Global Warming: Can I Have an Impact?

by blackspanielgallery

Global warming requires responses at multiple levels, and as individuals we might think ourselves insufficient in causing such responses. But we can make a difference.

Global warming, also often called the greenhouse effect, refers to the warming of the Earth, with the dire consequences that entails. Storm tacks are shifting, storms are getting more severe, and the real consequences of melting the ice caps with the associated sea level rise on the Earth would be a set of major catastrophic events. So, the need for an intervention is clear. What is less clear is the level an individual can impact the situation, but it is indeed possible.

Global warming must be looked at on four levels. The good news is there is opportunity to act at each level, so as an individual we can make a significant difference.

Global Warming by Natural Events

Added Greenhouse Gases by Nature

Global warming occurs as a consequence of natural events.  There are impacts by nature, and as daunting as it may seem to attempt to mitigate such large scale events it is possible.  Volcanoes and forest fires add greenhouse gases that trap the energy of the sun.  In the case of forest fires, one might be more vigilant so as to not cause one, but still. lightning will start a large number of fires each year.  A forest fire is particularly problematic since trees remove carbon dioxide from the air, and return oxygen.  Carbon dioxide is a known greenhouse gas, the one most easily controlled.  In addition to removing the trees that reduce the carbon dioxide from the air, burning trees and brush combines the carbon organic materials stored in the trees and brush with oxygen to form carbon dioxide, adding to the amount of greenhouse gases of the atmosphere.

 

The best defense is reforestation.  But, that should not deter an individual from getting involved.  Replacing the lost trees does not need to happen in the same place as the original forest, nor as an entire forest all in a single place.  Plant a tree, or better, plant a few trees.  This would be your part in offsetting nature.  A tree planted properly will flourish better than a seedling growing in a crowded forest, so your trees can make a significant difference.

 

What if you have no place to plant a tree?  Well, join an Earth Day event of planting.  Organizers of such an event will have space and seedlings for planting, but often need help in getting them into the ground, or money to offset the expenses.  Support such movements, even if you are physically unable to do the actual work yourself.  Or, find a service that plants trees on a preserve and sponsor a few trees.  Trees are usually of nominal cost to sponsor, and you will know you are alleviating some of the damage done by nature.

 

With natural events mitigation by offsetting is our best way to respond.

Global Warming at the International and Governmental Levels

Global Warming Protocols and Policies

Governments can join together and establish protocols, and governments can establish policies that impact global warming.  The reason protocols are needed is that one country with good policies will be less effective that a consortium of governments.  And, it can avoid companies getting around the policies by manufacturing in countries not part of the agreement, thus supporting industries that are damaging the atmosphere.

 

Governments can establish policies to protest the Earth from global warming by regulation of industry, and what is allowed to be poured into the atmosphere by industry.  Unfortunately, often an industry has lobbyists who present the company’s point of view, and remind politicians how much money the companies are contributing to political campaigns.

 

The way to counter the lobbyists is to have organized groups that also contribute, but only to responsible candidates for political office. 

 

Of course we can vote politicians out of office, but there might be a deeper level of consideration.  Global warming is but one issue.  There are other significant issues, and few candidates will stand for all of the same things as any voter.  For example, in the United States we have one political party that might be willing to allow industry too much latitude, but the other party favors abortion.  So, if we consider abortion to be abhorrent, the global warming issue may be a secondary concern.  Opt for a position on saving the Earth, but not at all costs, for we must look at candidates and how they will impact other significant issues.

 

Global Warming and Impact from Industry

Companies Impact Our Air

The atmosphere does not belong to any company, yet too many of them impact our ability to maintain a reasonable level of carbon dioxide.  Since these companies are too often favored by politicians as a result of campaign contributions, the ability to cause the government to regulate them is problematic.  Our defense is to not purchase the wares or services of offending companies. 

 

Here again we must consider the whole.  If a company emits carbon dioxide in excess, but the reason for the emission is to remove mercury before discharging water into a river, the pollution issue with a poisonous metal might outweigh the need to avoid carbon dioxide emissions.  As with government, we must consider the whole.  But, in weighing our response to companies we should also consider any interaction that company has with self-serving political influence.

 

As with our response to government, we must consider the whole of the situation, and react with thoughtful and measured opposition to damage to the atmosphere.  Becoming draconian and focusing narrowing on the atmosphere as a singular cause can damage our credibility.  Reaction in a thoughtful manner is likely to be taken as a more serious challenge, and indicates we are willing to look at worthy, mitigating circumstances. 

 

Global Warming and Personal Involvement

The Easiest Level to Make an Impact

While nature, governments, and industries can make significant impacts on global warming, we can also make an impact at the personal level.  And, while it may seem insignificant, if enough people get involved it can add to a major impact. 

 

Small things add up.  Perhaps our most significant impact can come from using alternate energy, such as solar or wind power.  But, each of us also has financial obligations that require us to keep out family solvent.  So, these major impact things are available only if we can afford them.

 

But other responses are cheaper, and can possibly result in savings.  Switch lighting to LEDs.  These use very little energy to provide the light we need.  Buy items with minimal or no packaging.  A dozen apples offered in a box taste just like the apples sold loose from a bin.  Turning lights off when not in use is easy, and can even save money.  One light left on for one hour is insignificant, but not so insignificant if this is done by a million people every day.

