I have copy and pasted all the materials needed. At the very bottom there is a section for which the different "opinions" are sourced. I would like for this paper if possible to take the "wait and see" side of things. Wait and see is defined as "This attitude says that because we do not know for certain that global warming
is occurring or what the future might bring, we should do nothing at all now.? It is all right to continue to monitor and study the situation, but until we can determine more definite answers to the uncertainties, it would be foolish to act now.? Furthermore, climate has been so stable, why not believe it will remain that way." Directions below. Thanks again.
Instructions for Writing Global Warming Essay
Write a short essay
, maximum length two double-spaced pages that clearly states where you stand on the issue of global warming
, which is possibly due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Make sure you read and follow all the instructions provided on this assignment page for writing your paper. You will need to consider the following general questions: Do you think that human emissions of greenhouse gases are largely responsible for the recent, measured increase in global
average temperature (based on a thoughtful consideration of available evidence)? Are you concerned about the possible consequences associated with increasing global
average temperature, e.g., sea level rise? For this question, it is possible to be concerned even if you don’t believe that the warming
is caused by our adding greenhouse gases. Should governments regulate companies and individuals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? Are you willing to take personal action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?
must address the issues/questions listed below. These items should be incorporated into a concise and well-written essay
, not randomly discussed. The items need not be discussed in the order listed below. We will check that you discuss each of these five items when grading your essay
1. Your attitude toward the global warming
issue must be clearly stated. You may use the "Common attitudes toward global warming
" link as a guide, but I want you to show me that you have thought about the issue. You must express why you feel the way that you do in your own words, i.e., do not just copy words or phrases from the common attitudes page.
2. What do you make of the recently measured rise in global
average temperatures, especially since 1980? Do you believe the temperature increase is a direct consequence of increased greenhouse gases?
3. At the moment we are unable to say for sure how much of the recent warming
average temperature is due to increased greenhouse gases. We are also unable to predict precisely how climate will change in the future if we continue to add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. For the most part we rely on computer models, global
climate models, to address these uncertainties. While these models are the best tools we have, the complexity of the climate system and our limited understanding of climate processes make it impossible for climate models to provide exact answers or predictions. How, if at all, does this uncertainty about the effects of increased greenhouse gases on climate change influence your views about global warming
and what should be done?
4. Do you think governments should regulate corporations and individuals in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? If so, should they be radical changes or just minor changes? Consider that there will be costs involved (both dollar costs and comfort costs) in enacting any policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Most greenhouse emissions are related to transportation and the generation of electricity from fossil fuels. So if you think governments should force compliance, you need to realize that the immediate effects will probably be more expensive and less convenient transportation, reductions in productivity, and loss of some personal comforts. Also keep in mind that minor changes, which result in slight reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, will probably have very little overall impact on reducing the potential climate changes … to make a significant difference the world must make large cuts in the emission of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
5. Are you willing to (or do you already) make personal choices or sacrifices based on concerns about global warming
? As an example, this does not mean “I ride a bicycle because I cannot afford a car” it means “I ride a bicycle because I am worried about global warming
and I do not want to add CO2 to the atmosphere”.
Of course, your opinions cannot be wrong, but you must clearly state the reasons for your position. Remember that you are expected to specifically mention or discuss the 5 points listed above within your essay
. Your paper will be largely based on two items: (1) content, i.e., did you include everything covered in the instructions; and (2) overall writing, i.e., how well is your essay
is written. Your position should be clearly stated. The arguments or reasons that you give in support of your position should be clear and concise. Your recommendations for action should be consistent with your position. You should concentrate on ideas that shape your opinion. Please do not provide both sides of each issue that you discuss. Discuss what you personally believe and why you believe it, not why someone else may disagree with you.
1. There is a natural atmospheric greenhouse effect on Earth which keeps the average surface temperature about 59? F warmer than if there were no atmosphere.
2. The atmospheric concentrations of several greenhouse gases are increasing due to human activities. Alarmingly, the rate of increase (i.e., how fast the greenhouse gases are accumulating in the atmosphere) is increasing.
3. There has been a measurable increase in global
average surface temperature of about 0.8°C (1.4°F) since 1860.This is NOT proof that the warming
has been caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases.
4. The climate of Earth has changed all through its history irregardless of human activity. This shows as both global
and regional scale changes.
1. We expect that adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere will result in warming
average temperature by enhancing the natural atmospheric greenhouse effect. However, the details of how much warming
and the pattern of related climate changes are uncertain.
2. Current levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are higher now than at any time over the several hundred thousand years.Again this is NOT proof that the recent warming
has been caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases.
