Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Planet in a (thermos) bottle: My view on climate change

We have heard so much about global warming lately: the news, the internet, T.V. etc. Sometimes it is just so common that we didn’t even have the chance and the motivation to dig deeper into the real situation because sometimes commonality leads to oblivion. Much like our political scandals which becomes nauseating in television everyday that it becomes the soap opera we have become accustomed to that we sometimes think that it is a part of a reality show where we the audiences are the one’s being played upon.

Global warming however is reality but it isn’t a show. My task is here is to make you understand about the issue in the simplest terms. I will try to describe global warming using a thermos bottle as an example because the universe is almost just like that, a thermos bottle. However, let us try to imagine that this type of thermos bottle perfectly stores heat inside just like what the universe behaves; no amount of heat comes in and no heat goes out. A thermos bottle is almost like that. Imagine further that every second the temperature inside that bottle rises up. In a plain thermos bottle, heat would have gradually escaped. The universe isn’t like that; there is no way heat could escape out of the universe. Eventually, additional heat just adds up thereby burning everything inside.

The universe is a thermos bottle and our planet is inside it. Everyday our lifestyle is attuned to producing heat. Every product that we consume creates a certain amount of heat from the time they are produced until they are consumed and this happens since the dawn of history.

Worse yet we have the greenhouse effect. This process worsens the situation because we have made our planet into another type of a thermos bottle. Greenhouses, in agriculture, is a type of a huge glass enclosure where plants are cared for during the winter months. It creates an artificial environment for the plants because it stores in heat even though it snows outside. Typically this is what the glasses are for, it easily lets in heat but it hinders it from escaping outside (well, what have we got here! another thermos bottle).Nowadays, pollution in our atmosphere is easily noticeable. We have hydrocarbons from motor vehicles, sulfur oxides and other noxious gases from factories and power plants. These gases are now enveloping our planet. Need I say that these gases are no different from glasses in a way that they easily let in heat but hinder it from escaping? So practically through time we have built our planet into a huge greenhouse and it doesn’t need a skillful carpenter to do that.

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