The possibility of man-made global warming has been argued for decades, but it has received more and more attention since “An Inconvenient Truth” hit theaters in 2006. But don’t worry, I don’t want to convince you that global warming is or isn’t real. The global warming argument is hard to take sides in because the science supports both sides.
Last year, John Oliver summarized “a mountain of research” showing that since the 1970s, global temperatures and sea surface temperatures have risen, heat waves have increased and glaciers have been melting. In 2011, 489 American scientists were polled, with 97 percent agreeing that global temperatures have been rising and 84 percent agreeing that humans are contributing. Of all the academic papers concerning global warming published from 1991 to 2011, 97 percent argued that global warming is man-made. No scientific body of national or international standing has refuted man-made global warming since 2007, when the American Association of Petroleum Geologists adopted a non-committal position.
The public, however, remains skeptical. A Gallup poll conducted last year showed that one in four Americans doubt global warming. Many feel that it is little more than a political platform and refuse to consider it as a scientific issue. Others believe that the earth’s climate will develop as it will, regardless of human action. According to the Global Warming Policy Foundation, the average temperature of the planet hasn’t risen since 1997. Additionally, according to the European Space Agency, ice in the Arctic increased by 50 percent from 2012 to 2014. A recent survey published in the peer-reviewed journal “Organization Studies” reported that of 1,000 geoscientists and engineers, only 36 percent stated that humans are causing global warming. Even after considering all of the evidence, one would really be justified in assuming either side of the argument.
While I’m not convinced whether man-made global warming is or isn’t happening, I am convinced of the importance of conservation. The main thrust of people who believe in global warming is to cut down on manufacturing. The easiest ways to do this are recycling goods that are more economical to repurpose than manufacture and cutting down on energy sources such as electricity and gasoline.
I’m not an ultra-conservationist by any means. I’m not the type to turn the shower off while I wash my hair, and I don’t have any reusable shopping bags. I believe that the earth is here for us. But at the same time, it is so easy to conserve. If you can easily do something to help conserve the planet’s resources, then why wouldn’t you? It is so easy to make a difference by making minimal adjustments to your daily life.
If using shopping bags is going to make things easier for you, then use them. If I have several loads of groceries, then I am going to use plastic bags. But if I can carry all of my groceries with two hands, I’m not going to take a plastic bag just for the handles.
If the recycling bin is right next to the trash can, why not recycle? You can make a difference by simply throwing it in a different bin. If you’re leaving an empty room, why not turn the light off? Unless you’re on the go, get water from the sink rather than from a disposable bottle. Considering riding a bike when you visit Slader’s.
Conserving resources and cutting down on waste doesn’t necessarily require a massive lifestyle change. You can help preserve our world by simply making an effort to be conscious of the products and energy you use.