Table of Contents

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Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 2

How This Book Is Organized 2

Part I: Understanding Global Warming 2

Part II: Tracking Down the Causes 2

Part III: Examining the Effects of Global Warming 3

Part IV: Political Progress: Fighting Global Warming Nationally and Internationally 3

Part V: Solving the Problem 3

Part VI: The Part of Tens 4

Icons Used in This Book 4

Where to Go from Here 5

Part I: Understanding Global Warming 7

Chapter 1: Global Warming Basics 9

Global Warming 101 9

Heating things up with greenhouse gases 10

Investigating other causes of global warming 10

The Roots of Global Warming 11

Fueling global warming 11

Heating up over deforestation 11

Examining the Effects of Global Warming Around the World 12

The United States and Canada 12

Latin America 14

Europe 14

Africa 15

Asia 16

Australia & New Zealand 16

Small islands 17

Polar regions 18

Positive Politics: Governments and Global Warming 19

Making a difference from city hall to the nation's capital 19

Working with a global government 19

Helping developing countries 20

Solving the Problem 20

Changing to alternative energies 21

Getting down to business 21

Making it personal 22

Chapter 2: The Greenhouse We Live In 25

The Greenhouse Effect 101 25

Carbon Dioxide: Leader of the Pack 27

Looking at the carbon cycle 28

Investigating our impact on the carbon cycle 34

Looking at the Other Greenhouse Gases 35

Methane (CH4) 36

Nitrous Oxide (N2O) 38

Hexafluoro-what? 38

Other players on the greenhouse gas bench 39

Chapter 3: The Big Deal About Carbon 43

Considering Causes of Global Warming Other than

Greenhouse Gases 43

Solar cycles 44

Cloud cover 44

Long-term climate trends 46

Making the Case for Carbon 47

The Consequences of Continued Carbon Dioxide Increases 49

The tipping point 50

A few degrees is a lot 52

What happens when the mercury rises 53

Cutting Back on Carbon 53

Part U: Tracking Down the Causes 57

Chapter 4: Living in the Dark Ages of Fossil Fuels 59

From Fossils to Fuel 59

Examining the Different Types of Fossil Fuels 62

Coal 62

Oil 63

Natural gas 65

Fuelling Civilization's Growth: Adding to the Greenhouse Effect 67

Chapter 5: Getting Right to the Source: The Big Emitters 71

Power to the People: Energy Use 71

Producing electricity 72

Using up energy in buildings 73

Powering industry 74

The Road to Ruin: Transportation and Greenhouse Gases 77

Cheap goods at a high price to the climate 77

Keep on truckin' 78

Draining Our Carbon Sinks: Land Use 79

Timber! Deforestation 79

Down on the farm: Agriculture and livestock 80

Chapter 6: Taking It Personally: Individual Sources of Emissions. . .83

Driving Up Emissions: Transportation and Greenhouse Gases 84

Driving 84

Flying 85

Using Energy Around the House 86

Climate control 87

Electric appliances 88

We Are What We Eat: Food and Carbon 89

Wasting Away 90

Part HI: Examining the Effects of Global Warming 93

Chapter 7: Not-So-Natural Disasters 95

H2 Oh No: Watery Disasters 95

Rising sea levels 96

Melting mountain glaciers 98

Putting a brake on the Gulf Stream 100

Rainfall (or lack thereof) 103

Flooding 103

Freshwater contamination 104

Stormy Weather: More Intense Storms and Hurricanes 104

Forest Fires: If a Tree Dries Out in the Forest 105

Turning Up the Heat 106

The Negative Side Effects of Positive Feedback Loops 107

Chapter 8: Risking Flora and Fauna: Impacts on Plants and Animals 111

Understanding the Stresses on Ecosystems 112

Warming the World's Waters: Threats to the Underwater World 114

Under the sea 114

Lakes, rivers, wetlands, and bogs 118

Risking Our Forests 119

Tropical 119

Boreal 120

Preparing for Mass Extinctions 121

Life's no beach: Endangered tropical species 122

Thin ice: Polar bears and other polar animals 123

Chapter 9: Hitting Home: Global Warming's

Direct Effect on People 125

Health Scare: Outbreaks and Diseases 126

Malaria 126

Cholera 128

Other problems worsened by global warming 128

Putting Pressure on the Fields 130

Affecting farmers 130

Hurting the global food supply 131

Paying the Price for Global Warming 132

Highways, waterworks, and the other stuff humans build 133

An unfair split: Costs to the industrialized and developing nations 134

Feeling the Heat First: Unequal Effects 135

Northern communities 136

People in poverty 138

Women 138

Part JV: Political Progress: Fighting

Global Warming Nationally and Internationally 141

Chapter 10: Voting for Your Future: What Governments Can Do____143

If They Had a Million Dollars . . . (Wait — They Do!) 144

Creating incentives 145

Planning for emissions trading 146

Putting programs into place 147

Cleaning up transportation 152

Redefining long-term investments 154

Laying Down the Law 156

Improving building regulations 156

Regulating energy use 157

Taxing the polluters 158

Success Stories 160

Cities and towns 160

States, provinces, and territories 162

Countries 165

Chapter 11: Beyond Borders: Progress on a Global Level 167

Why Global Agreements Are Important 168

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 169

Establishing a game plan 171

Dividing up the parties 171

Looking at the Kyoto Protocol 172

Setting targets 172

Adding flexibility 175

Ratifying Kyoto 177

The World's Authority on Global Warming: The IPCC 178

Getting to know the IPCC 178

Reading the reports 179

Chapter 12: Developing in the Face of Global Warming 181

Growing Concerns 181

Promising Developments: China, Brazil, and India 183

China 185

Brazil 186

India 190

Choosing Sustainable Development 192

What developing countries can do 192

