Climate Change and the Changing of the Social Climate

Tammemagi (2009, p.221) claims that “We  must use the solutions technology has provided us. Yet hybrid cars, smokestack scrubbers, carbon sequestration, and solar and wind power simply are not enough. As for the, as we saw in chapter 5, these green technologies will not be able to keep up with the population-economy treadmill.

To make progress in reducing global warming we must slow this treadmill. In other words, we need to slow down economic and population growth.

It will not be easy. There are strong forces at play, and societies have enormous momentum; like an ocean tanker, social directions cannot be changed quickly. Powerful corporations and organisations have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Furthermore many people are frightened of change and the uncertainty that comes with it.“

Tammemagi, H. Y. (2009). Air: our planet’s ailing atmosphere.

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Solar Energy

Tammemagi (2009, p.197) claims that “Although solar energy can be used to heat homes and water directly, the most flexible use is with ‘photovoltaic cells’, which turn sunlight directly into electricity. The photoelectric effect was discovered in 1839 by a French scientist, Edmond Vecquerel. He found that when he exposed two different brass plates immersed in a liquid to sunlight, it produced a continuous electric current. In the late 1870s, English scientists found they could obtain the same result using selenium. It was not until 1954, however, that the first practical photovoltaic cell using silicon was developed at Bell Laboratories. Photovoltaic cells have many benefits: they are rugged, reliable, have no moving parts, can withstand extreme temperatures, are impervious to most corrosive chemicals, and give off no toxic emissions. Solar cells were first used, in the space program for sattelites where there is continuous sunshine.“

Tammemagi, H. Y. (2009). Air: our planet’s ailing atmosphere.

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Renewable Energy

Tammemagi (2009, p.197) claims that “Renewable energy sources–such as windmills, solar panels, and hydro-electric generators, which produce no greenhouse gases–are an excellent way of combating global warming. The use of wind power, a seemingly simple and benign energy source, has increased rapidly in recent years as wind turbine technology. From 2000 to 2007, worldwide wind-power generating capacity increased from 18.000 MW to 92,000 MW, a five-fold increase. The world leader in wind power is Germany, followed by the United States, Spain, India, and Denmark. Denmark produces almost half of its electricity from wind.“

Tammemagi, H. Y. (2009). Air: our planet’s ailing atmosphere.

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Australia and The Kyoto Protocol.

Tammemagi (2009, p.192) claims that “To become international law, the (Kyoto) protocol had to be signed by at least 55 developed countries whose cumulative greenhouse gas emissions in 1990 formed at least 55 percent of the world’s total. Canada signed the Kyoto agreement in late 2002, to become the 99th nation to join. But without the ratification of the United States, Russia’s signiture was necessary. In 2004, Russia reversed its previous position and, much to the delight of European countries and environmentalists, signed the Kyoto Protocol, bringing it into force on February 16, 2005. Initially, Australia refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol. In December 2007, Australia’s newly elected prime minister Kevin Rudd reversed the previous policy and commited his country to joining the agreement.”

 

Tammemagi, H. Y. (2009). Air: our planet’s ailing atmosphere.

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Fossil Fuel Emissions

Tammemagi (2009, p.168) claims that “Global warming is a very serious issue. Yet many people are not convinced that a problem exists, and if it does, they do not deem it sufficiently important to make sacrifices or changes in their lifestyles. I have a few friends–well educated and open-minded–who are not convinced global warming is a reality. There are four major objections that they and the fossil-fuel industry, commonly raise against taking action to curtail global warming…”

 

Tammemagi, H. Y. (2009). Air: our planet’s ailing atmosphere.

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