 

So, we can make an impact, both directly and by intervening with our influence in political and corporate decisions.

 

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Global Warming Passive Involvement

Still Another Level of Personal Involvement

By passive involvement I mean such things as writing and publishing on the subject, or making products available such as the Zazzle products shown in this article that relay the message.  If a person has a coffee mug that spreads the global warming message of responsibility, the person who has designed and made available that coffee mug has made a passive impact.  As for writing, there is so much material to be used to educate on the subject that the opportunity to write and publish on the topic of global warming provides another way of having a passive involvement.  Those Zazzle design and the articles will endure well beyond the little effort in making them available.  And that continued influence I call passive involvement.  Regardless of whether you consider these things passive, the important point is they can help with education and awareness.  And it is with education and awareness that we must start the effort to find reason for greater involvement.

Global Warming: A Final Thought

Morality

It is too frequent that government and corporate leaders act immorally with the idea that somehow it is not them, but rather is the government or the corporation morally responsible for those actions.  This is wrong thinking.  That expression often used “It is not personal, it is business,” is unacceptable whether it refers to government business or to corporation business.  Immorality reflects back on the person performing the action, or being complacent with inaction.  It is time we stop allowing such a flimsy reason from excusing those in positions of responsibility, and demand a moral response

 

Global Warming Response

Conclusion.

Do not be dismayed that so much must be done at higher levels than individual direct involvement allows, for we have ways of causing those higher levels to change and act in a responsible manner.  But, things will be easier if we work together, and interact with those who can cause the needed changes in respectful dialogue.  Remember, people work with you more often if you do not badger them.  But, if that does not work, organize a response from an entire group that could cause the offending person to lose political clout, or a corporation to respond to the demands of its customer base.

 

This article contains links to affiliate programs from some or all of Amazon, Zazzle, Viglink, and Ebay through Viglink, and Adsense advertising.  These must use cookies to allow for proper crediting.

The introduction image is allowed by an affiliate program. It is our Zazzle product featuring our image.

Updated: 10/14/2017, blackspanielgallery
 
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blackspanielgallery on 10/21/2017

At this time the evidence seems sufficient to make the problem known. Yet a friend who once worked for a large chemical company denies we as a whole are contributing. Indoctrination by companies with an interest require independent thinkers. We must be vigilant so as not to be duped.

kimbesa on 10/21/2017

Agreed! It is important for each person to find what they can do, and do it. Those small actions add up and keep the process moving forward. We have come a long way since the Earth Day in 1970.

blackspanielgallery on 10/16/2017

Yes, the point is not to be discouraged because some things seem beyond us. What we can do is important. And, even those things that we might think we cannot have any control over are often within our ability to influence or mitigate. We simply have to think them through.

katiem2 on 10/16/2017

I'm a firm believer that every little bit helps when it comes to reducing our carbon footprint and it is crucial not to mention a basic common courtesy to this great big planet we call home. People don't realize how good it makes a person feel each time they complete a productive task, doing something makes us happy,, it is the lack of doing or complacency that causes stress which contributes to unhappiness. Helping the planet is a WIN WIN!

frankbeswick on 10/16/2017

A vital strategy is to convert waste into a carbon storing form. For example, yesterday at an allotment event I collected all the waste tea bags [with our being British there were plenty!] and put them into my compost bin. This will turn them into a soil amendment and store their carbon. This is part of a strategy that I apply at home, compost whatever I can. A small contribution, but every little helps.

blackspanielgallery on 10/15/2017

Right now we have withdrawn from one international protocol. This bothers many. But, as I point out there are many issues to be considered. Our Supreme Court is supposed to be unbiased, but often vote on conservative / liberal lines, and one reason Donald Trump was elected was to avoid a court that too often favors such things as abortion by a narrow margin. And, he has appointed one new justice. I would have preferred another choice, but the Clinton option was too difficult to vote for. But, we have a congress, and the president must consider the bills they present, so there is some real hope. A president is limited in power, and cannot make law, only decide whether or not to approve what is being presented. Thus, the confusion to the international community on many issues.

Veronica on 10/15/2017

BSG

I am in full agreement about choosing candidates and how they vote on other significant issues . Your own government seems to be in state of contradictory opinions at times on th is issue of global warming. What is the latest coming from the Oval Office?

I like the idea of Passive Involvement too. We never know how far or what impact these subliminals have on people.

blackspanielgallery on 10/15/2017

Thanks for the input. And if you harvest from your own garden there is neither fuel in transporting the produce, nor packaging. Gardeners do a great service to the environment.

frankbeswick on 10/15/2017

Excellent article. You have dealt with a matter of major concern. Neither governments nor individuals alone will solve this global warming problem.

I suggest that if we have land, be it a small garden or larger, we can ensure that it serves as far as possible a carbon store. We can do this by developing our soil, which stores carbon. We can ensure that if our land contains peat bogs, by far one of the most effective carbon stores that there is, we let them thrive rather than drain them.

We can use wooden furniture and maintain it rather than take a throw away attitude, for carbon is stored in its wood. Trees absorb carbon best during their early growth, so using wood for furniture and planting young trees in the place of the felled ones is better for carbon dioxide than just leaving a forest as it is.

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