Published Opinions

Submitted from Students Worldwide

September 16, 2016

So, everyone knows that carbon dioxide is the number one contributor to climate change, but what is lesser known is the number two cause: smog.

The black smog, discovered a few years ago by many institutions and environmental projects, including those at Yale University, as being the second most contributor to global warming, is commonly attributed to Asian countries such as China. According to Hannah Hickey, an environmental reporter from Washington Post, the black carbon, found within smog releases dark particles into the air that mask the surface of the planet while simultaneously warming the atmosphere. Specifically, the black carbon completely alters the surface fluxes and radiation of heat and moisture within the atmosphere. Contrary to common belief, black carbon found in smog is a solid, not a gas like carbon dioxide. Although it can sometimes only a few nanometers in diameter, the abundance of it in the air in the form of clusters makes it a viable force to cover the Earth...

Prominently known for its abundance of underground oil, the Amazon has long been a jewel to the oil companies and government. According to WWF Global, 19% of the Amazon has already been destroyed for oil exploitation purposes in the past 36 years, leaving only 81% intact. However, as these statistics show, the deforestation rates continue to decrease not only because of popular demand for fossil fuels, but also individual illegal logging triumphs; in July of 2012, 122.337 hectares of Amazonian land were destroyed by unauthorized logging, whereas only 34.902 destroyed hectares were authorized, thus illustrating an inconsistency with environmental policies and respect for the homes of the Amazon.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just the 400 or so Amazonian tribes whose lives depend on the preservation of this rainforest- it’s all of our lives. In fact, our future depends heavily on the conservation of the Amazon- that is, if we want to witness the existence of our planet 20 years fr...

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