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Research paper topic: The Greenhouse Effect, Nuclear Contamination, Toxic Chemicals, Oil Spills, Air Pollution, Water Pollution: These Are All Issu - 1014 words
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The greenhouse effect, nuclear contamination, toxic chemicals, oil spills, air pollution, water pollution: these are all issues that affect every single living being on this planet we call home. The environment and issues pertaining to the environment apply directly to the entire world. Greenpeace, an international environmental organization that is dedicated to preserving the earths natural resources, addresses these numerous environmental issues through peaceful campaigning and demonstrations. Members of the "Dont Make a Wave Committee" founded Greenpeace in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1971. The "Dont Make a Wave Committee" was a small group opposed to nuclear weapons testing by the United States military in Alaska. Later, the committee changed its name to Greenpeace to echo its greater goal of creating a green and peaceful world. Greenpeace has more than forty offices in 30 countries with its headquarters in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
It is a growing organization that has dedicated a lot of time and manpower to making this world a better and safer place for its inhabitants. Through peacefully lobbying and demonstration, Greenpeace has affected change for the better and, hopefully, will continue to do so in the future. The main issues that Greenpeace concerns itself with include climate changes, toxic chemicals, and nuclear disarmament and contamination. Greenpeace has acknowledged that one of the greatest threats to the planet is global climate change. Scientists and governments alike have all established that the problem is serious and real.
In 1997, industrialized countries agreed at the climate summit in Kyoto to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases they pump into the atmosphere. However, little real action is being taken to address the problem. The efforts of Greenpeace on this issue include campaigning for governments to face up to their responsibilities and address the problem. Greenpeace believes that governments should be leading the way to a new energy direction based on renewable energy like wind or solar power. At present many governments are instead using taxpayers money to support companies that spend billions of dollars on development of coal, oil or gas.
These fossil fuels, by releasing carbon into the atmosphere, are the leading cause for climate change. Scientist estimate that there is a "safe" limit for climate change and that we can only release a limited amount of carbon into the atmosphere. Greenpeace calculated this amount of carbon within the range of 112.5 to 337.5 billion tons of carbon over the next 100 years. They claim that industry has already four times this amount of carbon in reserves of fossil fuels. If fossil fuels continue to be burned at the present levels, the "safe" limit will be reached in about 40 years. That is why Greenpeace advocates reducing carbon dioxide emissions and phasing out the use of fossil fuels. Greenpeace believes that we are in a second world oil crisis. The first crisis in the 1970s was a shortage of oil.
Presently, the crisis is that we have too much oil. Greenpeace claims that instead of spending money on new oil exploration, corporations should instead spend money on converting to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar energy. Oil companies like Exxon, Shell, Mobil and BP continuously expand their search for oil, exploring remote areas previously too expensive or too harsh to consider. Greenpeace, in an effort to stop this, campaigns against new oil exploration. They lobby governments to stop encouraging oil companies to extend their reach. They also challenge oil industries to stop exploring for more oil and switch to investment in renewable energy. Greenpeace is concentrating its efforts on halting oil expansion on two fronts: the Arctic in Northern Alaska and the Atlantic Frontier in the wild ocean to the north and west of Ireland, Scotland and Norway.
Greenpeace has strong convictions and believes firmly that it is possible to change to renewable energy. Toxic chemicals are a second concern for Greenpeace. The Greenpeace International Toxics Campaign is the campaign of Greenpeace that seeks to end the manufacture, use, trade, and disposal of hazardous toxic chemicals. Greenpeace Toxic activists raise the awareness of toxic pollution and encourage governments and industries to convert to clean modes of production. POPs, or persistent organic pollutants, are the worst toxics in the environment today.
These substances are toxic in small amounts and travel long distances in the air currents. Therefore, they endanger people and wildlife all over the world. POPs are also carried into polar environments where they condense and are deposited. This accounts for the high concentrations of POPs in arctic environments. Another problem with POPs is that they are persistent. That is, they cannot easily be broken down and if they are, chemicals that are even more hazardous are created.
Dioxin is an example of one of the most poisonous POPs. Plastics are another concern for Greenpeace. PVC (both soft and hard) is one of the most widely used types of plastics. It is used in everything from packaging in cling film and bottles, to credit cards and audio records, for construction in window frames and cables and in pipes, flooring, and wallpaper. It is also used by manufacturers in cars, and in hospitals for medical disposables. The problem with these plastics is that in the production of PVC, dioxins are created and released and, over their lifetime, PVC products can leak harmful additives.
In addition, the only way to dispose of PVC is to either burn or bury it. In burning PVC, dioxins and other chlorine-containing compounds are released and these contaminate the environment. Recycling attempts have proven difficult. Another problem with PVC lies in the addition of phthalates, which makes PVC flexible and soft. Laboratory testing proves that these chemicals are hazardous to the health of individuals and children can ingest these hazardous chemicals from PVC toys.
Greenpeace has lobbied governments to take action and the results are that some governments are restricting PVC use. Hundreds of communities are eliminating PVC in buildings and many companies like Nike, IKEA, and the Body Shop have committed themselves to eliminating PVC from their products. Toxic trade is another issue involving Greenpeace. Greenpeace has documented several cases where indust ...
Research paper topics, free term papers, essays, sample research papers on The Greenhouse Effect, Nuclear Contamination, Toxic Chemicals, Oil Spills, Air Pollution, Water Pollution: These Are All Issu