Global Warming, More Complex Than You Realize
by Handsome Matt
Let’s get one thing straight: I hate the term “global warming.” Because as written on Writechic Press some individual in B.F.E West Virginia will walk outside on the coldest day of the year and wonder “where’s the warming at?” (side note, you can tell I’m from Ohio, because I ended that question with a participle. Completely unnecessary.)
Unfortunately “global climate change” carries baggage with it as well. But it is a much more correct term. However “warming” carries with it a sense of urgency, and there was much more action when it was referred to as “global warming” as opposed to now. Semantics.
More Than CO2 Levels
Let’s state one big factor: Man made global warming is more than just CO2 levels. There are other factors involved beyond gases and emissions.
The biggest ones that don’t get mentioned are:
Loss of biodiversity
Pollution, in its fullest definition
It is a complex problem with many facets. CO2 and other greenhouse gases are a part of it, and more than that, aggravate other issues. Like an infection aggravating an illness.
To distill it to its essence: There is a natural process through which the Earth regulates itself. However we have reduced or damaged the systems through which the earth work.
Any one of those issues, and others not listed, on their own are serious but not catastrophic. But as they come together it becomes more and more dire. One snowflake on its own won’t cause any damage, but when it combines with others under the right circumstances (or wrong for that matter) an avalanche ensues.
Forests depend on a healthy ecosystem to work properly. Healthy ecosystems depend on biologic diversity. Biologic diversity is threatened by extinction and pollution.
So it breaks down like this: As we pollute, we damage ecosystems, causing extinction and the loss of species. This in turn weakens the ecosystem, which inhibits the processes by which the earth would correct and balance itself. This then causes extinction to increase more rapidly.
It’s like underfeeding a racehorse, loading it with an overweight jockey, limiting its stride, and then wondering why it doesn’t win races.
Complex Problem, Simple(ish) solutions
We understand that pollution causes global climate change. We also understand that plants regulate the atmosphere taking in CO2 and releasing oxygen. Furthermore, if we want healthy plants we need a healthy ecosystem Healthy ecosystems are marked by biodiversity.
Understanding that, the simple way to stop global warming is to restore habitats. I.E plant trees and protect and restore habitats.
This combined with capping emissions would allow us to restore the environment to healthy levels. Furthermore, those who manage land responsible stand to make money selling carbon offsets. As I stated before individuals, corporations, and even some government organizations could make profit simply by doing what they already do.
I’m not advocating some sort of “green anarchy.” But I am advocating smarter decisions at every level of society. Our cities should be planned and laid out better, to both lessen their impact on the environment, and make them better for citizens. Buildings codes need to be addressed to make buildings more efficient and better built. And the list goes on, every facet of our society needs to be more responsibly planned and implemented.
Right now our modus operandi is “we can do it, so why don’t we?” when it needs to be “we can do it, but should we?”