For those of us who have read about the Ice Age, global warming should come as no surprise. Where once there were glacier 'fingers' extending across most parts of the Northern Hemisphere, there are now cities, farms, industrial parks etc. The ice has undoubtedly receded over time. So what is the big deal regarding global warming now? Surely it is just a natural cycle running its course? To the North of me, large pieces of glacier are breaking off, but they always have, hence no glacier for a good few thousand years where I now live.
Weather patterns do seem to be different to when I was a child, and there also appears to be more seismic and volcanic activity now. Can this also be put down to global warming in as much as more heat at the surface raises the temperature at lower levels?
I live in an area where it is said that the ozone layer above is depleted. Is this why the black parts of my vehicle are looking decidedly 'bleached' to a grayish color? If the Sun's rays are doing this, what is the effect on other things? I do believe that our world is warming up, and that we and many other species will be, and in some cases already are adversely affected. What to do next?
Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, we have been on a path that seems to have speeded up the process of global warming. We are victims of our own success. It will not be easy to give up the spoils. Even the livestock herders of Mongolia put out the solar panels first thing in the morning so that they can watch TV. Theirs is the clean end. The company transmitting TV can't rely totally on solar panels for its power.
Wind power helps, but nobody wants the generators in their own backyard. Nuclear power substitutes one problem for another. Solar power is not overly effective in countries like Britain. Fossil fuel burning is of course a huge no-no. The use of cars, trucks, and airplanes is not helping the cause, but our reliance on them is so great.
There are ideas being thrown into the pot. The first is to put brakes on the developing world such that we can still maintain our own standards while appearing to be doing something about the problem. There are plans to put iron in the oceans which will promote algae growth, which in turn will consume Carbon Dioxide. There are designs for strange ships fitted with enormous upward facing tubes and gadgetry that will apparently help. A more arcane plan is to erect a sun shield in space.
Slowing the effects of global warming will be our biggest battle, and we will lose ultimately because our planet has been warming up for the longest time without any intervention from us. All we have done is reduce the time it will take for the warming cycle to run its course. We don't know just how bad it will all get, but one thing is for sure, the creation of mountains, valleys, gorges, lakes and oceans must have been cataclysmic and most definitely not conducive to easy living.