Why You Should Care About What You Eat

Hailey Stowe
Westshore Community College
ENG112-42: English Comp II
John Wolff
April 12, 2021

This essay highlights the affects food production has on the release of methane and other greenhouse gases. My argument focuses primarily on the production of meat and how the factors like agriculture have caused significant increases in the most dangerous of greenhouse gases. The discussion centers around the question of how it has impacted the environment and climate change. Animal agriculture is a global leading factor of climate change due to the dangerous greenhouse gasses emitted from the process.
Keywords: greenhouse gases, climate change, agriculture, meat3

Why You Should Care About What You Eat
One of the most pressing concerns faced around the world is climate change. There is much debate over the human activities leading to climate change; however, science proves there are more than just a couple of ways humans are speeding up the process of climate change. The daily choices Americans make add up to major consequences regarding the sustainability of the climate. In class, the students read Facing Extinction, a paper by Catherine Ingram, with which she discusses the harmful effects of climate change. “We have burned so much carbon into the atmosphere that the CO2 levels are higher than they have been for the past twenty three million years” (Ingram 2019). Although many would think of food choices as a less concerning issue in terms of climate change, animal agriculture is proven to be a huge factor in the global emissions of greenhouse gasses. To limit these emissions, Americans need to change their eating habits.

Animal agriculture, in particular, is seen to be a big contributor of the potent greenhouse gas, methane. As also mentioned by Catherine Ingram, are the threatening extents of methane gas, “Methane is a far more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon…” (Ingram 2019). In summary, she even goes on to say that methane is 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide. The process of how methane is emitted is best explained by authors: Richard Waite, Tim Searchinger and Janet Ranganathan, “Cows and other ruminant animals (like goats and sheep) emit methane, a potent greenhouse gas, as they digest grasses and plants. This process is called “enteric fermentation,” (World Resources Institute 2021). To simplify, enteric fermentation occurs when microbial fermentation breaks down food in the fore-stomach. Through this digestion, burps form, and that is where the methane is emitted into the atmosphere. Other ways methane is released in animal agriculture are through manure and chemical fertilizers. By purchasing the meat, particularly beef, one contributes to the rise in the demand for meat, increasing its production, and therefore emitting more methane into the atmosphere. A factor that goes into the meat one purchases is the farming of the land
the cattle graze and eat from. According to fao.org, twenty-six percent of the planet’s land is used for livestock grazing and another thirty-three percent of croplands are used to produce feed for these livestock. There is so much land that goes into meat production and the farming of that land has harmful consequences on the environment. One issue with agriculture is the amount of fertilizer farmers use to increase crop production, Ingram addresses this by stating, “Excess nitrogen from fertilizer becomes nitrous oxide when it escapes into soils and groundwater. It is 300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide…”(Ingram 2019). She later goes on to say that this issue accounts for 20% of global warming.

Prominent people in our society are taking notice of this rising concern and are positioning themselves to help the cause. Bill Gates and the Bill Gates Foundation are funding the development of alternative methods for soil fertilization using plant based products in hopes of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (MIT Technology Review, 2021). Bringing awareness to this crisis is one step closer to resolving the problem but5
with populations around the world increasing, the demand for meat production increases as well.

Author Ilija Djekic dives into the consequences of the rising demand for meat, “Agriculture production is expected to increase to match the demand of an increasing global population…greenhouse gases are projected to increase by 80% by the year 2050” (Djekic 2016). When demand increases so will supply, but at what cost? Not only will methane emissions escalate but so will emissions by transportation. The

transportation industry, releasing carbon dioxide and nitrous oxides, is one of the leading contributors of greenhouse gases. Although meat production has caused such spikes in climate change there are ways to not further increase it. This information raises awareness to increasing demand for meat, which is proven to be a leading factor for climate change. One may say we cannot stop all meat production for it will create world hunger. Bill Gates offers a solution to reduce the demand on the beef industry in particular: synthetic beef. While he acknowledges that poorer countries cannot afford to manufacture synthetic beef, he proposes that the “richer” countries (like the USA) make a purposeful switch to synthetic beef (MIT Technology Review, 2021). Although this idea may not gain a lot of popularity at first, more ideas such as this can help pave the way towards maintaining sustainability within food production. Journalists: Linnea I. Laestadius, Roni A. Neff,Colleen L. Barry, and Shannon Frattaroli talk about how to start being more environmentally friendly, “efforts to reduce meat consumption in light of climate change have been relatively limited. One potential avenue for encouraging consumption changes is via non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This study used a qualitative approach to understand how and to what extent environmental, food-focused, and animal protection NGOs in the U.S., Canada, and Sweden have worked to reduce or alter domestic meat consumption in light of climate change” (Laestadius 2013).

Aside from the cattle industry’s effect on greenhouse gasses, the effect of beef consumption on the human body should be a deterrent as well. Food Research International did a study comparing the Dutch Diet and four healthy diets aimed at lowering greenhouse gasses, “Omitting meat from these healthy diets or consuming only foods with relatively low associated GHG emissions both resulted in GHG emission reductions of around a third,” (Elsevier 2017). Increases in cancer and heart disease directly related to beef consumption have played a major role in the deterioration of health worldwide. Another option, if the consumption of beef continues, is to feed the cows seaweed as it reduces their methane emissions by eighty-two percent thus reducing the effect on the environment. Moving forward, if we are to reduce the impact of animal agriculture on the earth’s climate and adjust to healthier lifestyles to increase sustainability, a major shift in world perception and education is needed. With more awareness on the subject of the harm agricultural practices cause to the climate and to the body, humans can start living a more healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyle. Through careful consideration of what we decide to eat, we can help lead to a more sustainable climate. We will never be able to reverse the damage that has already been done to the environment but we may be able to slow the progression to ensure a future for the next generations to come.

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Companies Combine To Emit More Greenhouse Gases Than Most People Would
Have Imagined. Food Revolution Network.
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Change, Says Report—Our World. Eating Less Meat Essential to Curb Climate
Change, Says Report.
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of various diets adhering to the dutch food based dietary guidelines. Food Research
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The Reducing of Carbon Emission for Our Future Health

Alejandra Mendez
West Shore Community College
ENG112: English Composition II
Professor John Wolff
February 20, 2021

The Reduction of Carbon Emission for Our Future Health As a member of an environmental Club called SAFE, we gathered as a group of environmental activists and came up with ideas on making Oceana County better for the overall environment. We did all sorts of stuff to help the environment in SAFE. We recycled, planted trees, cleaned highways, and attended environmental conferences. Carbon emission is a topic that was discussed in SAFE quite often, and why it needs to be lowered. The replacement of carbon emission is effective for our health and the future of our planet.

Impact of carbon emission
Carbon emission is when there is carbon in Earth’s atmosphere. Since carbon is one of the greenhouse gasses it impacts the issue of climate change. According to Earth Hero (2017), Greenhouse gasses absorb radiation and don’t let the heat leave the atmosphere causing the planet to get warmer. Carbon dioxide is another form of saying carbon emission. Carbon emission is important because plants and animals breathe out CO2 thereby producing energy for our planet. Earth hero (2017). Mentions that humans contribute to carbon emission negatively and affect our living space. The Earth’s atmosphere has essential elements that we get rid of by burning fossil fuel, natural gasses, and oil. By doing this we are letting out different greenhouse gasses. One new piece of information from the source Earth Hero important to know is that the two gasses don’t mix well and nature has a hard time neutralizing the damage.

The Greenhouse Effect
According to a National Geographic article ( Nunez, 2019), the greenhouse gas has caused climate change to continue to increase every month; it also talked about major causes. The author explained that the concept, The Greenhouse Effect started in the 19th century. At this time, a French mathematician named Joseph Fourier figured out that the Earth’s atmosphere would have been colder, but over time scientists have realized that carbon emission is actually terrible for planet Earth altering the climate as well. Greenhouses actually take about three-quarters of the emission. Nunez (2019) stated in the article that in 2018, “carbon dioxide levels reached 411 parts per million at Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Atmospheric Baseline, it was the biggest monthly record. The contributing factors that caused it to reach it to be thing big were carbon emissions. Coal, oil, natural gas.” This is important because that carbon dioxide will stay within the atmosphere for years.

We Have to take Action
An article by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac (2020), discussed what would happen if we didn’t cut half of the carbon emission and affect the world we live in by the year 2050. One part of the essay from the article says that we need to reduce carbon emission “In any places around the world, the air is hot, heavy, and depending on the day, clogged with particulate pollution. Your eyes often water. Your cough never seems to disappear. You can no longer walk out your front door and breathe fresh air. Instead, before opening doors or window in the morning, you check your phone to see what the air quality will be. Everything might look fine—sunny and clear—but you know better. When storms and heat waves overlap and cluster, the air pollution and intensified surface ozone levels can make it dangerous to go outside without a specially designed face mask (which only some can afford).” (para. 4). This quote gives a glimpse of how in the year 2050. People are going to need to adapt to terrible air quality and no longer breathe fresh air. The worst part is that the ozone levels are so dangerous that everyone is going to have to have a specially designed face mask. Some people probably won’t be able to afford this. 2050 will be similar to what we are living currently with the Coronavirus pandemic, where everyone is wearing masks to protect themselves from getting Coronavirus. Think about your future family, and everyone around you, and how you might adapt to this lifestyle. It shows that the authors are to catch the attention of people by sharing small glimpses of what might happen if the cut carbon emissions aren’t eliminated.

Possible Alternatives
There are possible alternatives instead of cutting carbon emission which might be “net zero-emission.” An article by the World Economic Forum (2014) says It was simple and easy to comprehend what could possibly be a solution. Lili Fuhr described it as “carbon capture and storage.” Carbon capture and storage means that greenhouse gas emissions must be removed from the atmosphere. According to the page “Carbon neutrality” ([Carbon Neutrality], n.d). Wikipedia recommends “net zero-emission” because it balances carbon dioxide emission while removing carbon. It replaces carbon dioxide found in transportation, energy production, agriculture, and industrial processes. This process can be achieved in two ways. The first way would be by balancing carbon dioxide emissions with carbon emission and carbon offsets when the replacement of greenhouse gas emissions is removed. If it is done, then the net emission will be balanced. The other possibility would be to reduce carbon emission by changing energy sources and industries and changing to hydro, wind, geothermal, and solar power. These alternatives are beneficial to reduce carbon emissions for our future and climate change.

Future effects
An article by Times magazine “What the World Will Look in 2050 If We Don’t Cut Carbon Emission in Half” (Figures and Tom Rivett- Carnac, 2020). gave important details about what the year 2050 would be like and how everyone will eventually wear specially designed face masks because the ozone levels are dangerous. Everyone will have a hard time breathing is why the reduction of carbon emission is necessary for our future health. An article by the Center for American Progress, states a few contributions in finding ways to reduce carbon emission. These authors’ alliance wouldn’t have found solutions to cut carbon emissions. They mention, “In parallel to natural carbon sequestration solutions, negative emissions technologies will play a critical role in achieving net-zero emissions by midcentury and negative emissions after that. Half of the 1 gigaton of sequestration estimated by the National Academies of Sciences (2019). Comes from negative emissions technologies, including bioenergy with carbon sequestration (BECCS) and direct air capture technology (DAC). Bringing these solutions online at scale will require heavy investment in research, development, and deployment.” The National Academies of Science’s (2019). Solution mentioned negative emission technologies would be the biggest achievement in net-zero emission. Also according to the National grid, ([“what is net zero?”].n.d). Says the meaning of net-zero emission is “Put, net-zero refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. We reach net zero when the amount we add is no more than the amount taken away.” We need to trust the Center for American Progress (2019). Since the authors had the National Academies of Science as a source. National Academies of Science is a good source because, without their solution that was given in the quote, there wouldn’t be a solution to cut the amount of carbon
emission. The authors from the website Center for American Progress (2019). and the National Academies of Science did something important such as talking about a solution that could help climate change by lowering the amount of carbon emission to help our health for upcoming years.

