Carbon Dioxide Suffocation: A Global Threat
Published on 21st March 2015
When we talk of global warming, the first thing that comes to mind is carbon dioxide (CO2). The emission of CO2 is the main cause of global warming, followed by the emission of methane (CH4), the emission of carbon-floro-clorides (CFC) and direct heat release into the atmosphere from various heating sources including volcanoes and power-generating plants. In fact, most heat-generating sources are also global-warming gas generating sources; adding further to the complexity and severity of the global warming processes. Not only the rate of emission but also the rate of destruction of the sources of storage of global-warming agents today is unparalleled in history.
With industrialization has come unprecedented levels of population boom, land plundering for agricultural production and fossil fuel consumption to meet the never-ending human needs. While CO2 emission from fossil fuel combustion is fairly a direct chemical process with significant instant effects, CO2 storage by plants (notably forests) and the oceans is a fairly indirect biochemical process that takes decades if not centuries to realize meaningful storage. There is also the so-called CO2 capture and storage or disposal into the earth. While CO2 capture is largely limited to stationary emission sources such as power-generating plants, geological formations suitable for CO2 disposal or permanent storage are highly limited. There is also the problem of prohibitive cost associated with CO2 capture and storage into the earth; which many companies and countries cannot afford.
The highly intensive emission of CO2 and extremely extensive destruction of the sources of CO2 storage are among the most disastrous concurrences for the survival and subsistence of the human race. Such concurrences only but worsen global warming that in turn increases the occurrence of extreme hydro-climatic and geophysical conditions with highly destructive and mass-killing capacities. Among the telltales of global warming are high temperatures, mass melt of polar ice caps, prolonged droughts, mass crop failures, high pest and disease incidence, mass species deaths, frequent cyclones, tornadoes, floods, hailstorms, dust-storms, solar-storms, El Niños, earthquakes and tsunamis, etc. Even in the face of the unprecedented on-going retreat of polar ice caps, resurgence of tornadoes, steady rise of sea level and the persistence of droughts due to worsening global warming conditions, the community of nation states still prioritizes economic growth over cuts in greenhouse gases emissions.
If you travelled to the developed and rapidly developing world, you would be shocked by the propensity of destruction of forest cover. This becomes even extremely alarming if you travelled during the off-season periods when over ninety percent of the cultivated lands lie idle and barren. Also vasts of lands that were once forests have been converted into settlements, roads, recreations and protected zones with virtually not forests now. Most surface water systems in the developed and rapidly developing worlds have been harnessed for the never-ending human needs, including domestic, industrial and agricultural needs. In the developed and rapidly developing worlds, it is not uncommon to see countless rivers without a single drop of water.
Man has so much so humanized the world that the consequences of over-modifying nature are now returning to haunt us in disastrous ways. It is high time we reconsidered our ever-deepening thirst for the so-called economic development. To break down our world will be a catastrophic event as the collapse of the world over us could completely wipe out our unique human race. So please take a step today to save the world and the human race by cutting down on your emission of greenhouse gases and conserving the world’s forests.
By Sulay B. Conteh