings of Tropius, he’ll destroy all of those he seek to destroy him! Aside from the penguins, only the chosen and the devoted shall survive! By sacred sweetness of his legendary fruit shall Tropius cleanse the Earth! Praiseth Tropius and all of his leafy appendages!

  14. Good Job! Your blog post was definitely good overall and I learned something new about the global warming. I also liked your introduction and how you went back to the post and added the video Eliot has recommended. However, throughout the post, I saw some of the places where you could have added comma to improve your post (mostly in the beginning of your post). At the same time, putting [#] beside the information you got from different sites so that if anyone wants to read or learn more about it than what you have provided, they can go straight to the site you have provided.
    Is it possible for earth to mend? To be honest, I think it’s almost impossible for earth to mend. Problems such as global warming, extinct species, etc, will stay forever. However, it could be possible for us to make the problems better and less crucial by reducing the use of fossil fuels, protecting the endangered animals, etc.

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