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NAME:   MONICA RIVAS                         DATE:   11/07/2005

COURSE:   ESL91                                                 ESSAY:   #3


Dear Dr. Singer:


My name is Monica Rivas; I am an ESL student at Kingsborough Community College.  I have read very carefully your interview presented by Frontline/NOVA about the controversial topic “What’s up with the weather”.  I have also read many topics about this subject, written by other specialists in climate warming.  Based on what I have read and seen I am writing this letter to you with all my respect, to let you know that I agree on certain points you explain, but also disagree on others.  Especially when you state that the intervention of human beings is not in a big scale to be considered as a negative influence in climate changes. 


I am convinced and aware, that climate change is a natural phenomenon existing from the beginning of the history, which is your answer in the first question.  There have been a lot of disasters in the past due to the volcanoes and hurricanes with terrible consequences.  According to documents left by Chinese historians; for example, the eruption of the volcano Santorini around 1600 B.C., contributed to the disappearance of the eastern Mediterranean.  All population through the world has suffered great famine and diseases, as well as the earth.  For example in China stars were not seen for three months, according to the Chinese Table of Dynastic Records, in 208 B.C.  Also, several geological and archaeological analyses concerning climate history show that our ancestors were not conscious about the relationship between volcanoes on the other sides of the world and dramatic climate changes in their lands.  These past events show that, even though all data are ambiguous like you say, they are real and it is clear to see the impact of global warming all around the world.



Of course, the history of climate change is also the history of human adaptation to climate change, like you also confirm.  Humans have found means for survival.  But historically, climate tragedies like flooding have caused mass migrations toward wealthier countries, especially the USA, making the things worse since migration increases population forcing them to live within the coastline.  An insignificant increase of the sea level in these sites has substantial effects, making their future uncertain.  That is the recent case of Hurricane Katrina with devastating impacts in all that population, where the majority of people were immigrant.  Now they are facing poverty, sickness, homelessness; among others.  That could be the answer to your question: “what is the effect of this additional water vapor in the atmosphere?”


According to some predictions, about 10 million residents of Bangladesh will lose their homes and means of sustenance because of the rising sea level due to global warming in the next few decades; and not only Bangladesh but also up to 60 percent of the present population of Florida may have to be relocated.  The questions now are:  where will they go?  Who is going to help them?  What political conflicts will result?


You also mentioned that carbon dioxide is not exactly the reason for this warming; you said this will never double in the atmosphere and that it is plants food.  However, reliable research extracted from Preliminary Air Pollution Survey of Biological Aerosols, APTD 69-30 have proved that burning fossil fuels creates still more CO2 (carbon dioxide).  It is in enclosed places like tunnels, highway, with high density traffic. This is a serious source that may cause physical problems: headaches, loss of vision and decrease of muscular coordination.  Vegetation will also die since it has an indirect effect on producing a free-living bacteria found in the root of some plants, which will no longer exist due to lack of nitrogen.


As well as carbon dioxide, there are innumerable types of diseases caused by other pollutants in the air.  Asbestos is another serious pollutant found in asbestos factories or mines and in construction sites.  The effects will produce pulmonary Fibrosis, pleural calcification and lung cancer, not to mention the flora and fauna changes.  A well known strong pollutant and poisonous is also Lead; automobiles emit leaded gasoline which are absorbed through gastrointestinal and respiratory tract and deposited in mucous membrane of nose, throat and in the lungs; when the quantity of lead reaches a high level, it interferes with development of red blood cells and the production of hemoglobin.


It is well known also for people who have read the Bible that there is warning to the humanity to be prepared for climate fluctuations; this confirms to us that these disasters come from some Mother Nature factors.  Although, we should not deny that the humanity is also contributing to change the climate of the entire globe in a vital and fast way.  As a society, we have the responsibility not to sit back and do virtually nothing to address the principal causes of this catastrophe.  Instead, we should ask ourselves what we should do to decrease this risk, especially in fragile, densely populated areas.


The era in which we are living now is called Cenozoic Era.  It began with the disappearance of the dinosaurs, 65 million years ago. Now because human beings are destroying as many as half of all the living species on earth; the end of the Cenozoic Era is coming to an end.  Ancient cultures have disappeared because of our actions.  Anthropologists, evolutionary biologists and climate specialists have come together in a new discovery.  Human evolution itself was shaped by dramatic transitions in global climate patterns during the last six million years.  This could not be just because of a slightly warming like you say, and it was detectable.


Our children could face not only a year without a winter, but a decade without a winter and you said that everybody is going to like living in summer.  But the question is, what comes next? It will be better to prevent the chaos instead of scrambling with earth.  Once civilization feared Nature’s change, the earth must now suffer ours, unless we help to maintain a nature’s balance.  There is a natural and human-made relation and is our choice to let this relationship be a continuous adventure or a tragedy involved in mystery.


To conclude this letter I want to tell you that, as a human being I have hope for the future.  Every day I see the beauty of the world and I believe in the healing power of nature.  One person can make the difference by being a good example for other people.  Also be conscious that even though we can not avoid the nature’s development, at least we must try to reduce the impacts of climate changes.  In order to reduce disasters such as: hurricanes, earthquakes, soil exhaustion, water loss and over population; we have to learn how to work with nature and not against it








-         Painter, E Dean; “Air Pollution Technology”, Reston Publishing Company Inc.

-          1916

-         “Earth in the Balance”, Climate and Civilization; Article.