Global Warming , Greenhouse Effect and Climate Change terms all relate to the same problem that the Earth is faced with. The problem is that our planet is becoming hotter as a result of mankind's affects on the planet through predominantly the burning of fossil fuels. Fossil Fuels are coal, gas and oil which all release carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. CO2 is not the sole problem gas but it is the most widely known and biggest factor in the climate change problem. You could quite easily devote a whole website to the subject, this is only a small introduction.
This terms relates to the wholesale destruction of our planets breathing apparatus. Without these trees, the CO2 cannot be converted back into oxygen. Apart from the local environment, the clearing of trees also affects the wider area. In the local vicinity, where trees had helped to main the eco-balance of the land, the land has turned into desert. When Europeans moved to America, the land was very much a forest but over the years as the population increased and expanded, the forest went into rapid decline. In developing countries where much of the deforestation is taking place now, the people slash and burn the trees for new land for crops, animals and living. The Developing Countries say the Developed Countries can't criticise because they've already destroyed their forests.
The worlds population currently stands at just over six billion, it is increasing everyday. Everyone needs a place to live, food to eat and expanding our area of living will need to be done. As the population increases so will the need for people to do more of these things. People like to drive their cars, fly on planes and use electricity to survive and they all contribute to global warming. As a result of global warming, competition for land and resources will increase. Films have prophesied over wars over oil, clean water and land which could possibly happen. I have covered population on my Overpopulation page.
As a result of the global warming, sea levels are rising because the ice at the North and South Pole is melting. In the nineties, there was a film called Waterworld which showed what life might be like when the ice caps melted. Also when the ice melts, frozen micro-organisms that had lied buried for many thousands and millions of years will be awoken again.
For every theory or piece of information, there will always be people who will those that will rubbish it. They will say that the amount of data that we have on hand is too small to base any firm conclusions on. They point to historical record that says that the Earth was as hot as it was today as it was thousands of years ago. Millions of years ago, the world had a great upheaval in temperatures which caused Mass Extinctions. They say this rise in temperatures is a natural occurring thing. That may well be true but human impact on the Earths temperature cannot be ignored and that we are speeding up the rate of global warming. Opponents also point to The Sun whose activity cycle changes every eleven years.
We can look at what happened to Venus to see what the Earth could look like if global warming happened here on Earth. The main difference between here and Venus is that Venus' climate change was natural, it wasn't caused by any person or thing. The alleged cause was the environment, volcanic eruptions spewing lava and hot air into the atmosphere and not being able to escape. The Russian Federation sent a space probe into the atmosphere to see what it was like there, the probe didn't last long.
To reduce the effect of greenhouse warming, we need to reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. The most common way is to use Renewable Energy to cut down our use. Even if you're a Climate Change Sceptic, renewable energy is The Future because fossil fuels are finite.
If we agree that the world temperature is changing which is the worlds main consensus then we have to do things about it. We need to get off our reliance on fossil fuels, stop deforestation and slow down or reverse the population increase. Technology to do these things exist already but changing peoples attitudes is going to be another thing. A single car pumps out a negligible amount of Greenhouse gases but when you multiply that amount by the amount of cars on the roads, its not so negligible an amount. The hydrogen cells are being touted as a replacement fuel for oil in cars prototype cars have been made. However they are expensive at the moment and there are not that many filling stations that currently stock the gas. Most countries in the world with a possible except of France produce energy by burning fossil fuels. An alternative is nuclear power which doesn't produce greenhouse gases however they produce nuclear waste which must be stockpiled for thousands of years. The current nuclear technology uses nuclear fission where heat is generated by splitting an atom. Scientists are currently working on a nuclear fusion technology where heat is generated by binding atoms together. With nuclear fusion, less waste is produced and seen as more environmentally friendly. It can be created by using materials abundant in nature and not having to rely on other countries resources.Whilst they help with the global warming situation, they create a new problem instead. France currently produces most of its energy from nuclear power hence the exception. Other ways of producing electricity is through renewable sources, solar, wind or water being examples. Wind Turbines cause a lot of opposition in communities because they are seen as eyesores and persuading people of the benefits is going to be a challenge. Solar power is an ideal way of generating power for countries where the weather is near static such as those in Africa but not so good for countries like the United Kingdom which gets a lot of cloud. Water from tides or rivers is a clean method of getting water much in the same way a watermill works. As for aeroplanes, they could use hydrogen cell energy. With hydrogen energy, the only waste product is water. Other things in which we have to change is to start sourcing materials locally and not buy exotic items. If you lived in the UK, it would be better environmentally if you bought a lettuce produced in the UK rather than it being imported from France or New Zealand. If you drive, you should ensure your cars tyres are properly pumped up as low pressured tyres can increase the amount of petrol that it uses. Choose an environmentally more friendly car, do you need a Hummer to drive round town in? Insulating your home can reduce the amount of heat you need to pump in to keep you warm. Population control is one of the most harder things to do. Whilst most Developed Countries are seeing slight dips in their populations, the developing countries are expanding as much as ever. China has tried to but has failed in its attempts to control population. This is discussed more in the Population page of this site.