Sociological Analysis of Global Warming
Without any doubt, in the 21st century the society has faced a big environmental problem that can relentlessly confront the humanity, commonly known as global warming. According to the definition, global warming is a gradual rise of temperature near the Earth’s surface and in the troposphere that leads to significant changes in the global climate models. Historically, the scientific use of the notion “global warming” was first dated in 1975, after the publication of the scientific paper Are We on the Edge of an Evident Global Warming? In 1988, the testimony of NASA climate scholar James Hansen led to popularization of the motto of generation “stop global warming”. However, a researcher from the American Institute of Physics Weart (2009) suggested that the analyzed notion was discovered earlier, in 1859, by a Victorian natural scientist John Tyndall who saw that some gases greatly influenced infrared radiation. Additionally, the next significant breakthrough in the consideration of the Earth’s temperature changes was done by a Swedish scholar Svante Arrhenius that was the first scientist who published the calculation of the global warming as a result of human emissions of CO2 (Weart, 2009).
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Since 1970, environmental sociology has been investigating the roots of global warming and interconnection between humans and their natural surroundings. Moreover, this science examines the adaptation of people to the environmental movement, their reaction to global climate change, and their acclimatization to air and water pollution, human influence on the development of new technology, and the impact of these new technological devices on social system (Eugene & Dietz, 1998. Undoubtedly, in the framework of studying the global warming from a social perspective it is necessary to mention the main causes of this disaster, to check human imprudent activities, and to assume the appropriate measures with the aim of solving this issue. The main cause of global warming is carbon dioxide emissions as a result of fossil fuel burning plants. This can be explained by the fact that society is addicted to electricity from coal burning power plants. Thus, 94% of atmospheric emissions are caused by the electric utility industry (Business Week, 2006). The second cause is Methane emissions from animals, and agriculture manufactures. For instance, the excessive usage of chemical fertilizers or croplands leads to the formation of the “dead zones” in the oceans, and dramatically influences the food that people consume. In addition, deforestation is one of the global warming reasons, since it has an impact on the reduction of carbon capture on the Earth (“Global Warming effects and causes: A top 10 list,” 2011). Moreover, economic inequality is one of the main reasons of global warming, since people around the world have different standards of living and in this case they differently influence the deterioration of global warming. For instance, in 2011, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency pointed out that China, the USA, India, Russia, and Japan are the most powerful emitters due to their innovated plants, factories, and modernized business industries (Braun, 2008). Unfortunately, it is generally known that these developed countries tremendously impair not only their own ecological system, but also the neighboring countries. In this case, many of the countries that are not responsible for the rise in air contamination will be more likely to feel the impact of global warming, such as the rise in sea levels, air pollution, economic hardships, and human health costs.
Undoubtedly, the effect of global warming on human generation can be tremendously horrible. It is generally known that global warming can dramatically influence three major spheres, such as environment, politics, and social organization of society. The environmental sphere can include sea level rise, habitat loss, decline in biodiversity, and species loss land. First of all, the rise in sea level can be explained by the fact that a slight rise of it can cause a terrible effect on the land and lead to the disappearance of the land under water. Secondly, global contamination caused by CO2 emissions and deforestation can appallingly influence biodiversity, since the ecosystems can be tremendously changed and the whole animal and plant world will be eradicated (Betsill, 2000). The political and social spheres can be relentlessly damaged as a result of expansion of global warming. This can be amplified by the fact that global annihilation of ecosystems, including fertile soils, plants, and animals, and an absolute contamination of air will lead to global migration to less impacted countries. In this case, migration caused by a considerable impairment of environmental situation can cause a potential strain of natural recourses available per capita (Benton, 2001). Moreover, the mix of different races and religions can lead to constant conflicts, hostility, race and gender discrimination. Furthermore, an international conflict can occur due to the increase of refugees from different lands. Consequently, human standards of life, healthcare system, and natural recourses will be limited due to a rapid growth of the human population and migration (Ingolfur & Welsh, 2007).
Undoubtedly, the rapid growth of economy, global innovations and modern technological devices significantly improve the quality of human life and its comfort; however, they dramatically influence air contamination and nature, since more electricity is constantly required in order to meet the needs of plants that supply it to households. Indisputably, humans can help to improve the situation by the application of renewable sources of energy, such as wind, solar, water, and geothermal powers. In 1993, the Department of Energy has published the data that indicated the efficiency of wind power and its competitiveness, comparing to the entire nation’s electricity needs (Archer & Jacobson, 2005). Moreover, wind power is a cost competitive source of energy that does not pollute the air. The wind energy supplies are commonly used in Germany, Austria, the USA, Holland, India, Denmark, and Spain. Furthermore, solar power is an effective source of energy that gives a profound opportunity to take electricity from the natural sunlight (Collier, & Lofstedt, 1997). According to the National Atlas of the United States (2011), solar power is economically competitive, since it promotes more than 10 megawatts that are coming in at 11 cents/ kwh, and the expanses are planned to be cut to less than 6 cents. Using only five million acres of the vacant industrial places in our nation’s cities could meet 90% of America’s current electric needs. Besides, hydropower is the cheapest source of electricity, since the technology for water power stations is not complicated. The simplicity of the hydroelectric power is that there is no need in a large dam – even small hydroelectric power system can give farms, houses or ranches with enough electricity. On the other hand, geothermal power can use the natural sources of heat within the Earth to provide electricity. Nowadays, the majority of geothermal power is applying steam or hot water from subsoil.
All in all, people should review their impact on the global warming and assume radical measures to solve this issue since this problem can have a relentless effect on the growth in sea levels, expansion of storms and hurricanes, global failure of crops, terrific extinction of animals, and evanescence of coral reefs. Does human impudent behavior deserve the impossibility of the existence of future generation? The answer is definitely no. People have to be good stewards of the planet and support the work of the state and different programs that attempt to protect the environment.
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