Global Warming All Around Us: Current Signs of Climate Change
Amidst all the talk of climate change in our society, there’s no need to blindly accept the claims and statistics made by the media. Strong evidence is visible in our daily lives – and has been for a number of years – that clearly points to global warming as its cause.
When most people hear “global warming,” hotter temperatures come to mind, and for good reason; heat waves have pervaded our daily lives and will continue to do so as the planet continues to warm. An extreme heat wave hit Europe for two weeks in 2003 and claimed 35,000 lives as a result of daily temperatures breaking 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and it is estimated that in only several decades, summers such as this will become the norm. Heat waves are felt most severely in highly developed urban areas where concrete and asphalt absorb heat especially quickly.
As temperatures rise all over the globe, precious ice has begun to melt at a rapid rate. More than a million miles of sea ice has disappeared from the arctic, and the polar ice cap – according to NASA – is melting as much as 9 percent each decade. When this ice melts, it flows into the world’s waterways and contributes to rising sea levels. The past century has seen a sea level rise of 4 to 8 inches worldwide.
Hurricanes have increased in number and severity in the past century as well, partly because of warmer ocean temperatures. Rising sea levels are another contributing factor to these disasters. The National Wildlife Federation predicts that wind speeds of hurricanes will increase by as much as 13 percent, and rainfall will increase by as much as 31 percent in the next hundred years.
Some climate change results even more directly affect humans. Cases of asthma among children, for example, have increased due to fossil fuel combustion. Meanwhile, allergies have been affected by record-breaking pollen counts all over the United States; as the Earth warms, pollen-making plants have longer growing seasons and thus produce more pollen.
“Global Warming is Affecting Weather,” National Wildlife Federation
“Global Warming Increases Asthma,” SciDevNet
“Temperatures Rising: Global Warming Turns up the Heat on Human Health,” Natural Resources Defense Council…
UK Company, Combat Climate Change, Urges Climate Change Action for Practical Reasons While Debate Continues
A UK business is taking a different, less partisan tack on the climate change / global warming question, and profiting by acknowledging that the situation is, at best, confusing for most consumers in their country. Combat Climate Change Ltd had decided that taking immediate, practical action to counter global warming trends is more important than winning converts to the cause.
According to a survey commissioned by CombatClimateChange.co.uk and published in a news release from the company, more than 45% of UK consumers find the question of global climate change is far from resolved in their minds. Breaking the UK numbers down, the company’s polling indicates that of baby boomers in the 55-64 age range, only 30% were delaying action, while in the 16-24 age range, a full 50% were taking a “wait and see” attitude. Combat Climate Change Ltd. offers a website designed to present multiple perspectives on the issue, allowing consumers to digest the facts and arguments and make up their own minds. Since, as they acknowledge, this process could take considerable time for the 41% of people who are still undecided or confused and delaying action, they offer another, simpler perspective: many of the current actions that individuals can take will indisputably benefit their pocketbooks anyway.
In the US, starry-eyed Hollywood personalities claim that putting in a few compact fluorescent (CF) bulbs will “change the world,” and consumers are understandably skeptical of such simplistic claims, though for many this simplifies the matter to the point where they can take action. For others, the long life and low cost of operation of a CF bulb is a better simple selling point. People have seen how energy savings benefits them personally, even if they can’t yet fathom why lowering their electric bill is to the electric company’s benefit as well.
Combat Climate Change Ltd. in the UK is bridging the gap between the “true believer” in global warming, and the skeptic who is delaying action for the resolution of an issue that may never come, or may come much too late. By addressing the need for information as well as the usefulness of intelligent action right now, the company stands to profit from common sense. The managing director, energy specialist Stewart Grew, is quoted in the release explaining the company’s pragmatic point of view: “The fact is, by saving energy now, every individual can save money – and they just might save the planet at the same time. If all the concerns are real, they will have done their bit for the world. If it all turns out to be so much hot air, then they will have made their own world a better place anyway. Everyone wins.”…