Life Without Carbon Emission
The Center for American Progress (2019). gave an effective way on how to reduce carbon emission by mentioning that negative emission technologies will be the best way for net zero-emission, but Earth. Org article called “What Would To Happen To The Climate If We Stopped Greenhouse Gas Emission Immediately” (Sim, 2020). Sims wrote an amazing article about what would happen if greenhouses were gone as well as carbon emission. She mentioned that this wouldn’t be enough. The author said, “Other industrial emissions, such as methane and tropospheric ozone, have shorter atmospheric lifespans, thus exerting shorter effects on the climate. Would clamping down on these short-lived gases result in the faster emergence of climate mitigation benefits? Unfortunately, the scientists found that even though methane is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide on a 20-year timescale, reducing methane emissions to zero starting this year would only slow warming from 2039” (para.11). She talked about how even if carbon emission was gone, the carbon dioxide is still trapped in the atmosphere and could warm the Earth for many centuries. She showed character as Vera Sim herself is an environmental study Undergraduate at the National University of Singapore. Her work is credible as well as her article. After all, she has had studies and has dedicated her education to learning about what is happening currently in our environment. Author Vera Sim is a writer for Earth.org (2020). Throughout her education explained that she has an environmental study undergraduate at the National University of Singapore; in her last paragraph in her article, she wrote, “To illustrate the risk of insufficient scientific communication, if all greenhouse gas emissions were to be completely stopped starting this year, the public would expect immediate, rapid declines in global warming. However, temperatures are projected to rise at an accelerated pace for at least 13 more years. Without careful, nuanced media messaging to convey and explain this projection, the lack of immediate outcomes may lead to public backlash on the perceived ineffectiveness of the policies. Sustaining climate mitigation efforts in the long-run could be met with significant pushback. Ultimately, pushing for
strong, sustained mitigation efforts to counter the climate crisis will require the collective cooperation between governments, the scientific community, and the media.” From this quote author, Vera Sim is a long-time environmental activist. This shows that she enjoys spending time helping for environmental causes and has been successful over time.

Throughout the articles that I have read talk about how the replacement of carbon emission is the most effective way to help climate change and benefit our health. If we don’t reduce carbon emission, we would have to face consequences that could damage our health and fresh air. In a few years, we will have to wear specially designed face masks because the ozone levels are dangerous. We will have a hard time Breathing. “net zero-emission” is a potential replacement for carbon emissions. Cutting carbon emissions can help our health for future years to avoid major complications for our health.

Batreeq. (2021, February 25). Carbon neutrality. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/
Earth Hero. (2017, September 22). What are carbon emissions (and why do they matter?).
Retrieved from https://earthhero.com/carbon-emissions/
Figueres, C. & Rivett-Carnac, T. (2020, April 22). What the world will look like in 2050 if we
don’t cut carbon emissions in half. Retrieved from https://time.com/5824295/climate
change- future-possibilities/
Fuhr, L. (2014, December 9). Is there an alternative to cutting carbon emissions? Retrieved from
Nunez, C. (2019, May 13). Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is at a record high. Here’s what
you need to know. Retrieved from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/
National Grid. What is net zero? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nationalgrid.com/
Podesta, J., Goldfuss, C., Higgins, T., Bhattacharyya, B., Yu, A., & Costa, K. (2019, October
10). A 100 percent clean future. Retrieved from https://www.americanprogress.org/issues
/green/ reports/2019/10/10/475605/100-percent-clean-future/
Sim, V. (2020, August 31). What would happen to the climate if we stopped greenhouse gas
emissions immediately? Retrieved from https://earth.org/what-would-happen-to-the
climate-if- we-stopped-greenhouse-gas-emissions/

The Green New Deal: A Causative Justification and Outline of Action

Ndio Battice Mitchell

West Shore Community College

ENG 112: Composition II

Professor John B. Wolff

March 14th, 2021

The Green New Deal: A Causative Justification and Outline of Action

The Green New Deal, appropriately designed and executed, is the only immediately actionable response to the ecological and economic crisis that America currently faces in the form of climate change. As this essay carries inferences to public policy, it is necessary to address the arguments that oppose for various reasons the Green New Deal before details of the project itself can be presented. At the heart of the issue, what the approaches repudiated in this essay have in common is the extent to which they are informed and their unremitting political bias. A rejection of the Green New Deal (GND) for any reasons other than scientific is divorced from present reality. Some denounce climate change as a notion, and others argue capitalism to be the centerpiece of the issues at hand and effectively the embodiment of climate change. Both are incorrect in making such grandiose claims. The coming words will address the arguments of, and evidence against, the two major wings of political opposition to the GND.

To begin, the basic information regarding climate change is irrefutable–there is no scientific basis on which to draw inferences to the contrary. This essay will dedicate no more time to either disproving them or proving the existence of dangerous climate change, given how apparent the exigence of the issue truly is. That said, the view espoused by these commentators is also not the norm (in contrast to what some argue). Widespread denial of the existence of climate change does not exist in the United States[1]. Point-in-fact, as of March 2018 only one in seven Americans does not believe in climate change; 72% view it as an issue of importance, ranging from “somewhat” to “extremely”, and approximately half expect either themselves, their family, or their community to harmed by climate change to some extent, with over 60% expecting harm to come to the United States as a whole, the world’s poor, and developing countries. What’s more, over half worry about extreme events that arise from climate change, roughly 70% are “interested”, and half report feeling “disgusted” or “helpless” because of it (Leiserowitz et al, 2018).

Moreover, some of these politically oriented approaches propose drastic measures to bring awareness to the public and spur them to action. Evidence advising against this frenetic approach is striking: low-fear appeals do increase pro-environmental behavior, but high-fear appeals are highly dependent on the individual’s perception of the “collective efficacy” of the environmental effort. That is to say, high-fear appeals only work if the person in question believes their effort to be part of a broader drive that has a chance of making a meaningful difference (Mei Feng, 2016). To add to this, the introduction of existential threat actually consistently decreases pro-environmental behavior within individuals (Buttlar et al, 2017). These can be taken together to insinuate that the population is discouraged to take individual action against climate change when they feel it to be futile, either due to being the only one attempting to make these changes or because change itself appears to be pointless. The last of these points is of extreme importance. Arguments that are not careful to ensure that they align themselves with this psychological reality will do little. This development has caused some particularly radical thinkers to conflate this inaction with near-global denial of the issue–that is incorrect. An enemy is being made out of the individual because of an inability to distinguish between what is argued, and how the human mind operates in face of such a multifaceted issue with so many contributing factors. It is unreasonable to introduce a fear-based approach to spur action and then blame when that fear-appeal catalyzes nothing because of the hopeless portrait being painted.

In one such article from last year, the author argues that humanity’s only future is that of a hunter-gatherer society due to climate change destroying the entire concept of agriculture. It proposes steep measures to curb the effects of climate change, including "aggressive population reduction policies" (Gowdy, 2020). Gowdy’s article is also emblematic of a broader issue in which proposals being made on ideological grounds separate from scientific data are hamstrung by fundamental errors relating to the need to mitigate data that does not suit such a thesis. Gowdy’s first error is in assuming that humanity is as entirely helpless as previous generations (that existed before the advent of technology). Questionably, the predictions within are also modeled on a “business as usual” scenario[2], attempting to equate the current climate change collapse to those of the past (manmade vs. natural). Also noteworthy is that it foresees only hunter-gatherer outcomes in the future. In reality, if humanity finds itself in such a predicament, it’s likely due to a scenario along the lines of “runaway climate change” (Rifkin, 2019), and our existence in a general sense is precarious (think of unmonitored nuclear reactors). To make this point very clear: expressly political arguments are beholden to assuming, consciously or otherwise, that ideologically-partitioned outcomes are the only feasible kind. Details that suggest contrary to the measures proposed are often simply ignored. Awareness of this does appear to be emerging within the literature, as well. Multiple commentators have now argued that the "sustainability or collapse" narrative is a false dichotomy in which alternative outcomes are at least if not more likely than the ones proposed (Strunz et al, 2019).

Others in this vein are problematic for their refusal to align their beliefs with current scientific discourse. For example, one article calls for such an approach by questioning the credibility of academic institutions, suggesting that those within them now are ignorant or in denial (the author does not specify which) of the issue at hand for reasons relating to colonial roots, and the proposed solution is to “set our horizons of hope beyond the premises they offer.” (Stein, 2019). The true issue of Stein’s article, however, is the manner in which it asserts sustainability and eco-friendly existence to be impossible, and turns this back on the academic edifice itself, suggesting that they do nothing because they are incapable of doing anything that can be reconciled with their “habit-of-being.” However, an argument asserting that a colonially controlled educational apparatus must be abolished because its existence cannot be reconciled with the goals that it sets is illogical by premise. Firstly, it’s not simply the Institution but rather the whole of the modern world that is having difficulty with sustainability. Second, the changes being discussed (sweeping, systemic ones) are not within the direct power of Academia, to begin with. Third, attempting to attribute the ignorance, avoidance, and inaction of all of Academia on unconsciously ideological grounds does not explicate why, therefore, the entire concept of an academic institution is meant to be held abrogate insofar as it relates to climate change, nor how this measure is meant to resolve the issue. This is a straw-man argument seeking to eviscerate Academia in lieu of climate change[3], but does not solve any of the relevant problems.

Any number of examples as to the issues with this manner of reasoning could be provided. The purpose of this review is to derive a handful of points regarding arguments of this nature:

  • Fear appeals are ineffective in excess, and tend to be modestly effective otherwise.
  • The time for grandiose restructuring of society is so far past that continuing to suggest it is actually akin to a denial of sorts.
  • Americans are neither primarily nor exclusively unaware of the existence and effects of climate change.
  • One cannot logically claim to support the environment while also attempting to undermine the measures and institutions that propose and execute these changes at the current stage of this crisis.
  • Climate change presents a clear and present reality that must be dealt with in a decisive, scientifically informed manner.

    These points collectively are meant to make clear that opposition to the GND on the basis of anything other than scientific technicality is uninformed at best, and teeters closely to being illogical. The fact that something must be done is enough to suggest that opposing these measures for reasons of political belief alone has allowed those same beliefs to cloud their reality. This leads to the second half of this essay.

    At the heart of the problem, the GND must achieve: sustainable development; a replacement of existing systems of power with renewable energy; corporate and business regulations to prevent the destruction of natural resources; and with these efforts in aggregate achieve economic decoupling. Economic decoupling is at the core of all discourse regarding how humanity will continue to adapt to climate change in the long term. It is the process by which economic growth is removed from reliance upon nonrenewable natural resources, ensuring growth no longer comes at the direct expense of the planet. Subordinate elements within this process (human population growth, resource consumption, anthropogenic emissions, ecological destruction, disease spillovers, extinctions, etc) are issues in need of solutions by 2050 to avoid environmental tipping points that could destabilize humanity’s position (Barnosky et al, 2016). These things together the GND must achieve. This text will begin by outlining trends and proposed countermeasures by modern thinkers as to how such a plan might be developed, and then infer from them a general plan.

