Today we discussed potential solutions to the problem of the enhanced greennhouse effect, also known as global warming. The only way to truly solve this problem is to attack the problem at its source: Greenhouse Gases. We need to decrease the amount of greenhouse gases, especially Carbon Dioxide, in the atmosphere by either reducing the production and emission of them (less adding) or by removing them from the air (more subtracting)
There are a few ways that we as a society can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The first is to be smart and stingy with our fossil fuel use. Fossil fuels produce Carbon Dioxide when burned, which is the most abundant greenhouse gas. We should also use alternative fuel sources which give off no greenhouse gas emissions. Examples include wind, solar and nuclear power. We should alter our agriculture practices because almost a third of our current methane (a green house gas) production comes from cattle. Government implemented Cap and Trade programs are also effective because they limit the amount of emissions factories are allowed to produce and allow the buying and selling of the permits required to emit greenhouse gases. This promotes our economy and the environment at the same time, which is a rarity. Great success has already been seen with this program in the reduction of sulfur dioxide emissions.
We can also decrease the amount of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere currently to slow global warming. One relatively easy way to do this is Carbon Sequestration, which is the taking in and storing of Carbon Dioxide. Trees do this naturally through photosynthesis, so we should plant more trees and cut down less. This can also be done using technology, which basically capture the Carbon Dioxide as it exits the power plant and stores it underground.
Global Cooperation is also a must when it comes to reducing greenhouse gases because the whole world has to be willing to participate, not just one country. International treaties and regulations have already been implemented such as the regulations involved in the Kyoto Protocol. Unfortunately the United States is no longer a member of the Kyoto protocol for economic reasons.
So you may be asking what can I as an individual do? You can use “green” buildings with solar roofs or green roofs, alternative energy sources like wind, hydrogen powered vehicles, invest in green companies, and stop eating meat. (Less demand for beef=less cattle=less methane)
Here is a hilarious cartoon about the United States’ absence from the Kyoto Protocol: