понедельник, 17 февраля 2014 г.

Climate Change.


‘Hello, my friend! Hey, do you know what’s going on
With the weather today and the activity of the Sun?’
‘Hello! Um, sorry, what exactly are you pointing at?
Can you please explain what you mean by saying that?’

‘Well, you know, there are these extreme changes
Of weather conditions. For instance, today the storm rages;
Tomorrow it’s clear, sunny and hot like in hell;
And what happens the next day no one can tell.

Then there are abnormalities in air temperature level
That until now have been registered, like, almost never.
In the Arctic and Antarctic icebergs melt and disappear.
And the rise of the sea level many people now fear.’

‘Oh, that! Well, that is global climate change, my friend.
It is a warning message that the Nature tries to send
To us, humans, who pollute it with much disrespect.
And now we experience the Nature’s feedback effect.’

‘Uh, what do you mean by that? Can you explain?
Nature’s warning message to humans? This is insane!’
‘Perhaps it is. But this is not just my point of view.
More and more people support it. And it is not new.

There is a theory that our planet Earth is actually alive.
And like any other living organism it strives to survive
The external influence, as well as internal “disorders”,
And tries to eliminate everything that bothers.’

‘Hmm, very interesting… I haven’t heard about it before.
I want to understand. Can you please tell me some more?
Like, what is the mechanism behind Nature’s response
To all the pollution we generate in lots of kilos and tons?’

‘Very well, my curious friend. I’ll be happy to describe
How our pollution and climate change threaten all life
On the beautiful planet we inhabit, and how it reacts
With some basic theory and a number of proven facts.

What is actually happening all over the world nowadays
Is the “Greenhouse Effect”, as the modern science says.
This is when the Sun’s incoming infrared radiation
Is trapped near the surface by gases and cloud formations.

As a result, the planet’s air and surface temperature rises,
Influencing global climate and leading to other surprises
In weather events and their effects in different locations
Than can affect entire regions, countries and nations.

The so-called greenhouse gases, which are responsible
For absorbing and capturing thermal radiation and possibly
For other physical processes in the Earth’s atmosphere,
Can be found in the human world practically everywhere.

Mainly this is carbon dioxide, CO2, that is actively emitted
By transport, industries and other polluters permitted
To burn fossil fuels for energy production, selling and use
And thus environmentally damaging activity to choose.

Then there is methane, CH4, a very dangerous compound,
Which can easily be found being emitted all around
From uncontrolled landfills, open dumps, other waste sites,
And livestock manure unmanaged for days and nights.

Less potent, but still contributing is N2O, nitrous oxide
That is primarily released by us, humans, side by side
With methane in agricultural practices to increase the yields
By applying nitrogen-rich fertilizers to our numerous fields.

All these gases added anthropogenically to the atmosphere
Together with water vapor and ozone that are already there
Contribute to climate forcing and heat balance on the Earth
And act as a global air temperature increase source.

This leads to the melting of icebergs and glaciers around
That decrease albedo, the reflective power of the ground.
Together with land use changes it warms the climate faster,
Increasing the probability of a global climate disaster.

Of course, there are also negative feedbacks to warming.
These are represented by various aerosols that are coming
From volcanic eruptions and smoke and dust we release,
Which disperse radiation, causing warming to decrease.

However, such negative feedbacks are overwhelmed
By global warming inducing factors. And scientists tell,
That annual mean surface temperature rises exponentially,
Leading to catastrophic global climate changes eventually.’

‘So, if I understand you correct, it is we, who increase
The rate of climate change. And we do it with relative ease
By burning fossil fuels and throwing out our waste,
Thus releasing greenhouse gases in our economic haste.’

‘Exactly, my dear friend. This is so very true…’
‘Yeah, I understand now. But what can we do?
Without energy we cannot achieve economic success,
And few of us are ready and willing to consume less.’

‘Truly, this is the core of the problem we face today:
People chose the easiest and most unsustainable way
By consuming resources now in the rush for temptations
Without considering the effects on future generations.

Still, I believe we can achieve great economic growth
Without undermining environmental balance and so forth.
We can stop burning fossil fuels and spreading pollution
And transition to more sustainable and efficient solutions.’

‘Yes, but what should we do to achieve this? What?!’
‘I do not have a clear answer to a question like that.
I can only express my own subjective point of view.
Whether to accept or decline it, it is solely up to you.

We need to focus on developing cleaner tech, I should say,
And do it in an accessible, shared and collaborative way.
It is not enough just to create a renewable energy device;
It should be accessible for people to apply it and actualize.

There should also be proper economic incentives available
That are able to make sustainable practices more desirable
For economic agents to consider and ultimately choose.
I am sure with the right economic tools we cannot lose.

Surely, the incentives should be backed by policy support,
As well as proactivity of the current generational cohort.
Climate change mitigation should start from education
And be pursued by each age group and every single nation.

Still, we cannot avoid all climate change consequences,
Even if sustainability becomes one of our main preferences.
Therefore we should begin to adapt to changing conditions
By making appropriate investment and innovation decisions.’

‘Yes, I agree. We should do something. We must ACT!
Climate change is not a myth, but a real and proven fact.
Thank you, my friend, for this thorough explanation!
Now I must go and commit myself to climate action!’

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