    Central to this essay is repudiating the argument that capitalism is categorically irreconcilable with the issues discussed. Changes are surely needed, but continuing to argue this on ideological grounds, as outlined above, is quite unreasonable. Even cursory research can establish that no existing economic system has managed to truly avoid substantive ecological destruction as a consequence of its own growth. Existing avenues within the United States are favored by this essay for pragmatic reasons–the ease with which these may be repurposed–in contrast to a complete dismantling. New economic practice will necessarily emerge when guided by the principles of the GND, and it could be argued that room within them for modifications of any economic system likely exists.

    In addition, an extensive decoupling analysis spanning from 1991-2016 concluded that economic decoupling can coincide with economic growth. It cites the temporary employment of nuclear energy in conjunction with the fact that renewable energy, hydropower, and fossil fuels are symbiotic when used together to justify a “diversified, sustainable energy consumption mix”. This is to say that economic growth is hurt by energy-saving measures, but a symbiosis can arise through a heavily diversified energy matrix emphasizing renewable sources–this is likely the first step to absolute economic decoupling (Pao & Chen, 2019). This thinking is echoed by another recent study in which GDP improved in Asian economies via renewable energy sources and was damaged by others (Mohsin et al, 2021). In the United States, this point is further recapitulated by yet another study from this year: “Policymakers in the USA are encouraged to control the excessive use of natural resources, promote sustainable lifestyles, develop energy-efficient carbon pricing, and fix the ecological budget to secure a sustainable future for the country” (Khan et al, 2021).

    In consideration of the above, key sectors are those of sustainable development, research of digital technologies, and STEM creations. Empirical advances (e.g innovation and strategy) have been found as a likely natural consequence of digital sustainability (George et al, 2020). This is further supported by other research positing benefits to the climate regarding digital consumer innovation so long as these breakthroughs are steered appropriately by public policy measures (Wilson et al, 2020). Additionally, bringing the STEM fields in line with the biophysical principles of the planet and the laws of thermodynamics can bring economics to bear in a manner that doesn’t risk unhinging human ecologies (Galbraith 2020). An especially astonishing example of this is the revelation that carbon dioxide emissions can be collected from the atmosphere and injected into rock at temperatures exceeding 250 degrees celsius, mineralizing 85% of the CO2 injected within mineral formations (e.g basalt). This is to say that 85% of the CO2 is, in essence, stored permanently in the mineral. It is breakthroughs of this nature and ones similar that stand to enhance abilities to meet the crisis in the first place.

    On the topic of markets and consumer awareness, a college study saw the students in an introductory sustainability economics class working together to create a 19-question survey that was subsequently administered by those students to persons on and in the vicinity of their campus in Boston. The results from the 277 participants ranging from 18 to 25 years old was analyzed to measure the differential change between (in essence) willingness and interest towards pro-environmental behavior, and the presence of specific knowledge within these individuals regarding how these behaviors are meant to help. This was taken to mean that there is “a potential opportunity to promote lasting behavioral change” via an educational marketing campaign and “related convenient access to climate change mitigation and adaptation activities” (Venkatesan et al, 2021). Another salient development is that of how marketers can actually tailor their advertising to cater towards a circular economy and empowerment of the consumer (very distinct from that of the marketer) in pursuit of this goal (Lakatos et al, 2018). A circular economy is a model in which the life cycle of temporary products is greatly enhanced by extensive reuse of those items, reducing material wastage. Policy recommendations outlined to achieve this include standardizing norms and production methods, the expansion of circular procurement, tax breaks for circular products, the liberalization of waste trading and its facilitation via mediated (digital) platforms, among others (Hartley et al, 2020). All of these can be synthesized together to allow for not only sustainable entrepreneurship at a high level but also the ability to turn marketing failures (unused assets, for example) into genuine opportunities for efforts of this nature (Dean and McMullen, 2007); what was previously useless may become a business opportunity in itself if nearly everything has economic value.

    The above can collectively be taken to mean that there exists a host of means for individuals and organizations alike to contribute to resistance and adaptation towards climate change and its effects. Having outlined a foundation of research, these findings can be synthesized and generalized into a series of principles by which the GND must abide. First, the GND must take immediate measures to achieve economic decoupling from a dependence on nonrenewable natural resources. This can be thought of as the central goal. Subordinate to this will be a change to renewable energy via a mixed energy apparatus in the short term with an exhaustive focus on renewable sources of energy and a temporary usage of methods such as nuclear power to achieve symbiosis. In addition, a vast, multifaceted government-sponsored drive to research and innovate sustainable technologies, marketing, business practices, STEM developments, and explosive catalysts for discourse in all realms of the public and private sector in engaging with academia on the relevant issues is necessary. Lastly, regulation of corporate and business practices must occur with the interest of preventing profiteering off of environmental destruction and in general terms achieve a far more circular economic model built with the understanding that nature is capital, and it is bad economics to continue destroying it.

    This essay has performed an exploration of both the existing trends and strands of discourse surrounding the climate crisis and the actionability of the Green New Deal. The GND at the time of writing is the only valid short-term option for combating climate change and providing the impetus for social, economic, and public change as it is required. Refuted in this process is the view that continues to oppose the GND on ideological grounds, which amounts effectively to denial of the situation’s exigence. Moreover, the GND must be actioned with respect to three overarching principles synthesized from existing trends in research. Firstly, all relevant measures must be taken to achieve the broader goal of absolute economic decoupling. Secondly, said measures must be made with the interest of enacting change and creating awareness at all levels, public and private, of American activity and more generally allow for sustainable development, research, and planning–encompassing both STEM and business–while also addressing the constituent issues challenging these measures, such as emissions reduction. Lastly, the previous two points must be brought together into a unifying and coherent economic system that exists in line with ecological realities–allowing a productive symbiosis with nature as opposed to a dangerous exploitation thereof which no existing economic system, regardless of ideology, has managed to meaningfully avoid.


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“Ashley McGrady Research Argumentation Essay”

Ashley McGrady
Westshore Community College
ENG112-42: Composition II
Professor Wolff

Abstract: While we’ve learned more about the ways climate change changes forests, oceans, etc. Climate change has recently taken a toll on our farmlands, as well as the food supply. Scientists have been coming together to find a solution on why and how they can find a way to come up with an alternative. Greenhouse-gases have been talked about throughout the US, and how there is a way that they can reduce climate change to save the supply of crops. As seasons of harvesting getting pushed back. The change of business rates is slowly decreasing. Putting this all together, and finding a way to a solution on what climate change has done to our crops. We can save our farmlands for the better. What is agriculture and how does it relate to climate change? Surprisingly enough, not a lot of people believe that climate change exists. That’s where they’re wrong. As most of us know agriculture is the practice of farming and growing crops. This might not come as a surprise to most people, but everything considered alive needs to be well-nourished. That is where this type of agriculture comes into play. Agriculture and climate change are both interrelated and take an important role on a global scale. When discussing climate change we all know that it has made a dramatic effect on our planet in the past years. To give you an idea, the icebergs melting and large unattainable forest fires take place in warmer climates. Climate change affects agricultural farming in many ways that might not be broadcasted on the news. Even if we don’t see those types of changes they are still there and still affecting our farming slowly.

Most of us aren’t taught about climate change in school and aren’t provided with accurate knowledge about it. There is much more important information behind the topic of agriculture. More than just seeing wildfires on television or in the news. Climate change is when activities around the world take place, and most of the actions are out of our control. Meaning that these events are all-natural, and there is nothing we can do to stop them. It has a major part with temperatures that which increases far more dramatically than we could imagine. This means that when these temperatures do rise many different changes occur on the surface of the earth. This leads to many disastrous events that we’ve all seen. The changing patterns of the weather also lead to numerous changes in the overall planet. Agricultural farming is a major contributor to global warming. Furthermore, carbon dioxide is found in the atmosphere and has a huge impact on animals and plant life such as photosynthesis and respiration. Respiration can convert food compounds with the addition of oxygen to release energy for growth. Whereas, photosynthesis takes the carbon dioxide and converts it into oxygen. Too much carbon dioxide Leading to temperature rises too much those farmer’s plants and crops won’t grow, and will soonly die out. This means the more carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere, the more oxygen that can be used for plant growth.

There is a name for this which is called “carbon farming”, and as talked about in the article “can regenerative agriculture reverse climate change? Big food is banking out” written by Gosia Wozniacka. She explains the meaning behind the way of carbon farming which is a very interesting way of farming. Carbon farming is a practice that builds the organic variations of the elements and puts it all into a type of soil that is healthy and safe to grow crops. This is very important, but there is also another thing that plays a role in the healthy growth of crops. The most important thing that we need to do is making sure that our food stocks and supply are being supplied with enough nutrients so that the crops can survive in the long run down the road. This is where the “greenhouse effect” comes into play. In this stage of growing crops, it is now very important and necessary to release these plants to greenhouse gases. The article, “Agriculture and climate change” published by eea.europa.eu, The Greenhouse effect is when there is no support for the food sources that are available to the plants. This actively demonstrates that there would not be any food sources to feed this growing population and the animals would nearly starve from the lack of food provided to them. These greenhouse gases release a significant amount of methane and nitrous oxide which is a little too powerful for greenhouse gases. The methane plays a part by producing livestock in the process of digestion caused by enteric fermentation. On the other hand, the nitrous oxides are made into the role of farming because the particular reason for this circumstance is in a certain way it helps indirect products of organic and mineral nitrogen fertilizers in the soil. This is why they are used in many fertilizers and pesticides. Nitrous oxide is also used for fertilizing crops. In addition to this used for other many things such as an industrial solvent. Agriculture accounted for at least 10 percent of the EU’s final counted greenhouse-gas emissions in around 2012.

Not only does this have an effect on the environment is also impacts the farmers that are selling these crops. Over the years our climate change has been going up, as well as businesses have been going down. Why though? Many people believe that this upcoming climate change is overlooked by most people which is why there could be more that is being done. These decades are going to be daunting for many farmers. In the article, “Keeping our cool in the face of hothouse” written by, Philip Thornton, Dhanush Dinesh, Laura Cramer, and many others they discuss the problems that farmers are facing when it comes to businesses. Many businesses have run into problems when it comes to climate change, and how it’s affecting the harvesting seasons. Since the crops aren’t getting all the nutrients that they need from the weather. They have to put them into the greenhouse-gas for them to develop. In spite of the fact that just a little push further, the harvesting seasons are still, and will still be pushed back further than expected. This does not do any justice for farmers that are making selling them to the public. There have been multiple studies throughout the years that show that the food system is going downhill. The article also states that farmers are slowly running out of business, which is very sad for the families involved in selling these crops. The farmers and businesses are learning to adapt to the “new normal” that being climate change, and the way they have to move around it. There have been multiple scientists that have been trying to come up with a solution to this problem, and how to slow it down. In the article “ Keeping our cool in face of hothouse” written by, Philip Thornton, Dhanush Dinesh, Laura Cramer, and more. They talk about how research has found that by the 2050s the average crops yields growth rate will be about 1.8% per year. Leading that right now it is currently 1.2% per year. This has been a serious concern for the nation is because, in this case, it’s not only affecting the climate, but also the people who are needing this food. There is a possibility that this might lead to world starvation which won’t be good. In the event that, as well as there is definitely a possibility that this could happen the food supplies would run out slowly. In the same article as we just discussed they also talk about the importance of trading. Which could lead to good solutions for farmers and businesses in the end. By international trade it can limit the impact climate change has on the food security. This could later lead to the concerns of lower and middle-income countries trying to make a living off of these crops that are being destroyed by what climate change has done to them.

