Solving the Global Warming Riddle
In recent times we have become more aware of our surroundings and in some ways have become more environment conscious. The world around us is changing both physically and ecologically. Powerful cars, higher buildings, smarter technology, dangerous weapons are all pride of modern mankind. In this run of competing for the best, we have lost our tracks. We have become ignorant in our search for easy life. What we need to do today is take a conscious step backward, look at the larger picture and feel whole heartedly, for ourselves and our environment. We are a part of Nature and today we have sadly forgotten our roots. We have either forgotten, or in most cases, choose to ignore the aspects of Nature which demand our immediate attention. We need to become a conscious citizen of the world and take steps, big and small, to fight global warming and also be aware of dirty politics of today’s capitalist industry. Al Gore brings us face to face with certain disturbing facts about how we, as irresponsible beings are adding to global warming, in “An Inconvenient Truth”. “The Great Global Warming Swindle” introduces us to a totally different aspect of global warming and opens our eyes to factors, other than carbon dioxide, which are responsible for global warming.
Green house gases like water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane and ozone are responsible for trapping the heat in the atmosphere. While this helps in regulating the temperature, in extreme cases, it can lead to global warming if there is high concentration of carbon dioxide, causing the thin layer of atmosphere to thicken up, thus trapping the heat and preventing it from escaping. Al Gore in “An Inconvenient Truth” brought forth the fact of how serious the issue of global warming is. Due to more carbon dioxide emission, the polluted atmosphere is unable to release the heat which it traps. This increases the temperature, having dire effects, a few of which are: Burning vegetation, melting glaciers and ice caps, floods, draughts and loss of numerous species, disturbing the natural cycles of the climate.
In “The Great Global Warming Swindle”, a totally different aspect of global warming is seen. Here come across the view points as to what exactly causes global warming. As Professor Nir Shaviv from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem points out, there have been periods of very high carbon dioxide in the history, but if this alone was the reason of causing global warming, we would have seen extreme temperature variations, but this is not entirely true. Cloud formation takes place when water vapor in the atmosphere combines with the cosmic rays causing lower temperature. On the other hand, when solar energy is stronger, it deflects the cosmic rays, thus leading to no cloud formation, which leads to increase in temperature. This is explained clearly by Professor Tim Patterson from Carleton University. He explains that this solar energy keeps changing with sun spots. When there is an increase in the sun spots, there is an increase in the solar energy which gets thrown towards the atmosphere of the earth, causing deflection of the cosmic rays resulting in cooling effect due to no cloud formation. This fact is an eye opener.
“Oil exporters are often painted by western politicians as ogres, conniving to form cartels and cheat consumers out of their hard-earned cash. But across most of Europe it is those governments, not the resource holders, that are taking the lion’s share of the price of every barrel of Gulf oil sold on their markets. (Wardam)” Carbon emission has been made out to be the main culprit of global warming. Today media is manipulated by powerful agencies which broadcast only that information which is politically correct. Poor people are made to be culprits. The developed world is rarely targeted. The under developed countries are shown to be ignorant due to large number of population, which causes depletion of natural resources and land. These facts are revolved more vigorously by media, hiding more essential facts like the damage done to the environment by the capitalist industries. They seek to broaden the gap between rich and poor and this in turn leads to more environment destruction as the poor people are the ones who are most affected by this politics. Unless and until the resources, wealth and otherwise, are evenly distributed, the blame like global warming cannot be shared evenly by all.
We became aware through “An Inconvenient Truth” and “The Great Global Warming Swindle” of numerous reasons which cause global warming. Green house gases, climate change, solar power, clouds, selfish politics are all steps of the ladder which ultimately leads us to the main issue that regardless of what the reason is, the fact remains that our environment is in a dangerous state today and requires immediate attention. We cannot ignore the harmful effects of pollution. Each one of us is equally responsible for harming and saving the environment. The oil that is used almost everywhere as a fuel is one of the major culprits of global warming. We, as developing Gulf countries, should adopt policies which would make use of low carbon technologies:
This is where one of the big advantages of the proposed UAE nuclear programme, a zero-carbon energy source, comes into play. If 10 reactors are built in Abu Dhabi over the next decade as expected, it will cut by half the carbon dioxide emissions of the power sector. From its current level of about 500 grams per kilowatt hour, on a par with Germany, the emirate’s emissions will be among the lowest in the world by 2020 – near 200 grams, on a par with France. (Wardam)
Thus, we see how political agenda is a more serious threat to the environment that mere carbon dioxide. Global warming issue has been abused by powerful people and agencies to manipulate facts in order to carry out their own selfish interests. The gulf countries should take all these factors into consideration and take initiatives in making sensible policies which would not only promote healthy environment, but also reduce the disparities between uneven distribution of wealth. Some steps towards this direction would be carrying out research work in order to find alternate source of fuel, which would not cause damage to the environment. Recycling, using mass transit, planting more trees on a regular basis, using renewable energy appliances and educating people and making them responsible citizens.
An Inconvenient Truth. Dir. Davis Guggenheim. Perf. Al Gore. 2006.
The Great Global Warming Swindle. Dir. Martin Durkin. 2007.
Wardam, Batir. Carbon tax could blunt Gulf nations’ competitive edge. April 2009. 28 May 2009 <http://www.arabenvironment.net/archive/2009/4/860263.html>.