How Do Humans Cause Global Warming?

You’re probably asking yourself, how do humans cause global warming? The three most significant ways in which you likely contribute are:

  • Driving your car which requires the combustion of tremendous amounts of fossil fuels. These fuels have been storing carbon for thousands, possibly millions of years. When your car burns them, that carbon is instantly released as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
  • Buying your suburban home whose lot was cleared of existing trees and plants that were actively storing carbon. When those plants were killed to build your home, they stopped storing carbon and released all the carbon they had accumulated over tens or even hundreds of years.
  • Eating supermarket meat which requires both the clearing of land for growing animal feed and the use of enormous fossil fuel-powered machines in the production, processing and transportation of this feed (as well as the meat). If you eat beef, lamb or goat meat, you should know that those animals’ digestive tracts produce methane, a major greenhouse gas. It may surprise you that animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions, but that was the finding of a recent study by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. [1]

As you can see, humans contribute to global warming in numerous ways, but you have the power to stop it from getting worse.

Is Human-Caused
Warming Dangerous?

The short answer is “yes”.

Much concern exists within the scientific community about global warming, the main cause of which is an accumulation of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere.

Harmful changes were predicted in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report [2], some of which include:

  • Increased flooding in wet areas and coastal regions
  • Increased droughts in dry areas, as well as the growth of drought-affected areas
  • Death and displacement of coastal populations as a result of sea level rise
  • Increased famine due to the loss of fresh water currently stored in glaciers and snow

What You Can Do
About Global Warming

Now you’re convinced that humans cause global warming and that it is a major threat to life on earth. But what can you do about it?

You can be the change you wish to see. You can turn this dangerous trend into an amazing opportunity.



Sources:


[1] Livestock’s Long Shadow

[2] Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report


Author: Brown, Nathan. A Cooler Climate, 2008.

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