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How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting global warming? Show more Show less
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COVID-19 has changed the way we work, live, travel and engage with the world. The quarantine measures imposed by many countries in its wake have kept many of us locked indoors. The environment too has been radically impacted as air pollution reduces, CO2 emissions tumble, and animals return to cities. Will the pandemic have long-term impact on the environment and global warming?

The coronavirus is having a positive effect on global warming Show more Show less

Global warming has become a major issue as the years go by. Scientists are afraid that carbon emissions will cause degradation of the earth’s atmosphere and subject the planet to environmental catastrophe. Thankfully, the coronavirus has been aiding the efforts of stopping global warming.
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The lack of people using carbon fueled transport reduces global warming

Carbon emissions mainly come from vehicles such as cars and buses. The pollution they give off destroys ozone particles. But with everyone indoors most of the time due to the coronavirus outbreak, transportation has become limited.

Context

In 1975, scientists found trace amounts of airplane fuel gas in the ozone layer. Because of the gases, the ozone layer surrounding earth was believed to be in danger. The ozone layer is a part of the earth’s atmosphere that keeps a large amount of the sun’s heat and ultraviolet rays from negatively affecting humans and the environment. To try and reduce emissions, scientists and activists have tried to find solutions. COVID-19 (coronavirus) broke out in China during December 2019. In January 2020, the virus spread to other countries like Thailand and Japan. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic. As each country had the virus spread, people have been ordered to self-quarantine. Self-quarantine has reduced many outdoor activities.

The Argument

Global warming has been a problem for many years. In 1975, scientists were afraid that airplane fuel gas would rip apart the ozone layer over time. Not a lot of people were concerned until 2015. More and more evidence suggested that carbon emissions specifically caused the warming of the earth’s environment by degrading the ozone layer. Vehicles like cars, buses, and trains release a lot of carbon emissions. In populated areas such as big cities are big contributors to the problem because of the number of cars in them. The more cars, buses, and trains exist around the world, the more gas that will be released. But there are solutions. One solution is to invest in other modes of transportation such as walking or riding bikes. This has proven to be more conventional now considering that the coronavirus has put society into self-quarantine. Vehicles are either not used at all these days or their use has been reduced. With fewer vehicles comes less carbon emission.

Counter arguments

Vehicles aren’t the only carbon-emitting mechanics. Carbon emission is the release of carbon dioxide into the earth’s atmosphere. Carbon does come from vehicles. But they’re rivaled with a much more subtle carbon emitter. Electricity also gives off carbon emissions. Electricity itself is not what gives off carbon. However, the way society makes electricity is what causes large amounts of carbon. The most common way of getting electricity is by burning coal at a power plant. The power plant or coal mill crushes the coal to be burned easier. Once burned, the heat comes in contact with cool water making steam. This steam is then funneled through to metal propellers in a magnetic field. Once the propellers turn at a high rate of speed, they generate electricity. These coal mills and power plants make up over a third of the world’s electricity.[1] But they come at a price. Air pollution is an unfortunate side effect of burning so much coal. Now that society is inside, people rely on electricity a lot more than they ever have. Thus, a solution should be found for electricity instead of transportation.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Cars and other modes of transportation contribute to global warming. [P2] Reducing transportation will decrease global warming over time.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Electricity powered by coal-burning also contributes to global warming. [Rejecting P2] Finding new ways to gain electricity is also important to decrease global warming.

References

  1. https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/15-countries-most-dependent-on-coal-for-energy.html

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This page was last edited on Thursday, 6 Aug 2020 at 14:15 UTC