Friday, October 24, 2008

Go Green: Global Warming

I know it’s not my kind of topic but don’t why I had this urge to write about something eye-opening for everyone. Though there are very few readers out there for my blog but after all “something is better than nothing.” My topic is “Global warming (GW)”.

Why do we need to understand GW? Let’s take an example. We get born from mother's womb as child, then we grow, we become young then older. There is no “jadi butti” to convert you from older to younger one. An old man would never go backward in time and finally enter back into his erstwhile mother's womb! Same formula applies to GW. God has given us beautiful life on beautiful earth. Earth has its own age mechanism as well. Do I need to tell how some people looks older than their age? Fast food and fast life kills their age process. We do the same with our beautiful earth. We pollute her; harm her without even knowing we are doing it and finally making her so dirty that we can’t revert back. So wake up!!!

Let’s first understand process of earth environment. The Earth receives energy from the Sun mostly in the form of visible light (Say you are the earth, WOW). Earth (that is you) can’t handle all these energy. So earth needs a blanket (atmosphere) to protect itself. When someone burn fossil fuels—such as oil, coal, and natural gas—to run our cars and light their homes, they pump carbon dioxide (CO2) into the air. This causes your blanket getting thinner and thinner. And what does that mean? Ya! You guessed it right, more heat on earth.

“So what? We are living in A.C, we don’t mind”. Is that what you are thinking? If yes then you need to see a doctor. Well heat is not the only thing we get in return. Glacier retreat! Can you imagine your child’ child’s child might not be able to see Himalaya at all.

Glaciers melting

1. Garhwal Himalayas, India

Glacial retreat at record pace. The Dokriani Barnak Glacier retreated 66 ft (20.1 m) in 1998 despite a severe winter. The Gangorti Glacier is retreating 98 ft (29.9 m) per year. At this rate scientists predict the loss of all central and eastern Himalayan glaciers by 2035.

2. Mt. Everest

The Khumbu Glacier, popular climbing route to the summit of Mt. Everest, has retreated over 3 miles (5 km) since 1953. The Himalayan region overall has warmed by about 1.8?F (1?C) since the 1970s.

3. Southern India

May 2002-In the state of Andhra Pradesh temperatures rose to 120?F (48.9?C), resulting in the highest one-week death toll on record. This heat wave came in the context of a long-term warming trend in Asia in general. India, including southern India, has experienced a warming trend at a rate of 1?F (0.6?C) per century.

Shocking right? ……..

The whole point here to avoid (or I would say delay because avoid is not impossible) GW. Trees are our best friend because they keep your blanket thicker. Have you ever faced weather suddenly getting changed when you leave city and enters highway (you need to be on bike not packed car). We, me and my wife, have. We always wish to go back to 4 or 5 century just to enjoy weather.

Forests and trees affect climate in three different ways:
1. They absorb the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and help to keep the planet cool.
2. They evaporate water to the atmosphere and increase cloudiness, which also helps keep the planet cool;
3. They are dark and absorb a lot of sunlight, warming the Earth.

A tipping point in global warming is the point at which change due to human activity brings about sufficient new processes in nature to make any human reversal of the change impossible.

Some climate scientists believe this will be reached in about 2017, while others, notably James Hansen, NASA's top climate scientist, believe it has already been reached.

Ready to do some actions but don’t know what to do? Well! I’ve come up with below workarounds. Please, please, please start acting on it, if you are still not dumb after reading it.

Drive Smart!
A well-tuned car with properly inflated tires burns less gasoline—cutting pollution and saving you money at the pump. If you have two cars, drive the one with better gas mileage whenever possible. Better yet, skip the drive and take public transit, walk, or bicycle when you can.

Support clean, renewable energy.
Renewable energy solutions, such as wind and solar power, can reduce our reliance on coal-burning power plants, the largest source of global warming pollution in the United States and some other countries as well. Call your local utility and sign up for renewable energy. If they don't offer it, ask them why not?

Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
Especially those that burn the longest each day. Compact fluorescents produce the same amount of light as normal bulbs, but use about a quarter of the electricity and last ten times as long. Each switch you make helps clean the air today, curb global warming, and save you money on your electricity bill.

Saving energy at home is good for the environment and for your wallet.
Start with caulking and weather-stripping on doorways and windows. Then adjust your thermostat and start saving. For each degree you lower your thermostat in the winter, you can cut your energy bills by 3 percent. Finally, ask your utility company to do a free energy audit of your home to show you how to save even more money.

Become a smart water consumer.
Install low-flow showerheads and faucets and you'll use half the water without decreasing performance. Then turn your hot water heater down to 120°F and see hot-water costs go down by as much as 50 percent. I would prefer not using heater at any cost. I don’t bath with hot water for 11 months.

Buy energy-efficient electronics and appliances.
Replacing an old refrigerator or an air conditioner with an energy-efficient model will save you money on your electricity bill and cut global warming pollution. Look for the Energy Star label on new appliances or visit their website at to find the most energy-efficient products.

Plant a Tree, protect a forest.
Pledge to plant a single tree after you read it. Protecting forests is a big step on the road to curbing global warming. Trees "breathe in" carbon dioxide. You can take action in your own backyard — planting shade trees around your house will absorb CO2, and slash your summer air-conditioning bills.

Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!
Producing new paper, glass, and metal products from recycled materials saves 70 to 90 percent of the energy and pollution, including CO2, which would result if the product came from virgin materials. Recycling a stack of newspapers only 4 feet high will save a good-sized tree. recycled products!

That’s it. The topic is getting much longer so I would cut it down here. Still got lots of things to tell you but out of time.

Bottom line is: Wake up! Before it’s too late.

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