In modern age, a concentration of human activities has lead to a rise in gases responsible for trapping the suns heat and light in the atmosphere. These gases are known as green house gases which have an effect of causing a rise in the earth’s annual temperatures causing a greenhouse effect. This is what is known as global warming. Global warming is therefore the rise in atmospheric temperature caused by an increase in concentration of greenhouse gases resulting from modern human activities such as deforestation and fossil fuel combustion in air, water and land causing ice and snowcaps to melt, sea levels to rise and deserts to expand.
EFFECTS OF MODERN LIFE ON GLOBAL WARMING
Fair increases in global populations and technological advancements have contributed to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. For instance, Carbon monoxide reality check in United States shows that a third comes from the use of cars, a third from industries and the last third from residential and agricultural related activities (UNCED 1992). Another major contributor, second after the United States is China, its recent economic boom has seen a rise in coal consumption and the use and sale of automobiles with a whooping 78 percent of car sales.
In other developing and emerging economies such as Indonesia, India, Brazil and South Africa, the use of fossil fuels for industrial and domestic use continue to rise because they tend to be cheaper than hydro, solar and wind energies and are used to produce electricity (NYT 2003). These are just but a few examples of a rise in global warming as both developed and developing countries strive up the ladder of industrialization. The growing desire to expand businesses and own private cars respectively leads to a growth in city sizes and traffic congestions, which with no regulations such as energy taxes set to control them pose environmental stress.
At the dawn of the reality of global warming in the early 90s, heads of states, environmentalists, international non governmental organizations have held conventions to discuss on the measures to help curb these changing patterns. At the UNCED 1992 convention held in Brazil, about 160 nations came together in a common agreement to help reduce global climate significantly by the year 2000 in a way that ensured no threat to food security and economic development. The Kyoto Protocol, held in Kyoto Japan, sought to further decrease green house gas emissions than earlier discussed by the year 2012. Developed economies such as the United States, The EU and Japan would cut down on their emissions by 8, 7 and 6 percent. Developing nations were also encouraged to try reducing their emissions in safe percentages too.
Individually, businesses are being encouraged to go green in an effort that sees them emitting lesser and lesser unfriendly gases. Global campaigns spread by the media encourage people to eat healthy and entrepreneurs to start up businesses that take care of the environment. This has led to a growing response to these campaigns evidently in the growth on environmental based courses in universities, lectures on environmental degradation, governments have gazetted natural habitats and involved their citizens in tree planting exercises in areas earlier deforested, this has led to an increasing plant cover shown by the increase in green patches in areas once thought deserts and unproductive.