Through dendroclimatology —climatic determinations made through tree ring examination—sediment observation and the study of millennia old ice sheets as well as other paleoclimatological means, we have been able to trace the Earth’s climate through the aeons. It has been shown to be both sporadic and exceedingly great in degree—from measures of great heat to eras of, well, ice ages. So begs the question: Is global warming our fault? As humankind progressed through the millennia, we have grown more civilized—in the technological sense—and we have grown popular—in the statistical sense. industrial-revolution.jpgFrom the dawn of theindustrial revolution , population growth has grown hand in hand with manufacturing output: going from less than one billion in the year 1750 to almost seven billion at present day. So, obviously, has the size of our carbon footprint. Whether or not “global warming” is our fault, why should we not try to minimize our impact on the environment? Why should we not try our best to mitigate the problems we create through growth and consumption?
There are many ways to go about doing so; and if these means can do nothing but aid us, what exactly is the cost of trying? Take the problem of overfishing and aquatic populations—all the way down to plankton availability, for example. Studies have shown that warming oceans are producing less phytoplankton, and phytoplankton not only produce 50%-90% of the world’s oxygen but also make up the base of the oceanic food chain. If a decimated fish population is failing to resurge because its prey itself is in small number due to climatic changes and lack of food such as plankton, how would we rectify this? We could just herd a population of the species in question and effectively farm and breed them; a determinately hard process, as fish feed and breed on their own cues—not to mention farm reared fish often taste rather insipid due to poor feed, environment and lack of flavour building exertion. Or we could find a way to spur plankton blooms—through nutrient supplementing perhaps—and thusly increase aquatic food as well as decrease carbon dioxide in the environment. foodchain.jpg
Another example would lie in the more obvious, which is the reduction of our carbon dioxide emissions through the use of alternate energy sources: a major point of concern for many nations today. The fact is petroleum is only going to get scarcer, and for non-oil producing states and even those that do [produce oil], alternate fuels are becoming more and more viable and make sense both economically and ecologically. The Earth itself is teeming with currents of energy in many forms, and utilizing them takes only research and determination. In the midst of the churning forces of the ocean, for example, lay clashing and opposing currents as well as, strong winds that can be harnessed by wind turbines to provide enormous amounts of steady and basically endless amounts energy. Creating the infrastructure to harness this power is determinately tedious and expensive—without question. Building a structure that stands hundreds of feet above sea-level, and able to withstand the rigours of the jostling ocean is not an easy undertaking. Not to mention the task of not only constructing but also maintaining an underwater energy transmission line. In the long run, however, the adversities are well worth the benefits to be reaped: clean, unwavering and infinite energy.
There are many ways we can curb and even improve the ways we affect our environment. From improved industrial methods to decrease and even eliminate the amount of pollutants we insert into the environment, to cleanup initiatives to remove the debris and pollution that’s already there. Then there are conservation initiatives, to preserve the flora and fauna of the world: from the rainforests that serve as the Earth’s respiratory system—not to mention house a plethora of plant-life that can possibly cure a host of diseases—to the oceans and rivers that is [are] home to animal-life that sustains the lives of many the world over. We may be throwing the Earth’s climate into disarray or we may not be, if we don’t act now however—if we don’t take a proactive role—it may be too late. Too late for the planet, too late for us. 2jbmd1j.jpg.png