Not only does climate change affect the farmer’s crops, but it also has an impact on the livestock. Such as cows, chickens, goats, etc, meaning that by not getting enough of the criteria that the animals need they won’t be able to reproduce. They need water to drink and stay hydrated, animal production, and healthy for them. The weather has a big role in this problem. It can cause health problems for the animals creating heat stress to them. While as the reduction of water that is available. By 2050 this will double, and will be way worse for the animals.

In the article,” climate change and livestock: impacts, adaption, and mitigation” written by Melissa Rojas- Downing, A Pouyan Nejadhashesemi, Timothy Harrigan, Sean A. Woznicki. They state that once again 2050 is going to make double the amount of everything. Scientists believe that by then there will be way more people to feed. As of right now there are currently only 7.2 billion people, but as time goes on things will change, and that 7.2 is going to change to 9.6 billion. The population will be increasing by about 33%. This demands that agricultural products will increase by 70% at the same exact time as the increase in population. What does this mean for the food supply provided by farmers? Well, this would mean that the farmers have to make sure that they have enough time to be able to harvest everything they need to. As well as make sure that they have enough water and food for their animals. This has been a major stressor for everybody that is involved in agriculture.

As we all know there are many people around the world that believe that agricultural climate change is not real, and “we just need to get over ourselves”, that is not quite true. It’s actually the other way around it’s not quite the people it is the farmers. You would think that they would be concerned considering that it is affecting their crops, and their animals.

Farmers are very informed about bad weather here and there, but what they don’t know is that is only going to get worse from here on out. There are a lot of shifts of changing weather throughout their week of farming, so it doesn’t really faze them as much. In other words, they don’t think that science is there to show a convincing way of how it’s actually affecting their farmlands. In spite of the fact that they don’t believe as much as scientists do, they are still skeptical about the consequences behind climate change, as well as how it could destroy their harvesting.

To sum up, everything that has been stated so far we can take a look at everything that we have talked about, and see that if we don’t change our ways there could be a bigger problem in the future. As scientists are still coming up with solutions to help save farmlands, even though they are doing all they can it’s still up to us to join in, and do our part. Climate change will be affecting agriculture in many different ways more and one. These challenges are becoming a
bigger struggle as days go on. We can see how climate change has an extreme effect on our weather, and how it can cause farmers to push back harvesting seasons, trading with other countries, using greenhouse gases as an alternative. There is much more for us to do before the years of the 2050s.

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Turn Human Life into a Benefit for The Earth’s Climate

Raul Mazorra-Sandoval
West Shore Community College
ENG 112: English composition II
John Wolff
Feb. 24th, 2021

Turn Human Life into a Benefit for The Earth’s Climate
Earth already has many natural climate change effects such as volcanic activity, orbital changes, and solar outputs that cannot be controlled by humans. There are other reasons for the rise and change in earth’s climate change that are human influenced such as burning fossil fuels to run
your car to only drive 5 minutes down the road or Deforestation to build on top of what was once a beautiful forest that absorbed carbon dioxide. Humans may not be the only reason why the climate has risen but they have played a major part in dramatically increasing and speeding up the process of raising the climate. This does not have to be the case as there are daily and lifelong
decisions that can be made to help lower and even slow down the rise of the human factors that are causing the climate to rise. To help lower these effects humans must adopt that there are going to be alternatives, sacrifices, and new ways of living to help benefit our earth. There is only one earth and if something isn’t done to help slow the climate change, then who knows how
much longer we will have a survivable home.To begin, there will need to be Alternatives in our daily lives to help support our earth’s climate
and lower humans damaging effects. For example, driving a car is unnecessarily due to convince only to drive 2 minutes down the road to grab a drink from the gas station. The United States Environmental Protection agency stated, “The average passenger vehicle emits about 404 grams
of CO2 per mile.” (USEPA). Consider how much of an impact the word would have if everyone was to ride their bike, ride a skateboard, and even roller skate to the gas station that is only 2 minutes away instead of producing harmful gas emissions into the earth’s ozone. This is an alternative that would help the earth in decreasing the unnecessary use of our vehicles and help
promote health by not being lazy and taking the easy way of convivence. Another alternative could be to stop deforestation and use alternatives such as wood imitation products and turning agricultural land to be used in a more efficient and less wasteful way. Scientist have stated that “Tropical deforestation accounts for about 10 percent of the world’s heat-trapping emissions —equivalent to the annual tailpipe emissions of 600 million average U.S. cars.”(UCS). Due to deforestation the Earth is trapping heat emissions and forming a box where the heat resides and is not being released at the amount it is meant to. This process resembles the inside of a house when the heat is running and there are no openings or AC to counteract the heat, this means that there is no counter measure to balance out the that is continuously rising. Alternatives like the ones that have been listed can help assist in turning the presence of humans into a more beneficial factor rather than a damaging one.

Then, there must be sacrifices in human’s daily lives to help assist the Earth’s Climate. A sacrifice that needs to be made to help the Earths mission in lowering humans damage to the climate is the constant use of our vehicles and an update in our transportation methods. For instance, instead of everyone driving separate cars to work, an event, or even having a group hangout can help in lowering the emissions created by the group down to only one vehicle being used to create emissions. Other ways of transportation can also be used such as taking a bus that is already using emissions, even if the bus stop is a few minutes away from the location you are trying to reach this sacrifice can be very beneficial overall. Thinking towards the future the more
these alternatives are used especially in a city setting the cleaner and clearer air the children of the future can have.

Choosing to live different and earth friendly lifestyles now rather than waiting for the effects humans towards climate change to fully consume the way the earth is currently undergoing and help benefit the climate in many ways. Recycling and reusing containers and so called “trash” can help with lessening the need and the use of landfills in the word. In Times magazine they
state “The higher numbers are especially significant because trash in landfills releases methane gas, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that landfills are the third-leading cause of methane emissions in the U.S. Nearly a fifth of of methane emissions come from landfills.” (Worland). Imagine throwing away
a bottle of water that could be recycled or reused every single day after lunch, this would help in creating and causing the rise in landfills and the continued growth of greenhouse gas emissions that could’ve been prevented if the so called “Trash” was not thrown away. Another benefit to alternating lifestyles now rather than in the future is the burden may be put towards yourself to make changes in daily life but ease the change for future generations to
come. For example, if everyone was to alter their way of transportation to be more earth friendly and climate conscious as well as recycle and reuse human waste, then the future generations would begin to follow and would help benefit the earth’s climate change and human damages over time. This makes not only the worlds responsibility to help the only earth given to us but also the responsibility of future generations and the examples that they will follow to help benefit them in their future.

A change of lifestyle is to not be so dependent on factories that emit high
emissions and be more focused on a basic living lifestyle than our processors had. On the other hand, the benefits of the current situation and lifestyle of the world with climate change can also be the benefits of vehicles. Vehicles can be beneficial in reaching long distant places that could take days to reach on foot but hours in just a car ride. Factories can also benefit by allowing the process and creation of products to be drastically increased and supplying large
communities with products and resources that are needed. Although these can be beneficial to people’s everyday life the effects they have on the climate are still harmful and can worsen the world climate change. The benefits of these human products that cause greenhouse gases are outweighed by the emerging issue of the rise in climate and the need to make a change.
In conclusion, Humans currently have a negative effect on the earth’s climate change. This negative effect can turn into a beneficial effect through alternatives, sacrifices, and lifestyle changes that can benefit and lower the human negative effect on climate change. Even though there are benefits to using vehicles and other negative emissions causing human products, they
still have a negative effect on the earth’s climate and is becoming more and more of an emerging issue.

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Agriculture: An Evil Contributor to Climate Change

Rylee Keffer
West Shore Community College
ENG112: English Composition II
Professor John Wolff
March 14, 20212

This paper explores and examines the effects agriculture has had and continues to have on climate change. The agricultural business produces a large percentage of the greenhouse gas emissions around the world. This paper discusses how the industry and their contributions to greenhouse gas emissions through deforestation, raising livestock, and using natural and
synthetic fertilizers have contributed to the climate change crisis.
Keywords: climate change, agriculture, deforestation, livestock, fertilizer, greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide

Agriculture: An Evil Contributor to Climate Change
Food plays an essential role in our daily lives. Food keeps us alive, healthy and provides many benefits to the body. Although food is fundamental to humans, many people don’t realize or care to research where their food comes from. More importantly, people don’t realize how negatively the production of food has impacted the world. Climate change and global warming have been hot topics for decades. And unfortunately, the agricultural industry has had many
negative impacts on the climate. Agriculture and its land uses have caused the industry to become a top producer of greenhouse gasses through its food production and a leading contributor to deforestation, both of which contribute negatively to climate change. In order to produce food large-scale as the agriculture industry does, an abundance of land is required. The land is used to plant and grow crops and raise livestock such as cattle and pigs. However, agribusinesses have to turn to an environmentally destructive solution when all the clear land is used up: deforestation. Deforestation is the mass clearing of land for a multitude of purposes such as farmland, transportation, etc. In a report published in 2012 titled Drivers of Deforestation and Forest Degradation: A Synthesis Report for REDD+ Policymakers, authors Gabrielle Kissinger, Martin Herold, Veronique De Sy claim, “Agriculture is estimated to be the proximate driver for around 80% of deforestation worldwide.” This is an insanely large proportion of deforestation for farmland compared to deforestation for urban expansion, logging, mining, etc. About two-thirds of Latin America’s deforested area is used for agriculture purposes (Kissinger et al., 2012). And although mining is a more popular reason for deforestation in Africa and tropical parts of Asia, one-third of deforestation in these areas is used for farmland (Kissinger et al., 2012).

The drastic amount of deforestation causes many problems for the environment, and several of these problems contribute to climate change. According to Taylor Meek of Sentient Media, just the tropical forests’ deforestation makes up fifteen percent of greenhouse gas emissions yearly. As part of the photosynthesis cycle, common knowledge trees, along with other plants, filter carbon dioxide out of the air and return oxygen into the air. However, since trees are a crucial part of filtering carbon from the atmosphere, they release the stored carbon back into the atmosphere when the trees are cleared out and burned down. In this way, the destruction of
forests amplifies the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, significantly contributing to climate change.

The livestock industry part of agriculture is a great producer of greenhouse gasses, specifically methane. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), livestock production accounts for fourteen and a half percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. Cattle are found to be the largest livestock producer emissions, making up about sixty-five percent of the contributions from livestock (FAO, 2013). The FAO claim that one of
the main sources of methane from cows is enteric fermentation. Due to their unique digestive system, cattle and other ruminant animals go through a digestive process called enteric fermentation. According to the FAO, enteric fermentation is the process in which microbes in a cow’s digestive tract ferment the food, making the cow burp and expel methane.

So, what is so bad about methane gas? Alejandra Borunda of National Geographic explains that methane is “about 28 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at warming the Earth, on a 100-year timescale, and more than 80 times more powerful over 20 years.” Since methane is much more potent than carbon dioxide, it manages to do more damage to the atmosphere in a shorter amount of time than carbon dioxide. About twenty percent of the earth’s warming can be attributed to the effect of methane gas (Borunda, 2019). Methane has a chemical composition allowing it to trap and hold heat. The more methane in the atmosphere, the more the planet may heat up, causing a drastic increase in temperature (Borunda, 2019).

