Discovering the Shaman Healer Within
Aho! Take a journey and an exploration into the worlds and the way of the Shaman. Come and sit down before the fire with the Shaman as you calm your mind and open your heart to the teachings of the Elders. As you walk the path of this course, you will re-member many skills, talents, places and people from your past that you have forgotten. Welcome to the reconnection to your purpose as healer. Let the Shaman Elder take the talking stick and listen to his words.
What Does Global Warming Mean to You?
By Judy Morgan
As the global human population explodes in numbers, we are reaching the limits of the ecological "carrying capacity" of the earth. One of these limits is the amount of carbon dioxide we can generate without changing the planet's climate. Commonly referred to as global warming, most scientists believe we have already begun to change the global climate with potentially disastrous consequences.
Global Warming Causes Effects
Global warming results primarily from human activities that release heat-trapping gases and particles into the air. What are Global Warming Causes, Effects? The most important causes are the burning of fossil fuels and the destruction of forests (since trees absorb carbon dioxide). Fossil fuels refer to coal, oil, and gas, which were created over millions of years from decomposing organic matter (dead plants and animals). The planet has only a limited amount of these fuels, since they take so long to create.
The heavy use of fossil fuels, increasing rapidly since the early 1800's, has had the unfortunate effect of increasing the concentration of carbon dioxide and other carbon-based gases in the earth's atmosphere. Carbon-based gases maintain heat within the atmosphere, keeping the sun's energy from being reflected back out into space.
Global Warming and Scientific Consensus
There has been a growing scientific consensus that the earth's climate is being affected by this change in the atmosphere. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the current warming trend of the earth's average temperature is greater than at any time during the past 400-600 years.
Seven of the ten warmest years in the 20th Century occurred in the 1990s. Glaciers are receding throughout the world - for example, the Greenland ice sheet has lost about 40% of its thickness over the past four decades. In addition, the global sea level is rising about three times faster over the past 100 years as compared to the previous 3,000 years.
According to an assessment prepared by the Smithsonian Institution and several other U.S. agencies, global temperatures increased by about 1 degree Fahrenheit over the course of the last century, and will likely rise even more during this century.
Scientists predict that unless greenhouse gas emissions are reduced substantially, temperatures in the United States will rise by about 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit on average in the next 100 years, an even larger increase than what's predicted globally.
The U.S. consumes 25% of the world's oil (with only 4.5% of the earth's population). It is by far the
largest single contributor to greenhouse gases and global warming
Clearly, it will take a powerful movement to change the U.S. lifestyle so that we conserve fossil fuels and rely on renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and tidal energy.
Global Warming and the Future
Global warming will cause a faster rise in sea level, with the loss of low-lying lands around the world. More heat waves and droughts will occur, resulting in more conflicts over water resources.
Global warming will produce more extreme weather events, including floods, deaths, and destruction of property. It will result in a greater potential for heat-related illnesses, including the wider spread of infectious diseases carried by insects and other pests into previously pest-free areas.
There also appear to be periods in the earth's history when climate shifts happen very rapidly, triggered by unknown mechanisms. If the current warming triggered an abrupt climate shift, the earth's food supply would be affected, conceivably resulting in catastrophic shortages of food.
Solutions Of Global Warming
As an individual, what can you do about global warming? Are there any the solutions of global warming? Together, we can be instrumental in the solutions of global warming, starting at home:
Closing Thoughts about Global Warming
- Drive less, and purchase more energy-efficient cars. Support legislative efforts to increase the standards for fuel efficiency in vehicles and to develop alternative fuels.
- Buy appliances with the Energy Star label, developed by a government program to demonstrate a high degree of energy-efficiency. Always check for the energy performance labels required for appliances. Energy-efficient appliances may be slightly more expensive, but they'll save you money in the long run.
- Replace your incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents, which use a third to a quarter of the electricity and last ten times as long. This can significantly cut down on your energy bills.
- Weatherize your home so that you require as little heat and air conditioning as possible. In addition, you can landscape your homes so that deciduous trees on the south side block the summer sun, while allowing light through in the winter, and evergreen trees on the north side provide a winter windbreak, as well as additional shade in the summer. The more trees, the better since trees absorb the carbon dioxide emitted when we burn fossil fuels.
- Talk to your community leaders and association boards about planting more trees and planning for more walkways and bike paths to local stores, schools, etc., along with better public transportation to workplaces and shopping centers.
Global warming is a crisis that compels us to "think globally, act locally." It has already forced many countries to begin to work together to change their energy use.
The U.S. has an opportunity to be a leader in this effort, but it will only happen if there is strong citizen support to change our lifestyles to be less dependent on fossil fuels. We can make a difference with every step we take toward this change, and influence others to become involved as well!
You can help raise awareness of global warming by forwarding this article to others.
Copyright © Judy Morgan. All rights reserved.