A polar bear stumbles onto the last of the melting ice. A dark and gloomy cloud wafts from rusty chimney. Dried and cracking logs lie desperately in the clear-cutting rainforest. These images possibly appear in our mind when we think about this unsolvable issue, global warming. The cause and the effect of global warming has been an everlasting debate among the world's leading scientists. More than 170 countries have signed a Kyoto treaty and agreed to trade carbon credits to reduce the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. Many people are agonizing from the effect of climate change-an unpredictable climate which leads to devastating floods in many countries in South East Asia. Obvious consequences and massive amounts of scientific support claim that it will strike the global environment. However, many nation leaders and politicians guide their people in a wrong direction, conveying negative attitude toward global warming. People thus become indifferent to the issue and assume that global warming is happening naturally, and it will soon disappear. Although scientific data has claimed that global warming will soon affect human severely, the public does not respond to the issue thoughtfully but just follows the momentary, social trend of global warming prevention, which is sometimes blinded by wrong political-leading perspectives.
When global warming first appeared, people delved enthusiastically into the issue, seeking for a possible solution. However, after a few years, the public had begun to think about global warming as an inconsequential issue, even though it still affects our daily lives. In 2007, when Al Gore first mentioned global warming and published his famous book "An Inconvenient Truth," he successfully aroused the world's attention to preserve our environment. Gore illustrates vividly in his book that global warming will make the world "undergo a string of terrible catastrophes, including more and stronger storms like Hurricane Katrina," and most importantly, "it is us" who caused this issue (Gore 649). Presenting his book along with his outstanding film, also named "An Inconvenient Truth," the people in 2007 became dramatically aware of what they had done in the past that might result in hurting themselves. People sought for more information through the Internet; the number of searching peaked in March 2007. However, it dropped sharply in August to 36 percent and also kept falling every August in the following years (Google Inc. Data Center). The data shows that the global warming awareness of the public is just a trend during a certain period of time. The average temperature, which increases annually during August, convinces critics and environmental analysts to believe that the changing of the climate is not a result from human actions. Researchers in the University of Washington comment that "even if all emissions were stopped now, temperatures would remain higher than pre-Industrial Revolution levels because the greenhouse gases already emitted are likely to persist in the atmosphere for thousands of years" (University of Washington) . As a result, an immense number of debates, claiming that global warming is just a natural phenomenon, were published continually during this time of the year. The public thus disregards the importance of global warming and loses their willingness to prevent it. People are just following others when someone speaks up and says that global warming exists. Moreover, not only do individuals pay no actual attention to global warming, but the industries also overlook the issue and keep taking advantage of our existing resources.
Many companies who benefit from exploiting natural resources still continue their mission, even though they understand that unwise uses of natural resources would result in the shortage of the profitable environment. In the Congo, deforestation still happens continuously. Although the logging companies have signed the agreement "2002 Forestry Code" to exchange their products with the local communities, they mostly give low-cost products to the local (Price 679). The cycle of this unfairness does nothing but supporting those companies to take advantage of natural resources. A forest used to be the largest land area of the world, and a majority of animals and human beings in the past relied on it. Scientifically, trees are composed of carbon, and they absorb carbon dioxide in the air to produce food and energy for living creatures. Moreover, chlorophyll in trees uses carbon dioxide and water from the roots to digest the minerals then releases oxygen through the pores. For us, oxygen-consuming creatures, trees keep us alive. They deserve our gratitude, not our sharp saws from our modern tree-cutting machines or our huge wheels from our tractors. It is tragic to learn that the government in Africa still agree and sign new contracts with the logging companies and believed that their taxes "will be used to develop forest communities through the construction of schools, health centers, and improved public services" (Price 668 ). These promises had never been a true point to the deforestation in Africa. An increasing government income and the public advancement, if any, are not comparable to the long-term environmental impacts of the country. Deforestation is wrong at the first place. The record on the logging industry in African shows that "there is little evidence that industrial timber has lifted rural populations out of poverty or contributed in other meaningful and sustainable ways to local and national development" (Price 668). While you are reading this page, tropical rainforests are being cut down 250 hectares per minute (Tennesen 89). Deforestation, an increasing amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and global warming are all related. However, the logging industries still keep cutting the forest for their little profits (compared to what we will lose environmentally).
