At first glance, cows appear as important livestock that only provides benefits to humans. However, their role in polluting the environment and contributing to climate change should not be overlooked. For instance, a direct impact is caused by livestock factories, which are usually large-scale and create such issues as air and water pollution (Hassenzahl et al.). The former is responsible for the greenhouse effect, a precursor to global warming (Hassenzahl et al.). The latter’s effect is subtler, and cows outside of industrial buildings also produce tons of waste that later happens to be in water bodies (Hassenzahl et al.). The connection between water pollution and climate change is only probable, but waste concentration is said to emit greenhouse gases and hinder photosynthesis (Inyinbor et al. 44). Another environmental impact comes from land conversion caused by overgrazing when cows consume all vegetation in the area, which cannot be recovered (Hassenzahl et al.). Afterward, land degradation occurs and potentially leads to desertification, where plants cannot be sustained to absorb oxygen dioxide (Hassenzahl et al.). Overall, cows affect water and flora, both of which are instrumental in combating climate change.
Out of the three, cars arguably have the most prominent role in destabilizing the Earth’s climate. They are linked with extensive carbon dioxide burning, which is a greenhouse gas responsible for the increase in temperature (Hassenzahl et al.). Additionally, automobiles are involved in the process of releasing volatile organic compounds, contributing to photochemical smog production and affecting the lower levels of the atmosphere (Hassenzahl et al.). The share of vehicles is more than half, and one can consider factories for manufacturing cars as an extension of their adverse impacts on climate (Hassenzahl et al.). Photochemical smog also damages plant tissues, which makes the function of carbon dioxide absorption difficult or impossible to perform (Hassenzahl et al.). Furthermore, emission from automobiles causes an urban heat island, which affects a city’s weather conditions in summer and, in turn, forms dust domes, which spreads to rural areas (Hassenzahl et al.). While new models are more sustainable and energy-efficient than older ones, some people cannot afford them, which is particularly evident in developing countries, and continue contributing to the issue (Hassenzahl et al.). Altogether, carbon dioxide burning makes cars detrimental to the atmosphere.
Chainsaws are probably the most surprising component suggested by Lovelock, but they still, directly and indirectly, contribute to climate change. An example of the former would be methane, which is a greenhouse gas, produced by their engines (Dimou et al. 1598). Ground-ozone formation is a secondary effect, and its adverse role in local climate destabilization was previously discussed (Dimou et al. 1598). The issue mostly applies to so-called conventional chainsaws, but they are also the most common, making the overall effect on the atmosphere more pronounced (Dimou et al. 1607). The indirect way in which chainsaws contribute to climate change is being used as a tool of deforestation (Hassenzahl et al.). The process leads to change in local climate; for instance, several Brazilian regions have become warmer and drier, which can be characterized by less frequent rainfall and increased droughts (Hassenzahl et al.). Eventually, the consequences might spread to the global level, as forests will stop performing their carbon dioxide absorption function properly (Hassenzahl et al.). In conclusion, chainsaws contribute to climate change through methane emissions and serving as a deforestation instrument.
Dimou, Vasiliki, et al. “Comparative Analysis of Exhaust Emissions Caused by Chainsaws with Soft Computing and Statistical Approaches.” International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, vol. 15, no. 7, 2017, pp. 1597–1608. SpringerLink.
Hassenzahl, David M., et al. Environment. E-book, 10th ed., John Wiley & Sons, 2018.
Inyinbor, Adejumoke A., et al. “Water Pollution: Effects, Prevention, and Climatic Impact.” Water Challenges of an Urbanizing World, edited by Matjaž Glavan, IntechOpen, 2018, pp. 33-53.