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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Global Warming

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The last decade, 10-000, was the warmest decade on record; 18 was the


warmest recorded year, and it seems inarguable that global warming should be a very large


concern. All the nations of the world must work together if we are to successfully address


the problem of global warming. It is imperative that we reach a global accord on the


Order College Papers on Global Warming




methodology quickly, for the longer we wait the worse the problem becomes.


Currently the future of such initiatives looks dim. While the UN has created


several programs to deal with Global Warming, many have been ignored by member


countries. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has successfully


evaluated the problem of global warming, but was not designed to actively aid solutions,


merely to suggest them. The Framework Convention on Climate Change (issued by the


Rio Summit of 1) has failed to produce any real results in the effort to reduce global


warming, and the Kyoto Protocol of 1 was severely crippled by the withdrawal of the


United States, which produces 4% of the greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.


All previous efforts, while attempting to deal with the problem of global warming,


have been crippled by political maneuvering. Many national leaders were more worried


about selling any proposal to their voters then actually dealing with global warming. This


is not entirely the politicians’ fault. Most of the world is uneducated about the realities and


dangers of global warming, and therefore dismiss it as harmless.


The economic policy of Kyoto, the only real attempt to regulate pollution output,


was flawed. The emissions cap for countries was estimated to be 8 to 14 times more


expensive than an optimal trading policy, and the cost emission permits would have


quickly skyrocketed.


Any future policy should be designed with the successes and failures of past efforts


in mind. Only then will a truly coherent global policy emerge.


There are many actions we could take that are cheap and significantly decrease the


output of global warming gasses. Often times these initiatives require a high initial


investment but yield far greater returns in the long run. Examples are numerous and easy


to find. They range from energy saving light bulbs, to improved building insulation, to


tapping the natural gas released from oil deposits. The problem has always been a lack of


cash, and a shortsighted attitude about global warming.


Establishing a United Nations fund, under the control of an international


committee, to reduce the effect of global warming would help unify many initiatives,


providing more efficient solutions. It would require a large effort to get people of the


world to swallow their national pride and combine their efforts, but the benefits are well


worth the costs.


An international tax on carbon emissions, payable by the emitting corporation or


government would go a long way toward paying for cleaner solutions. Enacting a tax of


even two or three dollars per ton on carbon dioxide, and equivalent gas emissions, released


by the industrial nations would provide about seven billion dollars; a large portion of the


capital needed for the initiatives that will reduce global warming, as well as providing an


incentive for polluters to reduce or halt pollution if it is cheaper than paying the tax. This


tax is especially useful, since it provides a single method of stopping polluters, instead of


the individually tailored and excessively complicated procedures, such as factory emission


limits, or power plant emission limits that are full of loopholes corporations can abuse. By


randomly sending UN inspectors to factories, and imposing harsh fines on those that lied


about their pollution outputs would virtually eliminate non-compliance.


The fund should pay for efforts designed to reduce greenhouse gasses and deal with


the future effects of global warming. We must take care that the giving of money not


become an end in and of itself. Concrete goals should be set for each project, and if they


are not met then the recipients should be held accountable by the UN. A prize for the


greatest emission reduction � Corporate, National, and scientific- would give positive


publicity to those who deserve it, from one of the most prestigious organizations in


existence.


Industry is one of the biggest causes of the increase in global warming gas. Many


factories could be made to run more efficiently, improving their output and reducing the


amount of CO produced. Improvements have not been made due to monetary shortage.


Many of these factories are in third world countries, which are forced to suffer from the


smog and dirt. Paying for improving the factories would increase their productivity,


improve the living condition of people around the factories, and reduce the amount of CO


gas released. This would be useful even in the absence of global warming.


Energy generation is not far behind industry when it comes to CO emissions. Coal,


oil, and natural gas all release CO in large quantities. The UN could pay for construction


of solar, wind, geothermal, and hydroelectric power sources wherever they are needed.


The fund should provide money for research designed to improve the efficiency of


nonpolluting power sources.


Vehicles produce roughly 0% of the worlds CO emissions. If the UN enacted


global gas mileage standards similar to California’s, or most of Europe’s the total


worldwide CO emissions would be reduced significantly. This cost is nominal to most


countries in which the automobile is heavily utilized, and most developing countries do not


use cars excessively. A UN treaty could ban the import or export of any vehicle violating


those standards, as well as prohibit them being built in participating nations.


Establishing building codes and international standards for household appliances


would reduce energy costs significantly, thereby reducing global warming. Many things


that use electricity are built cheaply and inefficiently. More expensive products that are


more efficient would actually have a long term benefit to the consumer, as well as reducing


electricity usage, and thereby reducing CO output.


As the Montreal Protocol of 187 shows, it is possible for the world to stop the


production of harmful greenhouse gasses that are easily replaced, such as


Clorofluorocarbons. Funding research to evaluate the effects of other chemicals would


allow us to stop the production of harmful ones before they are emitted in large quantities.


Yet all of these efforts will not cause the problem of global warming to disappear


completely. Even if we restricted our greenhouse gas output to 10 level it would only


slow the effects of global warming by .5° (from .1° to 1.6°) over the next century. This


would require a herculean effort by the governments of the world, far in excess of what the


Kyoto treaty demands. This rise in temperature is definitely enough to cause global


warming effects, effects that developing nations are ill equipped to prepare for. The


weather will get more extreme, with greater numbers of droughts and hurricanes. This


effect can already be seen, with three of the four most expensive hurricanes being in the


past decade, various floods swamping India and the Midwestern United States, and


drought in parts of the globe unused to suck conditions. We must take steps to deal with


these problems.


The UN should design and build irrigation equipment for all major food production


centers to help them deal with any droughts, a likely result of global warming. Building


runoff channels for the rain is a good idea also, since it is probable that global warming


will also cause floods. Bulwarks and dams for cities that are near or beneath sea level, such


as New Orleans, as the rising sea levels will help prevent any floods in those cities.


The need for these initiatives is obvious, yet none of them are taking place.


Without them the potential for disaster is greatly increased. These events will not occur


gradually. The world, under the guidance of the UN, must prepare for their arrival before


it occurs, since it is impossible to recover crops lost to a flood, or withered by drought.


This will be far costlier in both money and lives then a few simple preventative measures.


We must go into this century well prepared for the effects we know will happen. If


all the nations of the world work together, unifying their efforts to reach a common goal,


the world can survive this crisis, and even prosper in the coming centuries.


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