An analysis of the global warming problem

As a consequence of many factors, weather has changed in recent years. These changes have been perceived everywhere around the world, and they have prospectively affected many forms of life around the planet. Global warming is one of the names this phenomenon has received, but there are theories which also claim for a global cooling problem, specially in some regions of the planet.

The cause of this phenomenon is usually attributed to the high levels of pollution our modern and industrialized lives expel irresponsibly to a mother nature that, despite the fact of not being alive itself, has managed to self-regulate and even regulate us for centuries.

Days, weeks, months and years go by, but there doesn't seem to be a clear way to solve the matter. At the utmost, a variety of publications, some alarming and others not too much, try to remind us now and then that the problem is still there and that, if we don't take action, we will have to bear with its consequences for generations.

Today, I decided to gather some knowledge which is publicly available about this problem and make an analysis about it. First thing in the list was to try to clarify what global warming is. To my surprise, I found that global warming is an absolutely normal phenomenon which allows life on the planet. To summarize, I will say that rays come from the sun and rebound a few times inwards and outwards the planet until they finally leave, heating the atmosphere in the process. Of course, you can read the rest of the summary on this page which I called "The truth about the greenhouse effect and global warming". [//]

What is causing the problem is that air pollution, mainly -but not exclusively- CO2 pollution, makes those sun rays rebound a few times more than what they should. As a consequence, the temperature seem to be rising everywhere in a slight but already perceivable manner.

So far, it would seem that the only two things we would need to do would be to stop sending CO2 and other pollutant gases to the atmosphere and to start planting more trees so that these plants would absorb the excess of CO2 in the planet. However, besides this is way easier said than done, it is not the only scope of the problem.

Why don't people just stop polluting? Because it is impossible for them. Many individuals in small, medium and large companies depend on these pollutant but irreplaceable sources of energy to live; and this fact turns the global warming problem immediately to a social problem as well... particularly if we consider that the common individual would not quit his job on the grounds it is polluting the environment.

That being said, it would be ideal if we could provide all those companies and individuals with new jobs in less polluting industries, but, as we all may understand, this is not something easy. Soon many others would try to take advantage of this loophole to claim for new investments on these same grounds, raising other legal, social and economical situations around the globe... not to mention many particular interests would be affected.

In a pessimist scenario, making a radical change like that one would bring violence. As a matter of fact, it already does. Hundreds of leaders of environmentalists movements and organizations are constantly threatened and attacked every day. Of course, there is no need to be too pessimist, but let's take a look at other alternatives anyway.

I wondered whether a political solution would be feasible. Experiences coming from many countries would make it appear possible, specially in those countries in which, for example, plastic bags cannot be given for free to customers of any business. However, I have my doubts whether a political solution is available at the moment for every government. The main question would be... is every government willing and able to pass the necessary laws and to set up control systems to have these regulations are fulfilled? I am afraid many countries would try not to get involved, to try to avoid social unrest in their territory.

The next in the list would be a social solution, which may be understood as gathering hundreds of small efforts to raise awareness and promote lifestyle change and other solutions. However, these efforts are not enough by themselves. In fact, most of these organizations start small and willing to work, but grow to become impenetrable and closed, even rejecting suggestions or requests of help. By means of example, some time ago I wrote one of these important worldwide known organizations and the only thing I received as reply was:

-How can I help?
-Join our website and spread the word with your friends.

Yes, that silly. I asked how I could help and they asked me to join their website as first and most important contribution.

A conclusion

In my opinion, the global warming problem has not been solved yet because most people, governments and organizations are failing to see it in a holistic manner:

Global warming has a major component of pollution, but to stop polluting is not the only scope of the problem. We need to organize mankind to clean what has been polluted already and to work in a correct way to cope with the social and economic consequences of replacing the old polluting businesses with new ones.

That is to say that, if we are going to ask the world to stop using oil or petroleum, we need to provide them both, with a realistic alternative to users and with a set of alternatives to those persons and organizations which depend on oil or petroleum to make a living.

With that we could reduce the conflict of interests and the results could arrive faster and more reliably.

Last but not least, I think we need to celebrate small successes. Many people think their effort will not be enough but that's just because they cannot see there are millions of other people and organizations who are achieving many other millions of small things as well. Media has an important role to play in this last part.

Knowledge + Society + Environment