Global warming and the green house gases

– student essay by Malia Grothmann

Today our world is worrying about the whole idea of global warming and the greenhouse effect gases that are emitted but people do not realize how much humans really play a role in it all not only in their forms of transportation. Growing populations and the “American” lifestyle all are partially involved in a few of the gases that have been and are becoming a concern. That does not include the various natural ways these gases are emitted into the air we breathe.

The first issue that usually comes to mind because of the smog we see or just the bad pollution is because of our lovely automobiles. Today there are a lot more vehicles on roads which helps contribute even more to the pollution in the air, which after awhile causes more illness to ourselves just because we are changing our environment. Cars end up emitting the carbon monoxide which is a greenhouse gas that is harmful to our ozone and they are not the only form of transportation that is involved. Other forms of transportation that contribute include some of the following: airplanes, trains, buses and any other form that people use that emits carbon monoxide and other gases that are harmful to our ozone.

That was the most common thing or at least the first thing that tends to come to mind to us when we think of how humans on a daily basis are harming their environment. Not many people take in account the idea the things we consume for food also harm the environment and because of our high demand and even the amount that we waste because our eyes tend to be bigger than our stomachs, we have to have a higher amount of those materials. People might wonder what I am talking about. It is simply the food we eat such as beef which comes from cows. An October 15, 2007 L.A times article (which is now behind a pay firewall, unfortunately), brought to my attention another greenhouse gas that might not be talked about as much. That gas is methane and it is emitted by the animal we eat in abundance not only here in the United States, but in other countries as well. Cows are not the only animal that produces methane gas; other four stomach animals such as goats do as well. The reason cows are bad in abundance is because of how much methane gas one single cow produces a day and the mere fact that methane gas is released in the belches, farts, and in their manure. According to research that was given for the L.A times article a single cow actually releases about 25-130 gallons per day. Because of this new awareness the public is slowly learning about how to cut down the production of methane released into our air. One way is control of how manure is taken care of, as well as possibly turning towards a more green diet. Though that is probably unthinkable, people could cut back otherwise with a growing population, the demand for beef as well increases which in turn mean more cows need to be available for slaughter.

(Photo by M. Katti, April 2007, McKenzie Preserve)

Before the L.A times article had come out there had been another written piece from the US EPA on methane and how 34%, which was the most, actually came from landfills. When you think about our landfills, they are full of all our goods, wastes and any other things we decide we no longer want and now are become overfilled in certain areas, and needed to be shipped elsewhere, which only helps to spread the methane gas that is emitted by these products around the world. As a world, we really need to strongly look into maybe not changing our lifestyles drastically but to consider that everything we are doing when it comes to being a consumer is actually harming our air, which is our environment, which can have not only negative consequences to us as humans but the animals because we all breathe the same air.

The LA times article on how harmful methane is and what types of things need to be done by humans to help in the reduction of the gas being produced so much in things we can help control is no longer online without paying for it. If you are on campus, however, you have access to LA Times content via LexisNexis, where you can find and download this article by searching for the title “A warming world: pollution on the hoof”.

One thought on “Global warming and the green house gases

  1. melvin

    Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of the earth’s near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century and its projected continuation.==========================MelvinMLS

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