An ongoing problem of African deforestation may result from poor management of the government who signed the contracts and the companies who promised the enhancement of the public, but what the citizens can do to prevent the country from the cycle of this unfairness, or even political corruption ? Many may conclude that the corruption in Africa will not end until civil society repairs itself or until the citizens start being aware of their leaders. This is not always true. Politicians play much more roles in the orientation of the country compared to what ordinary citizens can do. In Africa, the contracts for deforestation are still being passes consistently because the politicians assume that the profits from the logging companies are worthwhile, and the decision of these leaders usually have a great impact on the citizens. Similarly, even in the states, the politicians' point of view affects significantly on our thought. Since the politicians believe that the people would not see the possible solution of global warming and climate change, they mostly ignore this issue. When the debate about global warming appears in the political stage, "political candidates tend to talk about the greenhouse effect in a depressing way" (Easterbrook 654). It is also difficult to find a solution for global warming because every politician wants to be the first one who can solve the problem; they thus keep this issue unsolvable until the last day of debate (Easterbrook 655). People listening to the speech or their campaign probably begin to reconsider whether global warming is a true problem for them. As they understand-even the politicians still pay no attention to global warming-global warming is probably just a trivial issue. On the other hand, many environmental organizations such as Green Peace, UNEP (United Nations Environment Program), or IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) are founded in order to promote the idea of global warming prevention and preservation of the environment. In 1997, United Nations Conferences on Climate Change developed the Kyoto treaty, an international treaty aiming for the reduction of the global amount of greenhouse gases and prevention of the climate change. In 2007, IPCC announced their observation that the sea level will rise 4 inches to 3 feet, and its temperature will increase 2.0 to 11.5 degree Fahrenheit within this twenty-first century (Tennesen 200). These attempts intend to arouse the global attention to realize that global warming exists. Environmentalists are advertising their observation and hopes that the citizens will help them and the world from global warming. However, these organizations and their investigations are more like temporary events: they set a goal to answer the question about global warming, and then they do research on their topic. After that, they publish their work. Those who people who interested in the topic read then may keep the result in their mind. However, politicians appear to us every day, on newspaper, on televisions, on radios. When the politicians give out their opinions about global warming, we will listen to them over and over again through the media. As a result, no matter how hard the scientists try to warn the people about the effects of global warming, the politicians can instill the negative connotation of the issue in the citizens' mind. Consequently, the attention of global warming of the public keeps decreasing from time to time.
Scientists and environmental organizations are still publishing the observation and warning that global warming will lead to more severe effect on our planet. Yet with the inconsistent trend of the environment preservation and negative attitude from the politicians, the public is pulling their attention away from global warming. Also, the moral depravity of the governments who allow nature-threatening business, such as logging, to continue on their forests, with the payback of some goods, reflect our indifference to the environment and the nature who have always helped us without asking for any payback. At least, as one of the creatures in this planet, we should help the world from the danger from our own hands, before the last leave of our nature will flutter away with the wind of our ignorance.
Easterbrook, Gregg. "Some Convenient Truth." Perspectives on Argument. 6th edition. Ed. Nancy V. Wood. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson / Prentice Hall, 2009. 648-650. Print
Google Inc. Data Center. Web Search Interest: Global Warming. Google Inc., 2011. Web. 18 Oct. 2011.
Gore, Al. "An Inconvenient Truth." Perspectives on Argument. 6th edition. Ed. Nancy V. Wood. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson / Prentice Hall, 2009. 648-650. Print
Price, Stuart. "Carving Up the Congo." Perspectives on Argument. 6th edition. Ed. Nancy V. Wood. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson / Prentice Hall, 2009. 648-650. Print
Tennesen, Michael. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Global Warming. New York, NY: Alpha, 2008. Print. University of Washington. "If greenhouse gas emissions stopped now, Earth would still likely get warmer, new research shows." ScienceDaily, 15 Feb. 2011. Web. 27 Oct. 2011.