How are we to prevent the greenhouse effect?
July 05, 2011 12:04PM
There are two types of the greenhouse effect: the natural and the man-made.
The earth has always had a greenhouse effect. The natural carbon and water cycles support a greenhouse effect in the atmosphere where just enough of the sun's heat is kept back so that life can go on comfortably.
Two hundred years ago we started digging up and burning fossil fuels (for industry, transport and to make electricity). Burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas releases all the carbon dioxide that had been hidden underground for millions of years. We also cut down the great forests of the earth, which can take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, to slow it down.
These two things, burning fossil fuels and deforestation are disrupting the normal greenhouse effect, which is now becoming an enhanced greenhouse effect, caused by man.
The greenhouse effect you are probably talking about is the man-made one, the bad one. Now, how are we to prevent this enhanced greenhouse effect, which is the cause of global warming.
We have to stop burning fossil fuels, and we have to reverse deforestation.
We can do this by:
- Finding other ways of generating electricity, like solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, biofuels, tide and wave energy
- Finding other ways of powering our transport
- Stop cutting down trees and plant millions more.
Smaller things we can do to help:
- Walk, ride your bicycle, or take the bus instead of always going by car.
- Don't waste electricity (turn off the lights, the radio, the TV and the computer when you're not using them).
- Reduce, reuse or recycle all kinds of items, from soda pop cans to clothes, to save energy and raw materials.
- Plant trees to help absorb excess CO2, and to provide shade and windbreaks to keep buildings at more even temperatures so they will require less energy for heating or cooling.