The agriculture industry has also heavily affected the environment and climate change through waste and pollutants. Agriculture can pollute in several ways, through the growing of food, raising of livestock, transportation, or through fertilizers and pesticides. For the Natural Resources Defense Council, Courtney Lindwall discusses pollution from agriculture in her article Industrial Agricultural Pollution 101. Along with methane production, as discussed
previously, the raising of livestock also contributes to the contamination of water (Lindwall, 2019). As livestock eat, they have to expel waste, as any other living thing does. Farms use this waste, better known as ‘manure’, as a natural fertilizer to grow their crops. Lindwall explains however that farms often have too much manure to go around, causing farms to put it into a manure lagoon. These lagoons are usually unregulated, allowing manure to spill all over and
seep into the soil or runoff into nearby water sources (Lindwall, 2019). The contamination of water with the decomposing bacteria within the manure may eventually lead to eutrophication, which is the overgrowth of algae in waterways (Lindwall, 2019). According to the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, the abundance of algae and nutrients from eutrophication will eventually decompose overtime, expelling carbon dioxide into the air and contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.

Along with manure, fertilizers have also had a negative effect on the environment. In 2014, Michigan State University (MSU) provided phys.org findings from their new study on nitrogen-based fertilizers. “Nitrogen-based fertilizers spur greenhouse gas emissions by stimulating microbes in the soil to produce more nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is the third most important greenhouse gas, behind only carbon dioxide and methane, and also destroys
stratospheric ozone,” explains MSU. The emissions of nitrous oxide have only increased over the years due to the increase in its use, due to the need for food as the human population grows. Agriculture makes up 80% of nitrous oxide emissions (MSU, 2014). This statistic shows how the industry can insanely drive up greenhouse gas emissions, and as the human population grows, the number of nitrous oxide emissions can grow as well. According to MSU, if farmers used the proper amount of nitrogen-based fertilizers, the nitrous oxide emissions would be greatly reduced.

Unfortunately, the most significant food source worldwide — the agricultural industry — is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, mainly carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. Agriculture has become the main reason for deforestation, increasing carbon dioxide emissions through the lack of trees to filter carbon in the air. The raising of livestock, specifically cattle, has caused agriculture to be a top contributor to methane emissions, which is
one of the most potent of greenhouse gases causing the atmosphere to warm faster. Agriculture’s use of nitrogen-based fertilizers has also contributed to a large amount of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere. As the human population grows, it will require more food. As the agriculture industry is the most common source for our food, they will need to produce more and more food.
This means they will continue to produce these harmful greenhouse gases. Until effective ways of reducing these emissions are created, agriculture will continue to be a top producer of greenhouse gases which contribute greatly to climate change.

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Degradation: A Synthesis Report for REDD+ Policymakers.
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Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Borunda, A. (2019, January 23). Methane facts and information. Environment.
Lindwall, C. (2019, July 31). Industrial Agricultural Pollution 101 | NRDC. NRDC.
US Department of Commerce, N. O. and A. A. (n.d.). What is eutrophication? Retrieved March
18, 2021, from https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/eutrophication.html
University, M. S. (2014, June 9). How much fertilizer is too much for the climate?

How much fertilizer is too much for the climate?
In a new study published in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Michigan State University researchers provide an improved prediction of nitrogen fertilizer’s contribution …

What are the Positive and Negative Effects of Deforestation on the World?

Alec Tabaczka
Communication department, West Shore Community College
ENG112-42 Composition 2
Professor J. Wolff
February 25, 2021

Deforestation affects the environment and the people living in that environment intensely. Why does deforestation exist in the world if it causes so many problems? If deforestation takes place worldwide, what are the consequences and upsides of it? Deforestation can be called for in specific scenarios and be used for good things. People have been using deforestation for generations. What could be so powerful to change people’s ways, and how does it affect the environment? Deforestation has benefits and drawbacks to the progress we are trying to make in this world, but we have progressed enough to call it a quits and stop hurting the planet.
Deforestation, work force, nature, costs, trees.

The Positive and Negative Effects of Deforestation on the World

Deforestation has taken place all across the world for various reasons. Deforestation mainly occurs for people to gather natural resources such as lumber and different types of plants. However, harvesting and cutting down trees and other plants can take away much of the things we need. Trees help many things such as flood prevention and help produce cleaner air. Trees
also help significantly with erosion issues because their roots keep dirt and soil in their place. While we need lumber to build much of our houses and structures, we also need trees that are alive to keep us alive and healthy. (Thomes, 2017) “We hear a lot about our carbon footprint, but many people do not realize that the carbon in this equation is carbon dioxide or CO2. The same
way humans breathe oxygen and exhale CO2, trees breathe in CO2 and exhale oxygen.” This shows that trees are ultimately undoing the damage that we cause on a daily basis. People are removing massive portions of forests and wildlife to make space for different things. The main reason for deforestation is because we need space for agricultural advances. Are the passages we want to make as a world worth the death of the wildlife? We already have
plenty of areas designated for people living spaces and factories. If we are chopping down trees to make room for more people on this planet, we should cut back on the people who inhabit this planet. (Heinberg 2018 et al., 2019). “The controversy deepens in applying the carrying capacity concept to humans. Nordhaus (2018) seems to think we are exceptions to the rules. Still, as archaeologists have affirmed, many past human societies consumed resources or polluted environments to the point of collapse.” We should not have to wonder when the world will fail our needs as a society. Studies show that the population is growing exponentially in humans on
earth in past decades. People say that we need to make room for the new generations coming into the world, but where is the wildlife going that we are ‘making the room’ out of? Studies show that the maximum population the globe could hold is 1.9 billion people, which was the global
population back in 1919.

Another aspect of deforestation I want to focus on is what it does to the wildlife it affects. Many different species have lost homes and their lives to the severe deforestation of their habitats. Even if the cut-throat world we live in naturally regulates the lives of species being killed by their predators, deforestation claims many different animals’ lives. Deforestation also
affects the land by taking trees out of the ground and turning the land into a factory. Trees regulate the amount of carbon dioxide in the air and the amount of water in the environment. Trees can help significantly with flooding issues because they absorb so much water through their roots which are laced tens of hundreds of feet into the earth. Trees will naturally regulate the water they take in and release on their own. (Nix, 2019) “A fully grown tree may lose several hundred gallons of water through its leaves on a hot, dry day. The same tree will lose nearly no water on wet, cold, winter days, so water loss is directly related to temperature and humidity. Another way to say this is that almost all water that enters a tree’s roots is lost to the atmosphere, but the 10% that remains keeps the living tree system healthy and maintains growth.”. There is
almost no way a tree can damage the system, but when there are not enough trees left in the world, the effects could be catastrophic.

On the other hand, deforestation provides many jobs for people who need to live off the workforce. Logging industries alone employ over 50,000 people who need to make a living off of their careers. While many people need to have jobs to survive, deforestation hurts the environment simply because the environment they come to does not exist once they have left. There are many other fields of work that people can go into. However, there is still a need for
workers in these industries that provide suitable materials for our country to work off of. While there appears to be a decline in the demand for logging employees, those jobs are still out there. Logging industries have some of the most dangerous jobs that can be given to people because you are working with giant trees with much weight behind them and saws of sorts. Many people do not realize how large of a business it is. It would be best if you had lumber for almost all of your projects, from using scrap woods to build things to massive projects like framing out a house. They are responsible for so much consumption of the forests worldwide and where we get our lumber from. (2020) “Logging workers harvest thousands of acres of forests each year. The
timber they harvest provides the raw material for countless consumer and industrial products.” Nowadays, we live in a cut-throat world. We stomp on each other to get ahead. Except where is the finish line in this race we are in? The only thing that we are on track for is destruction. What would we do in a world without the necessities? (Voak, 2016) “Around 15 billion trees are cut down each year. So, hypothetically speaking, it would take just over 200 years for the world’s forests to completely disappear.” We would have a tremendous decrease in our air quality because leafy greens help clean the air we breathe. If we would like to continue being healthy, we need to think about more than just ourselves.

We need to take off the blindfold and look at the smoke filling the air, polluting our lives and habitats worldwide. Alternatively, at least what is left of the habitats once the humans are done with them. (Eldridge, 2016) “Some environmental groups are reintroducing locally-extinct species back into environments where they were once plentiful before European settlement. This is likely to have major benefits not just for nature conservation but also for rebuilding damaged ecosystems. These animals are critically important for building up healthy soils and maintaining diverse plant communities, and probably for other important services that we are only just beginning to realize.”. Soil is an essential part of our world that most people look over. Most of our foods come straight from the soil, like fruits and vegetables. Our soil’s healthiness can be affected by pesticides and chemicals that we, humans, first came up with and still use every day. The materials that can come from deforestation are significant because they power the
very lights around us.

Deforestation also provides a clean landscape to drill for oil and mine for
precious resources like coal. The world we live in today consumes a significant number of fossil fuels. While there are other alternatives for these fossil fuels like renewable energy from the earth’s elements, we still rely heavily on them. If we focused on a stronger push towards these natural energy sources like sunlight and wind turbines, we could eliminate a large amount of upcoming deforestation. Renewable energy has been a topic spoken about for decades. However, nobody has yet to make massive movements to have this clean energy take over the world instead of the dirty energy we have run off for years. (Shinn, 2021) “While renewable energy is often thought of as a new technology, harnessing nature’s power has long been used for heating,
transportation, lighting, and more. The wind has powered boats to sail the seas and windmills to grind grain. The sun has provided warmth during the day and helped kindle fires to last into the evening. Nevertheless, over the past 500 years or so, humans increasingly turned to cheaper, dirtier energy sources such as coal and fracked gas.” The world has been using dirty chemicals
from the start, and it is just a matter of time until it takes a massive toll on all of us when we try to break our old ways. Would you want to live in a country where you are known for being dirty from the resources you are using? Nobody likes to feel unclean in their daily life; we are a particular species.

In conclusion, deforestation has many downsides to the damage it causes in the world, but there are also upsides to it. The resources we gain from mining and harvesting the land they operate on are genuinely beneficial to our lives. (Freedman, 2021) “Forests are an essential natural resource that can potentially be sustainably harvested and managed to yield a diversity of
commodities of economic importance. Wood is by far the most important product harvested from forests. The wood is commonly manufactured into paper, lumber, plywood, and other products.” The products we can make from trees and other materials are almost limitless. We need to pay attention to the only limits if we take too much of it out of the earth. However, the wildlife that we destroy on the way to our expansion cannot just be looked over. (Watkins, 2019) “Many animals do not survive the initial destruction of their habitats.
Many animal species can remain unaware of the deforestation of their area until it is underway. When the tree falls, it can kill many of the animals that live in its trunk and canopy. Other animals that survive the initial destruction may not know where to go. Without the food and shelter the tree afforded them, they sometimes die of exposure”. When you destroy an animal’s habitat and leave it for dead, that messes the entire ecosystem up. Moreover, eventually, the earth will not recover from how much land we have taken from it. Furthermore, that will be the end of our story because there will be no other story to tell.

