When it all started?

Deforestation  When it all started?

Daniel Quinn in his book 'Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit' has written-

"Any species that exempts itself from the rules of competition ends up destroying the community in order to support its own expansion."

Humans did the same in order to achieve their selfish motives and now they are living under the fear of environmental destruction, which in turn will destruct them. The most developed is trying to tell the underdeveloped to control the environmental damage they posses due to industrialization in the wake of development. Environmentalists say that such extreme environmental deterioration is an after-cause of widespread industrialization. Going by facts, we can tell that industrial revolution started in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840. Does this mean that environment earlier to that period was untouched or undamaged?

Scientists focused on the history of climate change in the early 19th century when the natural greenhouse effects were first identified, but it all started when early humans used a land clearing method involving burning of forests, then planting crop seed among the dead stumps in the enriched soil. Large plots were utilized for cultivation until the yield show signs of declination. They used to clear forests at least four to five more than required for farming. With the growth of the population only, more effective crop yielding techniques were developed, so that from lesser area more crops can be obtained.

However, we cannot blame farmers of that age for environmental destruction. New studies show that even the hunter-gatherer managed to affect their environment, through the use of fire, trans-location of animals and altering the marine ecosystem. The moot point is that in early times it was it was not easy to adopt green techniques to survive mainly because of less knowledge. Therefore, it can be said that the ancient man had no choice and most of the damage was unintentional. In addition, there was no one to tell them the Inconvenient Truth.

Still from ancient time people were able to observe that in future the climate will not remain same for a particular region. For example, Theophrastus, a pupil of Aristotle, identified that draining of marshes had made a particular locality more susceptible to freezing. He also noticed that, as forests would be cleared away which will make surface temperature of earth to increase due to more exposure in sunlight.

The most striking change in climate however started when forests area were converted to croplands. With deforestation rainfall gradually started to shrink and available rainwater ran off rapidly in useless floods.

Later In 1896 Svante Arrhenius calculated the effect of a doubling atmospheric carbon dioxide to be an increase in surface temperatures of 5-6 degrees Celsius, which was attributed as first calculations of human-induced climate change. Then in between1950 to 1960, scientists found that CO2 released from fossil fuels was not immediately absorbed by the ocean. This led to more arguments and mounted concerns over upcoming problems by carbon dioxide emissions, with some projecting in 1959 that carbon dioxide would rise 25% by the year 2000, with potentially "radical" effects.

IndustrializationWith time the damage to environment was overtook by rapid growth of industrialization. Industries became responsible for all round environmental damage even operating under stringent norm and conditions framed by the governments of various countries.

It was not until the 1970s that many scientists began to believe that a dangerous trend was taking place. In July 1979, the United States National Research Council published a report, a part of which states that:

'When it is assumed that the CO2 content of the atmosphere is doubled and statistical thermal equilibrium is achieved, the more realistic of the modeling efforts predict a global surface warming of between 2°C and 3.5°C, with greater increases at high latitudes. … we have tried but have been unable to find any overlooked or underestimated physical effects that could reduce the currently estimated global warmings due to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 to negligible proportions or reverse them altogether.'

In the same decade British scientist, James Lovelock figured out that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) could have a global warming effect. In 1988 consensus began alerting public to the upcoming dangers of climate change. The adequate measures to restrict global warming were drawn but their worldwide implementation is yet to achieve.

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