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Can we reverse global warming?

Updated on June 4, 2011

Global Warming

Can we reverse climate change?

If people were the sole cause of global warming then the answer would be a qualified yes, the qualifier is, would we?

Does the political and social will exist to do what would be necessary if indeed humans are responsible for climate change?

There is a debate still being waged over the human role in climate change, some say humans are the sole cause while others say humans have played no role at all.

There is another point of view and that is humans have contributed to a naturally occurring climate shift.

Before we move on let us look at the difference between climate and weather.

The difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere "behaves" over relatively long periods of time. When we talk about climate change, we talk about changes in long-term averages of daily weather.

I do not believe that humans are the sole cause of global warming but the fact that a debate rages and often fiercely makes it very difficult to undertake any action which could mitigate the human impact.

There is much that we could do to reeves the harm that humans have done to the planet and develop sustainable communities while we are doing so.

The United Nations secretary-General has called for a Green New Deal saying:

“Climate change threatens all our goals for development and social progress. Indeed, it is the one true existential threat to the planet.”

“On the other hand, it also presents us with a gilt-edged opportunity. By tackling climate change head-on we can solve many of our current troubles, including the threat of global recession. We stand at a crossroads. It is important that we realize we have a choice. We can choose short-sighted unilateralism and business as usual. Or we can grasp global cooperation and partnership on a scale never before seen.”

There is hope in what Ban says but I come back to the will that is required to do the work. I sense that it is missing and that people on all sides of the debate would rather sit around and debate than get out there and actually take action.

Let me give an example of one project that if duplicated in municipalities across the world would help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we are spewing into the atmosphere, create employment and provide food.

First let us look at what an economy is. An economy is based upon trade. We go to the marketplace, either in person or digitally, and buy the goods (cabbages, shoes, DVDs, meat) we need. We also enter the market place to purchase services such as healthcare and education.

Urban agriculture which is simply the growing of food and the production of food based items (jams, jellies, eggs and s on ) in urban setting, cities, towns and villages, not only reduces the amount of fossil fuels used to move goods across country but when done organically reduces the pollutants used to grow the goods.

This has a positive effect on the community. If urban agriculture is combined with community energy generation then we create jobs and clean, renewable energy, such as wind, solar, micro hydro. There are spin offs in practical research and development of appropriate wind and solar technologies for urban settings.

I believe we have the knowledge and skills to take the steps we need to reduce the human impact on our planet and thus mitigate the effects of global warming. I am much less certain that the will or desire to do so exists at a level that will make a difference. Too many people are simply arguing and doing nothing.

So, yes we can reverse the human element of global warming the question is will we?

what can you do?

Do you believe people are contributing to climate change?

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  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick

    sustainability is indeed vital.

  • profile image

    newage.angel 6 years ago

    yes, i think so but what happen when you have global cooling. there should be sustainablity.

    you can have more tips at

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for your opinion, I will still buy a VAWT, once you install a renewble energy system you imediately reduce your energy bill and have money you can use to 1- pay for the system and within 3-5 years at most, then use the money you svae from not paying an energy bill monthly for anything you want.

    Yeah for cap and trade.

  • The Shark profile image

    The Shark 7 years ago from Hampton, NH

    Bob, I hope more people buy vawts, electric cars, solar powered things, hybrid vehicles. All for one reason, while there paying through the nose for these things there will be more oil and gas for me so I can continue to drive my rear wheel drive town car.

    Let me give an example, Cape Wind just passed and is now under construction in Cape Cod Harbor MA. The left wing save the planet group has been pushing for this for ten years. Now it is a reality and will provide 80% of the electricity for the Cape. All from free wind. The problem is now those same lefty save the planet liberals are now trying to get an injuction agaist their own victory!! Why you ask would they want to defeat their own victory? Well I'll tell you why. Cape residents currently pay 9 cents/kwh for electricity. But now that they won and the electricity will be green and free from the wind their charge will be ---get this 21 cents per/kwh. A 150% increase for going green. I'm sure that will attract a lot of co's to open there as well be a real boom for the real estate mkt. I can hear it now, Honey---it's 91 out. Shouldn't you turn the ac on?

    Reply---- Are you crazy? We can't afford it!!

    Wait till the real fun starts when the messiah gets his cap and trade bill passed. Then we can all enjoy the fun of having our elec rates go up an estimated 70 to 80%

    And people wonder why jobs are exported to China and India.

    The Shark

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by, I am thinking about buying a VAWT.

  • The Shark profile image

    The Shark 7 years ago from Hampton, NH

    Climate change. Let's see, in the 70's we were being threatend by "global cooling". We were heading into a new ice age, yhea. Then in the 80's it was the ozone layer was shrinking. There was a giant hole in the ozone layer over Antartica caused by you hair spray can and deoderant. We were all going to fry like a piece of KFC by solar radiation. Then we found the ozone hole closed===omg===how did that happen? Turns out it is a natural cyle in the atmosphere. So now we have the new crisis====global warming====ohh it's not happening, ok change it to====climate change. Yhea, that's it. Ok now the emails from the scientists at the summit are out. They basically say we are screwed if the word gets out that the data shows it isn't happening. Ok three conecutive decades of new man made crises. What will the next one be? I got it, how about soil disintergration? Our walking and driving on the Earth is destroying the soil and soon there will be none left leading to no more crops. It could be called global crop shrinkage.