Eldridge, D. (2016, November 15). Native animals and the formation of healthy soils. Vignette
Collection. https://serc.carleton.edu/vignettes/collection/35385.html
Freedman, B. (2021). Forests – Forests As A Natural Resource. Forests As A Natural Resource –
Ecology, Harvested, Billion, and Products – JRank Articles
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September 30). Ted Nordhaus is wrong: We are EXCEEDING Earth’s capacity for
humans. https://undark.org/2018/07/26/ted-nordhaus-carrying-capacity-ecology/
Nix, S. (2019). Process for How Trees Use Thousands of Gallons of Water to Grow. Treehugger.
Parikh, S. (2014). Nature News.
Shinn, L. (2021, January 20). Renewable Energy: The Clean Facts. NRDC.
Thomes, A. (2017). How do trees help the environment?
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2020, September 1). Logging Workers: Occupational Outlook
Handbook. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Voak, H. (2016). A world without trees. Science in School.
Watkins, R. (2019, March 2). What Happens to the Animals in the Rain Forest When It Is Being
Cut Down? Sciencing.

What Happens to the Animals in the Rain Forest When It Is Being Cut Down? | Sciencing
The rain forest is a complex and intricate ecosystem supporting half of the world’s current animal species. However, increased demand for timber has led to deforestation and logging of these forests, resulting in negative consequences for many of the animal species dependent on these environments.

The Ties Between Technology and Climate Change

Mitchell Martinez

West shore Community College

ENG112-42: English Composition 2

Prof. John Wolff

March 10, 2021

The Ties Between Technology and Climate Change

Climate change has long been a topic of debate among people; while some believe it, others do not. Regardless there is a significant amount of scientific data that supports climate change. But what is climate change? According to Youmatter, climate change is:

A broad range of global phenomena created predominantly by burning fossil fuels, which add heat-trapping gases to Earth’s atmosphere. These phenomena include the increased temperature trends described by global warming, but also encompass changes such as sea-level rise; ice mass loss in Greenland, Antarctica, the Arctic and mountain glaciers worldwide; shifts in flower/plant blooming; and extreme weather events. (Youmatter, 2020, para. 2)

All of those effects will have a drastic impact now and in the near future. This is caused by the correlation between the advancing technology of the world and subsequent industrial revolutions that have followed it. Furthermore, the same advancing technologies that have caused this are also the only things that can stop climate change.

The carbon emission rate has gone up steadily since the beginning of the industrial revolutions that were sparked by the advent of new advanced technology. Before the industrial revolution had started, the world had a low carbon dioxide amount, about 280 ppm (Lindsey, 2020). But as the industrial revolution started, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has significantly increased as the years went by. In 2019 the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere had risen to 409.8 ppm, over 100 more than the 300ppm carbon threshold (Lindsey,2020). This means that since the beginning of the industrial revolutions up till now the carbon emission rate has only gone up in a positive trend. Although some may argue that this is the natural effect of global warming.

They argue this because the increase in global carbon emission rates from the first and second industrial revolutions has indeed increased but not as significantly as it has in the past decade. It did have an impact, but it would seem that it is more so of present-day tech that is the cause of mass climate change and less of the industrial revolution. As technology advances and becomes more sophisticated, it allows for a larger population growth that requires more resources. This, in turn, requires the production of those resources, and that produces a large amount of carbon dioxide. The earlier industrial revolutions are a prime example of this trait. In the 1800s, the world population was about 1 billion around the beginning of the first industrial revolution (Roser, 2019). During this time, technology was advancing and allowing for more advanced methods of procuring resources and increasing the longevity and living conditions of the advanced populace. This was only relative to the countries and areas going through this advancement. During this, the following technologies and resources were created and put into use, the internal combustion engine, coal, the steam engine, electricity, and petroleum (Britannica,2021). These resources and inventions are significant to the start of climate change.

The use of coal is a large step towards the rapidly advancing change in the climate. With coal now being used widely for a variety of things, the carbon emission rate had officially begun to climb. The second industrial revolution is when factories and cities exploded out into existence (Niiler, 2019). With the massive increase in factories and cities expanding the carbon emission rates increased significantly. This trend continued up until the third and fourth industrial revolution; at this time internal combustion engine vehicles are widespread and common, the population has and is exploding, and the farming of resources is expanding incredibly fast. Computers have been invented and are increasingly perfected and improved, and plastic is in heavy use for multiple products. Because of all of these inventions, the population of the world has expanded to approximately 7.8 billion people (Worldpopulationreview, 2021). Because of this large population, the strain on resources has increased immensely, the multiple advanced products such as computers, vehicles, planes, clothing, and many other items require a multitude of different resources and many of them being harmful to the environment, such as plastics, or the production of them gives off toxic waste and large quantities of carbon emissions. With all of these new products, the old ones are going to be thrown away.

And because the rate of technology is advancing so fast along with the large population, there are a massive amount of old and unwanted electronics being thrown away. This is called e-waste; e-waste is a collection of any old electronic part or product that is thrown away into landfills. Each year the world sees about 20-25 million tons of e-waste being generated and thrown away into landfills (Adams, 2018). This is a massive amount of old electronics that are collecting together in large quantities. But this e-waste has to be disposed of and to do that; it is usually burned to collect the materials that the electronic is built with, such as copper, aluminum, and iron (Adams, 2018).

The burning of e-waste releases massive amounts of carbon dioxide along with various other chemicals that contribute to climate change. According to (Adams, 2018) “The manufacture of electronics also releases large amounts of CO2. In another study, it was found that, for every ton of CRT display products manufactured, 2.9 metric tons of carbon were released”. A CRT display is one of the many old televisions that have been thrown away and have been obsolete for many years now. Although there is a global push to recycle e-waste products instead of burning them or letting them sit in landfills. There is still a substantial amount of e-waste being burned and disposed of improperly, releasing large quantities of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. This has a significant impact on climate change as the production of e-waste is non-stop. Because of this, it is the production of new and improved technology that is the cause of the majority of climate change in the world.

Although the burning of fossil fuels does have a large impact, it is the production of tech, the materials it’s made of, and the improper disposing of technology that is the main culprit. But technology is not just contributing to climate change and harming the environment. It also a great source to help mitigate climate change and protect the environment. One example of this is a new technology that has been developed called MethaneSAT. This is essentially a sensor that will be launched into space to view and monitor methane and carbon emissions around the world, especially in places that are hard to monitor (Krupp, 2018). This satellite has a 124-mile view and will pass over and monitor key areas and regions, giving precise data on methane production (MethaneSAT). This will allow different environmental governments and companies to monitor the production of methane and carbon emissions per region. Allowing them to make changes and lower their emission rates effectively. There is another much wider push to go off the reliance on fossil fuels. There is a multitude of ways to do this, such as solar power and wind power.

Although these methods are in place today and quite widespread, they do not generate enough energy, nor are they efficient enough to completely switch over from fossil fuels to them. There is one controversial form of energy production to switch to, and that is nuclear energy. Nuclear power plants do not produce greenhouse gasses while in operation and at the same time produce the same amount of carbon dioxide emissions as wind and solar does (World Nuclear Association). But this is a debated topic that has many people on both sides as to whether it is better for the environment to switch over to nuclear-based on previous mishaps with nuclear power plants such as the Chernobyl disaster. All that being said, there is a counterargument to technology being the key to stop and change climate change. That argument is that technology is not enough and that society as a whole needs to change, especially the people. Such as convincing people to utilize the tools available to them to do their part in reducing their carbon footprint. This excerpt, written by (Mulgan, 2019) says, “It means more support for places that are deliberately pioneering new ways of life—like Freiburg in Germany, which has gone further than anywhere in designing new lifestyles into its physical structures, for example by banning and restricting cars, and building renewable energy into the city’s fabric.”

Essentially this counter-argument is stating that high-end technological innovations to reduce methane and carbon emissions are not enough. That society as a whole, starting from the bottom, needs to change and be educated on climate change and on what they can do to help. Alogought this argument is compelling as it does hold true that the vast majority of carbon emission is caused by consuming products that produce large amounts of carbon and methane emissions. And that starting from the bottom would make a change; it still requires companies and governments to utilize new and existing tech to help mitigate climate change. It will require both starting from the bottom and using tech from the top of society to make an effective change. But this is not enough technology as a whole is the key to help stop and reverse climate change. Although it does and can generate a large quantity of e-waste material that produces greenhouse gasses. That can also be stoped by recycling those waste materials; many companies do not do this. That being said, technology and innovation is the future; the earth will not reverse to the way it was before mass carbon, and methane emission has sped up global warming. The only way forward now is to invest in technologies that will not only reduce those emissions but will also help take those greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. This tech is called negative emissions technology (Workman). Some examples of this are bioenergy carbon capture and storage, biochar, and direct air-capture (Workman). These few technologies, along with many others can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and reduce the global heating aspect of climate change.

Climate change is a very predominant issue in the world right now, and it is a legitimate cause for concern. There are many underlying factors as to the cause of this, mainly carbon and methane emissions. But the overall general reason is humanity’s push for innovation in technology over the years. Whether it be the industrial revolutions or the recent massive digital revolution, it is rooted in tech. Technology is both the cause of climate change and the very thing that can stop it. As long as society advances, so will tech, although it is once again the main factor of climate change. It is also the very thing that allowed us to realize the massive impacts it has on the world and allows humanity to make changes and stop it before it goes too far. Overall in recent years, there has been a big push to fund and create new tech to combat climate change. It has both its downfalls and its positives, but in the end, it is one of the only things that can help climate change.

Reference Page

Adams, R. & NW. (2018, November 12). E-waste and How to Reduce It. Climate Institute.https://climate.org/e-waste-and-how-to-reduce-it/

Editors of Encylopaedia Britanica. (2021, February 21). Industrial Revolution | Definition, History, Dates, Summary, & Facts. Encyclopedia Britannica.https://www.britannica.com/event/Industrial-Revolution

Elheddad, M., Benjasak, C., Deljavan, R., Alharthi, M., & Almabrok, J. M. (2021). The effect of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the environment: The relationship between electronic finance and pollution in OECD countries. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 163, 120485.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2020.120485

iED Team. (2019, June 30). The 4 Industrial Revolutions. Institute of Entrepreneurship Development.https://ied.eu/project-updates/the-4-industrial-revolutions/

Jurgen Richter, F. (2020, August 21). Once Again Humans Become Central in the Fifth Industrial Revolution. Horasis.https://horasis.org/once-again-humans-become-central-in-the-fifth-industrial-revolution/

Krupp, F. (2018, August 28). How technology is leading us to new climate change solutions. World Economic Forum.https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/08/how-technology-is-driving-new-environmental-solutions/

Lindsay, R. (2020, August 14). Climate change: Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide: NOAA Climate.gov. https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-atmospheric-carbon-dioxide.

