Global warming below the public’s radar

Graham Janssen

Different points of view yield different stances on global warming. Strange unheard of climatic anomalies are occurring around the world, killing thousands and affecting millions. The severity of our condition is increasing every day as global warming takes its toll.


It’s time for humanity to act before the Earth enters an irreparable state. Some people argue that the climate is supposed to fluctuate. However, scientists have noticed a 1.3 degree (Fahrenheit) increase of the Earth’s average air temperature near the surface since the Industrial Revolution. A seemingly minimal amount can still result in a major impact on the Earth.

One main point of view that frequently opposes the environmentalist and ecologist ways of thinking is that of the economist. He may think: “this is only hurting the environment a little bit, if there are consequences they will be far down the road and we can deal with them once we are more financially stable and have developed better technology.”

Nobody can argue with the economist for prioritizing in such a manner. Edward Wilson, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard University, attempts to reason with this logic in his book The Future of Life. He states that the economist is right that every species lives on production and consumption. To him, the planet is perpetually fruitful and still underutilized.

The economist is merely managing his immediate goals first, waiting until global warming is a more immediate threat and assuming that the damage will be stoppable or treatable at that point. The condition of the atmosphere may be beyond repair by the time major economic organizations jump on board, and shifts in climate are already obvious all over the world.

Unusual weather patterns are leaving climatologists confused and baffled, while natural disasters are taking innocent lives left and right.

The extreme carbon dioxide excess is also contributing to a shift in global weather patterns. A team of climatologists from the University of Bern, Switzerland, discovered carbon dioxide levels have increased 27 percent since 1960, reaching a record high, dating back 800,000 years.

Major policymakers are aware of the situation, but are unwilling to make changes because their focus lies elsewhere.

Considering industrial revolutions across the globe and the quantity of fossil fuels that humans have previously combusted, a large portion of the blame falls on the head of the human race.

Industrial leaders are aware of the hazardous effects of the carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions, but their immediate goals involve reaching economic stability and societal pleasure. The eyes of big corporations are transfixed on money instead of the bigger picture.

Buildings and highways take place of the once vegetated land as cities emerge around the world. The plants and natural vegetation utilize organic processes to pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Flowers, crops, and trees love carbon dioxide because it is the basic raw material that plants use in photosynthesis to convert solar energy into food and releasing oxygen, stabilizing the gases of the atmosphere.

When humans build places to live they are eliminating some of the living tools for fighting global warming. In history, humans were ignorant to this fact, but in the modern day and age individuals are aware of the price of killing vegetation.

Even with this increase of awareness, the real damage comes from the industry-based deforestation of the natural rainforests around the world to build factories or harvest the trees for paper. Jake Allison, a sophomore and biology major at NMU, verifies that on average each of Earth’s trees can absorb  pounds of carbon dioxide per year, or a metric ton in 40 years.

Although there are many justly entitled viewpoints on the issues of global warming and the governmental utilization of resources, the facts of the matter scream for attention on this issue and call for immediate change. Natural disasters are growing larger and more dangerous as a result of a changing global climate.

Humanity must act now to reduce and reverse global warming.

There are many different areas in which humans can make small changes that will make huge differences if everyone does their part, especially those who favor economic expansion. Some of the changes necessary involve reigning deforestation, and advancing efforts to plant news trees.

Regardless of which method humanity utilizes, the fate of the Earth depends on society realizing its mistake, taking immediate responsibility and correcting the problem of global warming.