post9 - Society vs Environment: Frequently Asked Questions

Society vs Environment: Frequently Asked Questions

Global warming or climate change have been the source of many questions from the public and scientists. Today, the Community Environmental Center will answer some of the most frequently asked questions relating to global warming and climate change.

What is global warming?

Global warming refers to the fact that the temperature of the planet has been increasing since the Industrial Revolution. It has already increased by about 0.8 degrees Celsius or1.4 degrees Fahrenheit and is expected to increase with another 0.3 to 0.7 degrees Celsius by 2035.

What is the difference between global warming and climate change?

Global warming refers to the warming of the earth. Climate change is the broader term that includes global warming but also refers to other changes that are taking place on our planet. Things like rising sea level, faster melting of ice, changing blooming times and seasons shifting are all part of climate change and a result of global warming.

What causes global warming?

Gases like carbon dioxide and methane are the main causes. These gases exist on earth naturally and are the reason why humans can live on earth. These gases trap heat in the atmosphere to make the planet warm enough to sustain human life. However, because of too much of these gases being produced through human activity like the burning of fossil fuels and the raising of livestock, the earth is becoming too hot. Higher temperatures may make living on earth less ideal or eventually even impossible for humans and animals.

What do rising sea levels have to do with it?

Global warming is causing warmer water temperatures which mean the water is expanding and the oceans are actually starting to take up more space. It is also causing glaciers and ice sheets to melt faster than they should and this leads to an increase in runoff from the polar lands which raises the sea level. This process may be a slow one, but it is faster than is ideal if you look at the bigger picture. Higher sea levels and warmer oceans increase the risk of coastal flooding and hurricanes.

Why are we told to eat less meat?

Raising livestock releases carbon dioxide and methane. Methane is produced through livestock’s digestion process as well as well as through livestock manure. The greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere by livestock makes up 14% of the US agricultural sector. So, by eating less meat, the demand for livestock will decrease and with it the production of greenhouse gases. Unfortunately, the population is growing at a staggering rate and more and more people want meat. This is why environmentalists are promoting vegetarian or vegan diets or at least asking people to consume fewer livestock products.

What is a carbon footprint?

A carbon footprint is the amount of carbon that a person, group, business, etc. produce or emit. Many activities lead to this including the burning of fossil fuels.

How can I reduce my carbon footprint?

There are many things that you can do to live more green. Use less energy, eat less meat, use less water, use energy-saving devices, recycle, etc.

You can read more about how we impact the environment here. You can also return frequently to see what new tips and articles we have that will help you live green.

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post11 - Society’s Impact on the Environment

Society’s Impact on the Environment

Society’s influence on the environment is what brought us to the point of climate change where we are today. Different economic groups have different impacts on the environment due to fewer resources available or fewer means to acquire those resources. However, even low- and middle-income societies have an influence.

There are several different ways in which humans as a society affect the environment and contribute to negative effects and climate change. These effects are becoming more concentrated and worse because of over-population. Natural resources cannot keep up with the rate at which the population is growing.

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Water – We use much more water than natural resources can sustain. In the last few years, many different countries experienced serious droughts and even water shortages. You will find many places where water restrictions are in effect to try and cope with the demand of society.

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Pollution – Humans create different forms of pollution and all most of these affect the environment in a negative way. Water pollution reduces the water that we can safely consume and use. Air pollution affects the air we breathe and causes many diseases and illnesses in humans and animals. This in effect affects the economy as well as ecology and natural habitats for animals and plants to grow. This means that our food sources are being polluted.

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Forests – We all know about deforestation – the removal of healthy trees to make way for construction of malls and more housing or by urban communities for firewood. There is some evidence to indicate that deforestation has slowed down due to the use of other energy sources, but not due to fewer constructions projects.

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Fossil fuels – We use fossil fuels to make energy. The burning of these fossil fuels pollutes our air and surrounding environments immensely. The sources of these fuels are also running out because society’s needs are surpassing the number of natural fossil fuel sources that are available. This is why the search for alternative fuels is such a big deal. The use of some of these alternatives have started to show a difference, but nowhere near what we need to turn the climate situation around.

As a society, we all tend to think of the environment as some separate entity that we have no power over. We may not have power over it, but we are dependent on it and should try to reduce our impact on it. Our current behaviors as humans are causing a lot of damage and the culture of wanting too much and using whatever is available and easiest is making the environment sick.

For more information on how we are affecting the environment and what you can do to help, read our frequently asked questions post.