Jan 08, 2018

It’s Getting Hot in Here

Lauren Baltas writes about industrial water's impact on climate change

If you don’t believe in climate change—keep reading. If you do believe in climate change—keep reading.

In my previous editorial letters, I discussed major weather events such as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and pollution. In other words, I discussed a result and cause of climate change. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, industrial and agricultural activities are a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. Climate change causes the extreme weather events we have begun to see, such as droughts and hurricanes; rising temperatures and sea levels; and loss of ice in the arctic, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Around the world, different countries are discussing the harms and, surprisingly, benefits of climate change. For example, in Ireland, the national Environmental Protection Agency marks dairy farming and energy industry emissions as key drivers for greenhouse gas emissions in the country, increasing emissions by 2.7% and 6.1%, respectively.

Alternatively, research from Canada shows that climate change will encourage barley production in the country, thus bolstering the beef industry. The Edmonton Journal noted that research out of the University of Alberta shows that increased greenhouse gas emissions will feed rain-fed and irrigated barley, and the plants will, in turn, require less water. The Journal added that most of the water used in beef production is for feed, meaning overall water consumption will decrease.

While I can’t say I agree that global warming is positive, I’ll concede that with a growing global population, we require more water and food. However, this small “benefit,” as the Journal describes it, does not negate the negative effects of climate change.

What are your thoughts? Share them with me at [email protected].

About the author

Lauren Baltas is the managing editor of Storm Water Solutions. Baltas can be reached at [email protected]

expand_less