    I go along with Carl Sagan who said the greatest threat to mankind is asteroids. Something that is real and has caused devesation on Earth way beyond whatever we think we are doing. It is what is accepted to have wiped out the dinasours and caused the last great ice age---talk about climate change. He recomended a vigorous plan to develop the capabilites for long range tracking and a strike system to destroy the one headed our way before it gets here. Sounds like it is a lot more of a threat than the SUV in your driveway that Babs is complaining about. However, we have no such plan, and with Obama all but closing NASA and turning it into a museum to celebrate when were great, it will be years before we can get a plan back on the table. So let's stick our head in the sand and remember---ride a bike save the planet.

    The Shark

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • shervy profile image

    shervy 7 years ago from Kigali,Rwanda

    Nice read

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • irony profile image

    irony 8 years ago

    There is no question that mankind has an influence on the content of the air, look at the pollution in the bigger cities and the air-conditioning and filtration systems in our homes; the abundance of flora and fauna, look at the destruction of thousands of acres of forest yearly by man caused wildfires or the hundreds of thousands of acres of plant life, grains and vegetables, trees and shrubs planted by farmers the world over; and on the dispostion of surface and ground water, diverted from rivers and streams to supplement the rain, to irrigate deserts, oceans held back by dikes, as in Netherlands, or used to create highway, as in Suez and Panama. But, God's great work never rests, we cannot keep up with nature not even for one year. All that I have mentioned requires constant attention by man. None of it would remain as it is without that commitment.

    Yet, it took just one Mt St. Helens to spew more pollution than LA did in 20 years. It takes just one drought to wipe years of crops and threaten worldwide famine. It takes just one hurricane to wash away the monuments to man's technology and ingenuity, as it did in New Orleans. The sun has simply to set to illustrate man's impact on this planet, with all our electrical energy, all that consumed fossil fuel no light we create it useable to us for more than a few hundred feet beyond its source.

    It is the epitiomy of arrogance to think that we, mere mortal man, can have any lasting impact on our environment. Weather has fluctuated on this planet in both extremes for eons and when man arrived it was doing just fine. The best estimates, now, are that we all disappeared it would still be just fine. Its time for globalwarming prognosticators to get over themselves.

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    thanks for dropping by

  • tomdhum profile image

    tomdhum 8 years ago from memphis tn

    Like to know what everyone thinks about the house bill  H.R. 2454.  The American Clean Energy and Security Act.  If you want more information on the bill go to my hub Know your congressman and click on a link. 

    tonybeck I feel like you have a very passive attitude towards the issue of global warming.  I get the impression that you think everything is natural and in gods hands and he will take care of it.  I am not really a bible person however I do remember one story from when I was a child.  The story was about the faith of two farmers.  They had went some time without rain they both prayed for rain and had faith that god would provide for them.  One farmer stayed home and prayed everyday the other farmer went out and prepared his field for the day that God would bring rain.  Which farmer profited from his faith in God.  I do believe that God will provide but we must actively protect the enviroment to receive the blessings that God's enviroment gives us.

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    thanks for dropping by.

  • tonybeck profile image

    tonybeck 8 years ago

    The premise that we can change the climate is a false one so this is a non-issue. The earth is much smarter than humanity as it was made by our Creator. Oil, coal & natural gas all come from the earth. They all contain carbon, just as we do, so they are considered to be organic. I though organic was in vogue? If something comes from the earth, it can't be harming it.

    The earth repairs itself. Any other such notion is an act of the human ego that allows us to "feel" like we are saving the planet. Is my hybrid car really my messiah with four wheels? "Global warming" only falls under two different agendas. The first of which is a government revenue-making issue, as the cap and tax bill passed last week shows us. This allows the goverment to continue their quest to turn our society into something out of 1984.

    The second is that a person has it so easy in life that they have the luxury of believing in these fabricated myths. The earth naturally has cooling and warming periods. The Lord said that there will come a time when people will worship the creation and not the Creator. We are obviously in that time with all the propaganda that people have been swallowing. Listening to our God-given intuition has gone out the window.

    Environmentalism works when its purpose is to maintain clean water supplies or to prevent other hidious acts that ruin lives or the health of people. Anything other than that turns the love of a clean world into a religion. It's a belief system that is maintained by many people and they will fight for those beliefs. They won't be happy till all humanity is gone so that the earth can "heal itself."

    The current trend of environmental extremism kills people. It is cruel to spread the big lie that if we only consume less, we will get an atta boy from the president and his ilk. Hitler believed in the big lie too. Say it often enough and the people will believe it It's the same thing as saying a fetus isn't really a person and that it's ok not to have a husband to support a child because being replaced by the government is okay.

    I don't like getting conned. I don't like other people getting conned, especially when the stakes are so high. I value Truth over political affiliation or other petty things like race, gender, or your particular brand of religion. You'll never convince me that what I exhale & what plants need for photosynthesis is a pollutant, is toxic to the environment and needs to be taxed. Of course, maybe someone from the goverment can pay me a visit to "get my mind right."

    God Bless

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • Doc Snow profile image

    Doc Snow 8 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

    Good hub, Bob! Clear and succinct.

    Personally, I think it is clear that humans are driving the current (last 30-40 years) warming trend. Natural variations also exist.

    I'd say that we can control climate, to a point. Unfortunately, we are controlling it in an inadvertant way right now.