How industrialized countries can help 195

Part V: Solving the Problem 199

Chapter 13: A Whole New World of Energy 201

Changing the Way Civilization Uses Oil 201

Prioritizing and conserving fossil fuel use 202

Combining heat and power 202

Using oil efficiently 204

Changing How to Handle Fossil Fuel's Emissions 204

Capturing and storing carbon dioxide 205

Considering carbon capture cons 207

Investigating Renewable Energy Options 208

Blowin' in the wind 209

Here comes the sun 211

Heat from the ground up 214

Hydropower 215

Ocean power 216

From plants to energy 217

Nothing wasted 218

Exploring Another Non-Renewable Energy Source: Nuclear Power 221

Understanding nuclear power 221

Looking at the positives 222

Weighing the negatives 222

Chapter 14: Show Me the Money: Business and Industrial Solutions 225

Processing and Manufacturing Efficiently 226

Taking steps to conserve energy 226

Using energy efficiently 227

Considering individual industries 229

Trading Carbon between Manufacturers 230

Building Greener Buildings 231

Cutting back on heating and cooling 232

Exploring energy alternatives 232

Certifying new buildings 233

Corporate Success Stories 234

Support from the Professional Service Sector 236

Banking on the environment 236

Insuring against climate change 236

Making it legal 237

Farming and Forestry 238

Supplying bio-fuels 238

Improving land management 238

Chapter 15: Activists without Borders:

Non-Governmental Organizations 243

Understanding What Non-Governmental Organizations Do 244

Educating people 244

Keeping watch 245

Getting the word out 245

Working with industry and government 246

Meeting This Generation 249

The importance of youth 250

Groups that speak up 251

Getting Involved 251

Seeking out groups 252

Helping out 252

Chapter 16: Lights, Camera, Action: The Media and Global Warming 255

Growing News Coverage 255

Bias and balance: Distorting the story 256

Consider the source: Being an informed media consumer 257

Science on the Red Carpet 258

Movies: Facts and (science) fiction 258

Following the stars 261

Worldwide Warming: Climate Change Blogs 263

Bestselling Books: Reading between the Lines 265

True stories 265

Fiction and fairytales 266

Chapter 17: Taking the High Road 267

Opting Out of Automobiles 267

Choosing where you live 268

Stepping in the right direction 268

Putting the pedal to the metal (of your bike, that is) 268

Taking mass transit 269

What You Never Learned in Driver's Ed 272

Choosing a climate-friendly car 272

Helping out the environment with a hybrid 275

Driving on a dime: Ways to use less gas 276

Sharing a ride 278

Watching for upcoming car technologies 279

Joining the Real Mile-High Club 281

Choosing when to fly 281

Traveling guilt-free by using carbon offsets 281

Chapter 18: Making a Difference at Home and Work 285

Home, Carbon-Free Home 285

Heating and cooling 286

Insulation 290

Appliances and electronics 291

Lighting 294

Warm waters 295

Green Developments: Building or Renovating 296

Powerful Changes: Renewable Energy 298

Cutting Back on Waste 300

Producing less garbage 300

Recycling 301

Composting 302

Chewing on Food Choices 303

Avoiding the big chill 303

Opting for unprocessed 303

Minimizing meat 304

Buying local produce 305

Choosing organic 305

Cooking up fewer greenhouse gases 306

Eco-Shopping 307

Clothes make an environmental statement 307

Home furnishings 309

Creating a Green Workplace 309

Part VI: The Part of Tens 311

Chapter 19: Ten Things You Can Do Today to Slow Global Warming 313

Driving Smart 313

Supporting Clean, Renewable Energy 314

Buttoning Up Your House 315

Bringing Climate Change to Work 315

Going Vegetarian or Vegan (Sort Of) 316

Buying Energy-Efficient Electronics and Appliances 316

Launching a Local Campaign 317

Writing to Your Leaders 318

Spreading the Word 318

Getting (Or Making) a Green Collar Job 319

Chapter 20: Ten Inspiring Leaders in the Fight

Against Global Warming 321

The Politicians 321

Angela Merkel 321

Arnold Schwarzenegger 322

The Wordsmiths 322

Tim Flannery 322

George Monbiot 323

The Activists 323

Al Gore 323

Wangari Maathai 324

Sheila Watt-Cloutier 324

The Scientists 325

James Hansen 325

Rajendra Pachauri 325

The Business Leader 326

Chapter 21: Top Ten Myths about Global Warming 327

A Big Scientific Debate Exists 327

The Warming Weather Is Natural 328

Carbon Dioxide Isn't a Big Factor 329

Global Warming Is Caused by Changes in the Sun 329

Scientists Exaggerate to Get More Funding 330

Science and Technology Will Fix It 330

Developing Countries Will Only Make Matters Worse 331

Vanishing Arctic Ice Will Help the Economy 331

People Can Adapt 332

Scientific Models Don't Accurately Project the Future 333

Chapter 22: Ten Online Global Warming Resources 335

Never Too Young: EcoKids 335

Sticking with the Science 336

Going Governmental 336

Australia 337

Canada 337

United Kingdom 337

United States 338

We've Got the Power: International Energy Agency 338

Thinking Globally 339

Gateway to the UN System's Work on Climate Change 339

The Pew Center on Global Climate Change 340

International Institute on Sustainable Development 340


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Solar Panel Basics

Solar Panel Basics

Global warming is a huge problem which will significantly affect every country in the world. Many people all over the world are trying to do whatever they can to help combat the effects of global warming. One of the ways that people can fight global warming is to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources like oil and petroleum based products.

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