Environmental Issues, Outline Example

I. Introduction

A. Although many people don’t believe that global warming is real, there is a substantial amount of scientific evidence available that proves otherwise. It is essential that humans recognize their contribution to the decline of the environment and work towards making changes that will reverse this process.

II. Body paragraph #1 – Global warming traps toxic gasses in the atmosphere.

A. Supporting Evidence

1. In his 2006 documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth”, former presidential candidate Al Gore states, “Global warming, along with the cutting and burning of forests and other critical habitats, is causing the loss of living species at a level comparable to the extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. That event was believed to have been caused by a giant asteroid. This time it is not an asteroid colliding with the Earth and wreaking havoc: it is us” (Guggenheim, 2006).

B. Explanation

1. Many of our daily activities contribute to the increase of greenhouse gasses in the environment. Modern humans rely on many technological advances that personally benefit them but damage the environment. Factories, automobiles, and gas power all contribute to toxic gasses in the atmosphere.

C. So What?

1. One fossil fuel by-product, carbon dioxide becomes trapped in the atmosphere when it is released and contributes directly to the planets rise in temperature.

2. In addition, carbon dioxide creates holes in the ozone layer which exposes life on this planet to harmful UV rays.

III. Body paragraph #2 – Global warming leads to rising seawater levels over time.

A. Scientists have conducted many experiments that demonstrate that greenhouse gasses increase the temperature of the planet and lead to the melting of polar ice caps.

1. This Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory traced the patterns of greenhouse warming over time and concluded that water levels have been rising proportionally with the increase in the planet’s temperature (NOAA, 2007).

2. When the seawater level rises, it diminishes our current coastlines and damages the ecosystems of many land animals.

B. Explanation

1. NOAA Crest plotted the temperature change of areas across the globe and found that warmer temperatures have been trending over the past 40 years.

2. The increase of temperature is directly related to the increase of fossil fuel pollution. In addition, this phenomenon is accompanied by more precipitation.

C. So What?

1. More precipitation and higher temperatures mean that coastlines of many geographical regions will not exist in a few years, which will require humans who live there to relocate from their homes.

2. More precipitation and warmer weather may lead to more extreme weather patterns that can lead to catastrophes similar to what happened during Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy.

IV. Body paragraph #3 – It is possible to slow down the effects of global warming.

A. Professionals believe that in the near future it may be possible to capture carbon from the atmosphere and recycle it ourselves.

B. Scientific processes that are in development include artificial trees, enhanced weathering, bio-energy with carbon capture and storage, biochar, and scrubbing towers

C. So What? While humans will still have to limit the amount of fossil fuels they use, carbon capturing technology will allow us to still access some of the devices that make our lives easier while still protecting and reversing the negative effects that humans have had on the environment

V. Conclusion

A. Experiments conducted by the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in addition to human observation made over a series of years have demonstrated that global warming is a real phenomenon and it does contribute to the rise of seawater levels. Since humans are directly impacted by the environment, they should take care to live their lives in the most sustainable ways possible.

B. In his quote, Al Gore compares us to a meteoroid destroying life on Earth. Unlike the meteoroid, we are able to reverse this damage and should because our lives depend on it. We should start doing this by supporting scientific research and educating others about what they can do to reduce their carbon footprint. If we all work together, we can make a real difference.


DiMento, JFC, Doughman, PM. (2007). Climate Change: What It Means for Us, Our Children, and Our Grandchildren. The MIT Press, p. 3. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=PXJIqCkb7YIC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_g

Guggenheim, D. (Director). (2006). An inconvenient truth: A global warning [DVD]. Hollywood: Paramount.

NOAA. (2007). Patterns of greenhouse warming. GFDL Climate Modeling Research Highlights. Retrieved from http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/cms-filesystem- action/user_files/kd/pdf/gfdlhighlight_vol1n6.pdf