Lüthi, D., Le Floch, M., Bereiter, B., Blunier, T., Barnola, J.-M., Siegenthaler, U., Raynaud, D., Jouzel, J., Fischer, H., Kawamura, K., & Stocker, T. F. (2008). High-resolution carbon dioxide concentration record 650,000–800,000 years before present. Nature, 453(7193), 379–382.https://doi.org/10.1038/nature06949

McGregor, H., Gergis, J., Abram, N., & Phipps, S. (2016, August 24). The Industrial Revolution kick-started global warming much earlier than we realised. The Conversation.http://theconversation.com/the-industrial-revolution-kick-started-global-warming-much-earlier-than-we-realised-64301

MethaneSAT. (n.d.). About MethaneSAT. MethaneSAT. Retrieved March 14, 2021, fromhttps://www.methanesat.org/about/

Mulgan, G., & Conversation, T. (2019, October 28). Technology will not save us from climate change, but imagining new forms of society will.https://phys.org/news/2019-10-technology-climate-society.html

Niiler, E. (2019, January 25). How the Second Industrial Revolution Changed Americans’ Lives. HISTORY.https://www.history.com/news/second-industrial-revolution-advances

Rodrigo. (2012, May 13). Impact of Science and Technology on Climate Change. The WritePass Journal.https://writepass.com/journal/2012/05/impact-of-science-and-technology-on-climate-change/

Roser, M., Ritchie, H., & Ortiz-Ospina, E. (2013). World Population Growth. Our World in Data.https://ourworldindata.org/world-population-growth

Workman, M., & Heap, R. (n.d.). Greenhouse Gas Removal Technologies. The Energy Research Partnership. Retrieved March 14, 2021, fromhttps://erpuk.org/greenhouse-gas-removal-technologies/

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Overpopulation: The Effects of Climate Change

Allison Morse

West Shore Community College

ENG112: English Composition II

Professor John Wolff

March 14, 2021


Over the years, climate change has been an issue affecting the earth and its environment, but we do not realize that we are the ones causing it and that it just comes right back to us like a boomerang. Climate change is warming up the atmosphere and creating more heat on Earth. Overpopulation plays a significant role in climate change. Humans always look for a shortcut, and they take the easy way out, not realizing the consequences. Overpopulation destroys the atmosphere, environment, and biodiversity, leading us to the sixth mass extinction. As the population grows, we do not use our resources appropriately, and we take advantage. Once an advantage has been taken, we ruin habitats by creating more room for us to live in. We do things like burning more fossil fuels, and wipe out so many species and their habitats. If this keeps up, the result will not be good. We need to figure out how we can keep moving on in the world without ruining the world. Humans need to look at their carbon footprint and change what they are doing in their everyday lives to keep living without running out of resources.

Keywords: climate change, overpopulation, species, population, effects

Overpopulation: The Effects of Climate Change

Are you ever worried that the Earth will get so hot that everything will just dry up and catch fire? Have you ever thought the economy would go down in billions of dollars? Have you ever imagined all animals losing their habitats? Well, just a simple shortcut we chose to make everyday lives easier can cause all that. Global change has been a major concern for many years, but few people are willing to help before it occurs. For years, we’ve been in a huge denial process, believing that climate change isn’t our fault or that the climate will somehow correct itself and no longer affect us. In fact, we’re all dying slowly, and it’s our fault. To comprehend the consequences of climate change, we must first comprehend our position in its inception. The exponential rise in the Earth’s average surface temperature over the last century is due to climate change. It’s how people consume fossil fuels, which emit greenhouse gases. Global warming has a slew of negative consequences for the planet. The most severe is overpopulation. It has the ability to devastate our climate, ecosystem, and habitats, resulting in the sixth mass extinction. If we do not take action to control overpopulation, it can negatively impact the Earth in a number of ways.

Climate change occurs as such conditions, such as temperature, rainfall, wildfires, and so on, change rapidly over time. They emit nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere as fossil fuels are burnt and create heat back to Earth. The gas that is being trapped in the atmosphere is CO2. According to Milton Kazmeyer (2018), Science Article Creator mentions in his article,

"The major threat from increased CO2 is the greenhouse effect. As a greenhouse gas, excessive CO2 creates a cover that traps the sun’s heat energy in the atmospheric bubble, warming the planet and the oceans. An increase in CO2 plays havoc with the Earth’s climates by causing changes in weather patterns." (para. 6).

The observation made by Kazmeyer gives a good demonstration of how CO2 can warm the planet and change the weather patterns that lead to the effect of climate change. Over the years, global atmospheric carbon dioxide reached a new peak of 409.8 0.1 ppm, a new high this past year.

You are probably wondering, "What is overpopulation, and how did it start?" Well, to answer that, when a species’ population grows to a point where it has to be handled, it is called overpopulation. A rise in births, a decrease in mortality, an increase in tourism, or a depletion of capital will contribute. However, when did it start? According to J. Van Bavel, at the Centre for Sociology at the University of Leuven (2013),

"At the beginning of the 19th century, the number of 1 billion people was exceeded for the first time in history. Subsequently, growth accelerated, and the number of 2 billion people was already surpassed around 1920. By 1960, another billion had been added, in 40 instead of 120 years. And it continued to go even faster: 4 billion by 1974, 5 billion by 1987, 6 billion by 1999 and 7 billion in 2011" (para. 4).

Bevel’s observation suggests that we have been growing as a population ever since the Industrial Revolution by billions. If we don’t do something to stop this and take things under control, we could go way out of proportion.

Many minor factors play a role in climate change, but overpopulation is the queen bee of it all. Due to overpopulation, the more people we have, the more demand for oil, gas, coal, and other fossil fuels. According to an article written by Scientific American (2009), they mention

"During that time, emissions of CO2, the leading greenhouse gas, grew 12-fold. And with the worldwide population expected to surpass nine billion over the next 50 years, environmentalists and others are worried about the ability of the planet to withstand the added load of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere and wreaking havoc on ecosystems down below" (para. 2).

Scientific American is stating that the Earth’s ability can only hold a certain amount. Our population is growing so fast that pretty soon, it won’t be able to support us. The amount of gas we are giving off daily due to fossil fuels burning is heating the atmosphere and ruining many species’ lives on Earth.

Over the years, the world’s population has grown like crazy. We went from 1 billion people to 7.8 billion in just 200 years. According to the Pew Research Center (2014), "From 1950 to 2010, the world population increased from 2.5 billion to 6.9 billion, or by 174%." (para. 4). Pew Research Center is showing us that we have gained an insane amount of population over the years. In just 200 years, we gained 6.8 billion people, just think 200 years from now in 2221. The population will be about 14.6 billion, there is a substantial chance the world will not even be a thing at the rate we are going.

Overpopulation affects so many things in different ways, but it affects the environment harshly. You may think the world is so big, and it can support so many people, but that is false. As claimed by Andrew Hwang, an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the College of the Holy Cross, says "The Earth can support at most one-fifth of the present population, 1.5 billion people, at an American standard of living." (para 13). What Professor Hwang means by saying this is that the Earth can only support a limited amount. The resources that the Earth has to provide for us, there is not enough for it to support us considering the number of people we have. With our population being 7.5 billion, our resources are going by so fast that we will eventually run out in a matter of time for good.

With the environment of the world, it can be divided into two. It can be divided into resources such as water, trees, etc. It can also be divided into plants and animals, and other species. To start with, the resources such as water. Cities populations are increasing worldwide, resulting in the proliferation of filthy slums devoid of clean water, sanitation, and other essential human needs. According to Daniel Altieri, a professor at Swarthmore College Environmental Studies (2016), "Approximately fifty percent of the worlds’ population will be living in regions around the globe that are considered water-stressed" (para. 2). Daniel observed that we would eventually be in a water shortage due to overpopulation, and all the pollution from everything will eventually create inferior water quality.

Further on in Daniel’s research, he mentions, "Since the year 2000, there have been at least over one hundred and ten major conflicts over water resources either between nations or within one" (para. 3). This observation made by Daniel is saying that everyone will have water issues shortly if we don’t get it taken care of. There were issues with water supplies twenty years ago. Today, the demand for freshwater supply has gone up due to our population’s growth.

Next, another valuable resource that is affected by overpopulation is deforestation. According to Hishiro Naito (2016), "High population growth of residents increases deforestation through expansion of agricultural land. The results show that a 1 percent increase in population growth increases the deforestation rate by 2.7 percent through the increase in agricultural land" (para. 1). Naito’s observation explains as the population grows, we will need to expand our living areas, the way we do that is deforestation. As the population increases, the rate of deforestation increases, and eventually, we will run out of space.

Humans every day are burning fossil fuels in the air every second of the day. The fossil fuels that we use the most are coal and oil. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, coal is the vastest global warming impact resource we use today. It gets trapped in the atmosphere, and leftover waste pollutes our water. Next is oil; humans use it every day, every day, when we drill it, we spill it. According to Greenpeace, Petroleum accounted for 41% of the carbon dioxide emissions from fossil sources in the United States in 2013. Instead of using these resources that come back to us and hurt the environment that we live in, we need to find a substitution. So if we leave these natural resources behind, we can create a cleaner new energy source that will help prevent climate change from getting worse.

The world is witnessing its sixth mass extinction, the only one caused by humans out of the five that have happened in the past. In accordance to Jesus Alonso (2017), an author for Sustainable Life Foundation mentions, "The rise in population fosters perilous human activities, such as deforestation and excessive agriculture, that degrade ecosystems supporting biodiversity" (para. 4). The attention Alonso has drawn us to is that the more humans in the world, the more room we need, so we take away other animals’ habitats. We also do things like land clearing, poaching, over-hunting that lead to the degradation and devastation of ecosystems as human appetite for food grows, hastening the extinction of biodiversity.

From the beginning of life on Earth, there have been many mass extinctions in which several animals have been wiped out due to extreme climate change, seismic activity, meteor impact, or other unknown causes. According to WWF (2020), for their living planet report, they said, "A 68% average decline of birds, amphibians, mammals, fish, and reptiles since 1970" (para. 1). The information WWF provided for us in that report says that in just 50 years, more than half of all birds, rodents, reptiles, amphibians, and fish have vanished. Our population has more than doubled in that period, rising from 3.7 billion to more than 7.8 billion today. So with our population doubling and taking over habitats and using all the resources we have is playing a role in the sixth mass extinction.

With that being said, biodiversity is being ruined by overpopulation. We may not realize it, but we are slowly killing many species that we rely on. According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(n.d), 40% of amphibians, 20% of mammals, 14% of birds, 33% of sharks, 33% of coral reefs, in 30% of other species are threatened right now with extinction because of overpopulation. This list of threatened species was published to show us how we decrease species around us over time. Overpopulation is causing this because we are taking habitats away from all the species to create more space for us to live.

We can prevent all of this from happening by changing the way that we live little by little. If we do things like drive battery-powered cars instead of burning fuel, we only put gas into our vehicles. When driving battery-powered vehicles, and makes the air cleaner. If we do things like reduce reuse and recycle, it’ll help keep the environment safe and healthy from pollution. If we switch over to solar panels for energy and electricity instead of burning fossil fuels, it will help make the air healthier.

Climate change has had a harsh effect on the Earth already, thanks to overpopulation for making it worse. Suppose we use our resources appropriately, stop expanding living space and let the animals stay in their habitats, stop deforestation, stop burning fossil fuels. In that case, we could be at a good start in preventing the Earth from destruction. It will be hard at first since we are all just so used to living our lives the way we were raised, but if we only use substitutions created, overpopulation would not be as terrible of a thing it is now.


Alonso, J. (2017, July 3). A 2.4 billions population increase that could endanger the Earth. https://www.vidasostenible.org.https://www.vidasostenible.org/a-2-4-billions-population-increase-that-could-endanger-the-earth/

Altieri. (2016, November 20). The effects of overpopulation on water resources and water security.http://fubini.swarthmore.edu/~ENVS2/dan/Essay4.html#:~:text=Overpopulation%20will%20strain%20current%20water,conflicts%20over%20existing%20water%20supplies.&text=Growths%20in%20regional%20and%20global,increased%20cases%20of%20water%20pollution.

