February 1, 2012
Both here in the states and abroad, communities are already feeling the effects of climate change. Evidence of this change may be seen in increased water pollution, more severe droughts, and larger and more frequent flooding. Because we have so poorly managed land and water in the past, mankind is inadequately prepared to handle the tasks that the ongoing climate change is presenting. Not only are there a number of opinions on this very hot topic, but there are also government-imposed regulations on the matter. Some will argue that global warming is good for us, while others fear that the injection of greenhouse ...view middle of the document...
“If carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere were lower, the next ice age might have started sometime within the next 1,000 years, according to researchers from University College London and Cambridge University” (Boyles, 2009).
In contrast to those who believe that global warming may help to avert the next ice age, a number of theorists are confident that introduction of additional greenhouse gases will actually elicit a new ice age. “Researchers at the University of Birmingham found that 630 million years ago the earth had a warm atmosphere full of carbon dioxide but was completely covered with ice” (Alleyne, 2009). Interestingly, scientists studied limestone rocks and found that large amounts of greenhouse gas coincided with a prolonged period of freezing temperatures. They maintain that it is not unrealistic to think that another ice age could indeed happen if global warming is not curtailed. Although pollution in the air is thought to trap the sun's heat in the atmosphere, which causes the planet to heat up, new research suggests it may also have the opposite effect by reflecting solar rays back into space.
A third group subscribes to the Gaia Hypothesis, a notion which holds that Earth's physical and biological processes are precisely and intricately bound to form a self-regulating system. Those who advocate this view aren’t particularly concerned with global warming or how it will affect life here on earth. They feel strongly that, regardless of outside factors, our planet will adapt accordingly in order to maintain precious life. As noted in “Understanding the Gaia Theory,” “even though the luminosity of the sun – the Earth’s heat source – has increased by about 30 percent since life began almost four billion years ago, the living system has reacted as a whole to maintain temperatures at levels suitable for life” (Ogle, 2010). It certainly is not because these individuals do not care. They are simply confident that Mother Earth will care for...