I’m going to ask an obvious question and that’s what are greenhouses for? I know, I can hear the “duh’s” from here! Greenhouses are for growing plants that can’t live in the climate outside. That is to say they need a little bit of extra heat and some protection from the elements. But, what if you were to take the atmosphere inside one of these marvelous inventions and put it outside?
Not just outside but literally change the atmosphere on our planet to one that’s not unlike that inside of a greenhouse. Well, we would all be a lot warmer for a start which isn’t such a bad thing you might think. However, (as you’re about to find out) it will have a terrible effect on the world we live in.
So the Earth is a Little Warmer – so What?!
It doesn’t take much research to find out what happens when the surface of the earth heats up (after all you found this article). In the following few words I’m going to give you some statistics and these are all based on the earth warming up less than 1 degree. I’m not going to bang on about the arctic circles, but currently we have 30% less summer ice. Ok, you probably knew that, but did you know this?
Our oceans are 30% more acidic! Before you start to panic and wonder if you’ll lose your skin the next time you go swimming, it’s not that bad. Think about it this way instead (and this is bad). Higher levels of acidity might not kill us, but it will kill everything-else. If this happens we can say goodbye to about 50% of the planets oxygen production, and that doesn’t bare thinking about!
Back to Greenhouses – Only This Time it’s the Gas!
Greenhouse gases have a lot to answer for, and currently humans are largely to blame. Before you start blaming cows, think about why they’re here in such large numbers. Pretty much everything we do from traveling to work, to opening a bag of chips creates a carbon footprint. The stats vary, but back in 2006 it was estimated that the average American produces well over 18 tons of carbon dioxide every-day.
This might not mean much to you, but when you look at say, the average in Kenya which was measured at under 1 ton per person you start to see the difference. Of course, these figures depend on a lot of factors such as how much fossil fuel is used, how people get from “a to b” and how consumerist their society is. The fact is, we’re producing far too much greenhouse gas for the earth to cope with, and it’s already showing signs of fatigue.
Don’t Ignore the Obvious
We can spend our days drowning each other in statistics and debating the effects of greenhouse gases but, the fact is, we need to change our habits or there isn’t going to be much of a world left for our grandkids. Personally, I think we need to stop sticking our heads in the sand and take the dangers of GHG emission seriously.