Greenpeace. (n.d.). Oil. Greenpeace USA. https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/global-warming/issues/oil/

Hwang, A. (n.d.). 7.5 billion and counting: How many humans can the Earth support? https://theconversation.com/7-5-billion-and-counting-how-many-humans-can-the-earth-support-98797#:~:text=These%20data%20alone%20suggest%20the,an%20American%20standard%20of%20living.

ICUN. (n.d.). IUCN Red List of threatened species. https://www.iucnredlist.org/

Katz Balmes, M. (2016, December 2). How overpopulation leads to habitat loss and mass extinction.http://fubini.swarthmore.edu/~ENVS2/max/essay4.html#:~:text=In%20many%20countries%20around%20the,and%20animal%20species%20in%20peril.&text=If%20we%2C%20as%20a%20species,and%20ecosystems%20will%20be%20threatened.

Kazmeyer, M. (2018, April 19). Is CO2 bad for the planet? Sciencing.https://sciencing.com/co2-bad-planet-4876.html

Naito, H. (2018). Does a higher population growth cause deforestation? : A study of Malawi’s rapid deforestation.https://ideas.repec.org/p/tsu/tewpjp/2018-005.html#:~:text=The%20results%20illustrate%20strong%20empirical,the%20increase%20in%20agricultural%20land.

Pew Research Center. (n.d.). Chapter 4. population change in the U.S. and the World from 1950 to 2050 | Pew Research Center. https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2014/01/30/chapter-4-population-change-in-the-u-s-and-the-world-from-1950-to-2050/#:~:text=From%201950%20to%202010%2C%20the%20world%20population%20increased%20from%202.5,2050%2C%20or%20by%2038%25.

Scientific American. (2009, July 29). Does population growth impact climate change? – Scientific American.https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/population-growth-climate-change/#:~:text=More%20people%20means%20more%20demand,air%20inside%20like%20a%20greenhouse.&text=During%20that%20time%20emissions%20of,gas%2C%20grew%2012%2Dfold.

Union of Concened Scientist. (2017, November 15). Coal power impacts | Union of Concerned Scientists.https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/coal-power-impacts#:~:text=Climate%20change%20is%20coal’s%20most,the%20earth%20above%20normal%20limits.

Van Bavel, J. (2013). The world population explosion: Causes, backgrounds and projections for the future. Facts, Views & Vision in ObGyn, 5(4), 281–291.

WWF. (2020, September 10). Living planet report 2020 | Publications | WWF. World Wildlife Fund.https://www.worldwildlife.org/publications/living-planet-report-2020


Gemini Oskaboose

ENG112 Composition 2

John Wolff

March 8, 2021


For years global warming has been a problem. However, there are many causes; this paper will be talking about one, and that is methane gas, also known as CH4. With all the research that has been done, it will be nice to share the information with you, the reader. Methane gas is more dangerous than carbon dioxide. CH4 leaks into our atmosphere, contributing to global warming, also known as climate change. CH4 leakage into the atmosphere is causing damage to the environment, and regulations such as limiting emissions, and pollution, should be put in place to help slow the damage.

All about methane gas, CH4

Methane gas, CH4, is the main ingredient of natural gas; it is also a greenhouse gas. CH4 is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas that weighs less than air. Methane is beneficial as a fuel source because it produces a tremendous amount of heat when it undergoes combustion. When burning methane gas, it turns blue; it also uses a lot of oxygen, carbon dioxide, CO2, and water, H2O. Methane is released into our atmosphere when materials are mined and transported. A study in 2017 found that since 2000 agriculture has increased by 11 percent while fossil fuels have increased by 15 percent. (Chow, 2020). Methane gas is produced in two different methods, biogenic and thermogenic. Biogenic methane is caused by microorganisms breaking down sugars where oxygen is absent. Biogenic methane can be released into our atmosphere as soon as it is made or released into our atmosphere later. Thermogenic methane is produced when natural materials are buried under layers and broken down by pressure or high temperatures. Thermogenic makes up about 70-90 percent of natural gas. These methane types may be made differently but are both the leading cause of methane going into our atmosphere. Methane can last 10-12 years in our atmosphere. Methane, CH4, is natural and human-made.

Where CH4 comes from

Methane gas comes from natural and human-made materials. Here are some of the natural materials. Wet-lands, bodies of water, plant-eating animals, and the thawing of the Arctic. Here are some of the human-made materials: natural gas, petroleum, agriculture, burning of biomass, and coal mining. Treatment of waste in landfills, wastewater, global oil, gas industry, and other sources are also materials from human-made sources.

Found from an article called Cows, Methane, and Climate change, 30% of methane is from other sources, 40% methane is from agriculture, and 30% is from natural sources. (unknown, 2021). Agriculture makes up close to two-thirds, and fossil fuel, along with use, makes up the rest. As you can see from their websites/articles, humans are the leading source/cause of methane gas, CH4.

How it’s affecting the environment

Methane gases, also known as greenhouse gases and CH4, blankets the earth and holds in heat. Methane absorbs energy from the sun. The process of absorbing energy occurs naturally, and without it, our world would freeze. CH4 also leaks from human-made materials into our atmosphere. Methane can warm up the earth by three to four degrees Celsius by the end of the century. Poulter, a scientist, wants the planet to warm up, at the most, two degrees celsius. Poulter and his colleagues found that sheep and cattle are the problems along with fossil fuel industries. There is too much CH4 going into the atmosphere; it’s contributing to global warming.

How it has affected our environment

In 2017 about 600 million tons of methane emissions were released into the atmosphere found by scientists’ latest studies. (Crow, 2020). The warming up has caused sea levels to rise and heat to increase. The sea-levels rising and the heat temperatures increasing are dangerous for millions of people. Another scientist, Rob Jackson, said that the number of methane emissions released into the atmosphere since 2000 equals 350 million more cars on the road. (Crow, 2020.)

CH4 compared to CO2

While reading many different articles about methane, it was found that CH4 is worse than Carbon Dioxide, CO2. How is it worse? Well, it’s worse because it holds in more heat than CO2. Carbon dioxide is more bountiful than methane, but methane has about 80 times more heat than CO2. Methane also absorbs more energy than carbon dioxide. Methane does not linger as long as carbon dioxide; however, it is holding in the heat that is more useful to climate change construction. As stated in Cathrine Ingram’s article, methane molecules can occur in a matter of months, where carbon dioxide can take ten years.

Three reasons why

Methane leaks into the atmosphere, and it’s causing global warming. The leaks waste taxpayer money, contributes to climate change, and makes the air less safe to breathe. The methane leaks are 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide when it comes to trapping heat in the atmosphere. Ozone’s are formed when methane is in the lower atmosphere, the main ingredients in smog, which pollutes the air. Taxpayers were robbed close to $1.7 billion to oil and gas operators between 2009-2015. (Ruas, 2019). How to get rid of methane leaks is the question we need to ask ourselves.

Fossil Fuels, natural gas, agricultural, & more sources

The United States has the highest rate of methane coming from fossil fuels. Even though methane is not released with fossil fuels’ burning, it is released during the extraction, processing, and distribution. A problem of natural gas includes natural gas plants having leaks. Moving of natural gas, leaks at home, and business are also a few problems—100,000 tons of methane leaked into the atmosphere in 2015 from The Porter Ranch in California. (Beaudry, 2019). Agricultural is the second-largest source of methane in the United States. Remember when it was said that biogenic methane is found where oxygen is not. Well, this includes livestock; cows, sheep, goats, and camels. The production of rice is another source of methane. Rice paddies release 1.5 percent of methane emissions. The third-largest source of methane emissions is landfills.


Eating meat, mainly cows, it’s adding to global warming. Weird, right? Cows, however, produce quite a lot of methane through their digestive and waste systems. Cows burping and farting contributes to global warming. With these beef and daily cattle industries, it’s causing a problem, a peculiar situation that is fixable. How? By feeding them more corn than hay and grass.

Fixing the problem, one step at a time

Little was known about where the leaks of methane came from until 2012, when the Environmental Defense Fund conducted some research. It turns out the majority of the leaks are coming from oil and gas companies. So the EPA decided to reduce the number of methane emissions that oil and gas companies can have in their materials. Reducing the number of methane emissions in our environment will limit pollution into our air and eventually help global warming.


Methane gas is a problem all around the world. However, it seems as though some of the human-made causes can be done differently. If things were done differently, as in changed, it would help stop global warming from happening so soon. Fixing the problem of methane gases will take us all.


Beaudry, F. (n.d.). Methane as a Greenhouse Gas. Retrieved February 14, 2021, fromhttps://www.treehugger.com/methane-as-a-greenhouse-gas-4122208

Cows, Methane, and Climate Change | Let’s Talk Science. (n.d.). Retrieved February 14, 2021, fromhttps://letstalkscience.ca/educational-resources/stem-in-context/cows-methane-and-climate-change

Crow, D. (n.d.). Soaring methane emissions threaten to put climate change goals out of reach. Retrieved February 14, 2021, fromhttps://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/soaring-methane-emissions-threaten-put-climate-change-goals-out-reach-n1233831

CTA_the_methane_cycle.pdf. (n.d.). Retrieved February 14, 2021, fromhttps://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/education/info_activities/pdfs/CTA_the_methane_cycle.pdf

Hamburg, S. (n.d.). Methane: The other important greenhouse gas | Environmental Defense Fund. Retrieved February 14, 2021, fromhttps://www.edf.org/climate/methane-other-important-greenhouse-gas

How Does Methane Affect the Environment? | Bridger Photonics. (n.d.). Retrieved February 14, 2021, fromhttps://www.bridgerphotonics.com/blog/how-does-methane-affect-environment

Ingram, C. (2021, January). Catherine Ingram, Facing Extinction, Facing Extinction by Catherine Ingram, 2020 Facing Extinction by Catherine Ingram, 2020-Facing Extinction by Catherine Ingram, Leonard Cohen, Dahr Jamail, Chris Hedges, Extinction, Extinction Rebellion, global warming, climate change, climate disruption, Deep Adaptation, In the Deep, Catherine Ingram podcast, In the Deep with Catherine Ingram, post, Extinction Facebook, near-term extinction.https://www.catherineingram.com/facingextinction/

Ruas, C. (n.d.). We need to get methane under control ASAP | The Wilderness Society. Retrieved February 14, 2021, fromhttps://www.wilderness.org/news/blog/we-need-get-methane-under-control-asap?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI3t_Bhtbp7gIVQ4NbCh1n6wGlEAAYASAAEgI_iPD_BwE

Seyfi, Uzal. (n.d.-a). Effects of hourly, daily and seasonal variation of hazardous gases and clim…: EBSCOhost. Retrieved February 14, 2021, fromhttp://web.a.ebscohost.com.westshore.idm.oclc.org/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=19&sid=b26aa59f-de06-4017-8735-ea65b218d354%40sessionmgr4008

Shan, Wei, Xu, Zhichao, Guo, Ying, Zhang, Chengcheng1, Hu, Zhaoguang, & Wang, Yuzhuo. (n.d.-b). Geological methane emissions and wildfire risk in the degraded permafrost a…: EBSCOhost. Retrieved February 14, 2021, fromhttp://web.a.ebscohost.com.westshore.idm.oclc.org/ehost/detail/detail?vid=24&sid=b26aa59f-de06-4017-8735-ea65b218d354%40sessionmgr4008&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=147387720&db=a9h