3. There is evidence in the climate record showing that rather large climate shifts have occurred over relatively short periods of time (within decades).
Questions / Uncertainties (Partial List)
1. Complete knowledge of the chemical cycles of greenhouse gases (sources/sinks) is lacking. This makes it difficult to predict current and future atmospheric concentrations of these gases. An example is the missing CO2 problem.
2. Models used to predict possible anthropogenic global warming
- Some feedbacks within the climate system are not well understood or properly taken into account within the models
- Models are unable to reproduce the known regional scale variability in climate zones, which limits confidence in their ability to changes in the global
3. Impact Studies
- The magnitude of regional climate change and the rate at which it occurs must be compared with the sensitivity and adaptability of human populations and ecosystems. Sensitivity and adaptability are uncertain even if regional climate changes were known.
4. Implication of recent warming
- Has there already been some global warming
due to increased greenhouse gases or is the recent warming
part of a natural cycle of climate? We may not be able to definitively answer this question for some time.
5. Surprises (Many more could be listed here)
- Humans are artificially perturbing climate by adding greenhouse gases. This can be considered a grand experiment since we are not able to accurately predict the response of the climate system.
- So far changes (if they are caused by greenhouse gas increases) have been small. Is there a danger that the stable climate we now enjoy can shift unpredictably to another state if we somehow push the climate system too far from its pre-industrial state? Will it then be too late to go back? Assuming that we are measuring anthropogenic global warming
already, will temperatures continue to rise slowly or will temperatures start to increase more rapidly at some point?
- Perhaps we will find that increased greenhouse gas concentrations has little effect on the natural progression of Earth's climates.
Common Attitudes Toward Global Warming
Exploitation ? Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, humankind has extracted and utilized coal, gas, oil, and metal ores.? In addition forests have been cut down on a large scale to make room for agriculture and human habitation.? People with this attitude believe that these resources are here for humans to use and when the resources run dry, we will develop new technologies or find new resources to take their place.? Decisions are driven by economics ? the cheapest resources are the ones we will use first ? and the environment will take care of itself (as it always has).? This also includes the attitude that any climate change will happen slowly enough as to not affect me or my generation.? Why should we pay for something that has no immediate benefit?
Technical Fix ? In the past humans have been so effective at developing new technologies to meet problems as they arise, we assume that this will always be the case.? The technical fix implies that any damage can be corrected after it has been created rather than avoided in the first place.? Proponents of the technical fix must consider the cost of changing now versus the cost of fixing a potentially huge problem later.
Wait and See ? This attitude says that because we do not know for certain that global warming
is occurring or what the future might bring, we should do nothing at all now.? It is all right to continue to monitor and study the situation, but until we can determine more definite answers to the uncertainties, it would be foolish to act now.? Furthermore, climate has been so stable, why not believe it will remain that way.
Responsibility to Future Generations ? For many it is a basic instinct that we wish to see our children and grandchildren well set up in the world.? We would like them to inherit from us an Earth that has been well looked after and not leave them difficult problems caused by our irresponsible actions.? Although uncertainties exist in our understanding of global warming
, there is enough evidence to warrant taking actions now to ensure that we do not ruin the Earth for future generations.
Unity of the Earth ? Similar to above, except the main focus is that we have a responsibility for the larger world of all living things.? Think of the views held by many native American tribes that all of nature is connected in a delicate balance.? This attitude holds that humans are responsible for taking care of the Earth and all life, and action on global warming
should be taken now since we are upsetting natural balances.? For some, the responsibility to care for life was given by God.
Precautionary Principle ? Lack of full scientific certainty does not mean that we should not take action.? There is enough evidence and scientific basis about global warming
for us to act now.? Just as we take out insurance policies (that cost money) to cover the possibility of accidents or losses, there is enough of a threat that we should start spending money to make changes now.? The cost of changing our ways must be weighed against the possible future costs of not changing our ways.
Back to Nature ? This is the attitude that we all adopt a more primitive lifestyle and give up a large part of industry and intensive farming, essentially moving back to pre-industrial times.? The back to nature approach will allow the Earth to heal in the short-term and allow humans to live in harmony with nature in the long-term.? Two important considerations for this approach:? can a population that is six times greater than it was 200 years ago be adequately fed by small-scale farming?? In freezing technological development, is human creativity suppressed?
Drastic Actions should be taken now ? This goes beyond the precautionary principle to say that we should deal with the global warming
problem as if it will be certain doom for life on Earth if we continue to increase greenhouse gas concentrations.? Since future changes are uncertain, we should prepare for the worst and not leave anything to chance.? Industries and people should be forced to change regardless of what the costs are.
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