Global Warming: Friend or Foe?
By:Natalie Bernardi
Global warming is basically the gradual increase of surface temperature on the earth and in the ocean. Global warming is happening everywhere around the world at every moment which peoText Box: Figure 1: Inside ChinaNataie in China.jpgple are contributing to. As Diane Feinstein once stated, “Global warming is real. It is happening today. It is being charted by our satellites. It is being charted by our scientists. It is being charted by those of us in this body, and I think the real key is if we are ready to admit that fact and take the action to make the necessary conversion.”  Global warming happens but the way people use non-renewable resources and the way they strive for them is causing a lot of the problems; hurricanes, oil spills and health hazards.
The use of non-renewable resources is one of the number one contributors to global warming. A non-renewable resource is a resource that does not renew itself; therefore we use the energy faster that nature makes it. Natural resources such as coal, petroleum and natural gas take thousands of years to form naturally. These resources are not infinite and will eventually run out. The natural gas supply is predicted to run out within the next 35 years. Within the next 70 years the current oil reserve will be gone, if people continue to use oil as they do now, it could run out in 14 years.
Text Box: Figure 2: BP Oil Spill 2010oil spill.pngIn April of 2010, the largest accidental marine oil spill in history happened in the Gulf of Mexico. A crew was planning to drill in the Macondo Prospect well to put a rig down to harvest oil and gas from under the sea level. Unfortunately, methane gas from the well rose into the drilling riser into the drilling rig. This caused a massive explosion which engulfed the platform and killed 11 employees. Workers and the government immediately tried to secure the oil so that the beaches and much of the water was away from the damage. Within 87 days, the oil located around 5,000 feet beneath the ocean and leaked about 4.9 million barrels. This crew was so determined to take this oil and gas that they were willing to harm themselves, the sea creatures and others to get it.
Power plants burn oil and coal which produces nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and carbon dioxide, methane and mercury compounds. Just in the United States, the average emission rates from power plants are: 1672 lbs of carbon dioxide, 12 lbs of sulfur dioxide, and 4 lbs of nitrogen oxides. SO2 and NOx are converted into sulfate and nitrate in the atmosphere. Health effects include: premature death, aggravation for respiratory and cardiovascular illness and new cases of chronic bronchitis.
Tropical storms such as hurricanes are predicted to become more frequent and more dangerous unless global warming is slowed. Global warming causes ocean temperature change and sea level rise which are both factors to a hurricane. Sea level is going to rise and is going to continue to rise as the ocean warms. This means the ice packs are melting which decreases the amount of sun rays reflecting causing them to directly hit the ocean. This warms the ocean and causes more water in oceans leading to floods. Strong winds mixing with this heated ocean cause storms into hurricanes. This will harm peoples’ lives and cause polar animals to go extinct.
The top one city for allergies is Louisville, Kentucky. Scientists claim that the allergies all lead back to the weather. Louisville has warm air but constant rain which makes the trees grow. All the weather and allergies once again lead back to global warming. In conclusion, I argue that people are contributing to help cause global warming by the burning, over use and obsessive obstacles the go to have non-renewable resources. Preserving oils, coals and gases will not only keep them around longer, but keep the harmful chemicals released in the air lower so it’s safer.