Climate Change the effects of climate change on earth and its population

Glossary

Untenable- means being unable to be defended from an attack (point of view mostly)

Orthodox- means mostly mainstream or regular.

Greenhouse effect- The warming of the earth's temperature.

Catastrophic- a major disaster

Bio-degradable- an item that is dissolved into the earth quickly without polluting

Eco-friendly- is when someone or something doesn’t have an negative impact on the environment, but a positive effect.

How does climate change affect planet earth?

Climate change is a serious issue in the modern world that affects the planet in a catastrophic way. There are many different ways the climate is affecting earth such as increasing temperatures resulting in the melting of the polar ice caps and glaciers. In addition, hurricanes will become increasingly more powerful and there will be more natural disasters. As NASA states, “Effects that scientists had predicted in the past would result from global climate change are now occurring: loss of sea ice, accelerated sea level rise and longer, more intense heat waves.” These are not events that are going to be happening in the far future, but events that are happening right now. While these may just seem like words with no evidence to back them up, but the United States Environmental Protection Agency says,” Depending on future emissions of greenhouse effect gases and how the climate responds, average global temperatures are projected to increase untenably worldwide by 0.5°F to 8.6°F by 2100, with a likely increase of at least 2.0°F for all scenarios.” This proves NASA's claims about the warming earth and gives ground to other important claims by NASA. Planet Earth is in trouble and Measures need to be taken in order to save future generations from consequences we have created.

What measures must be taken in order to prevent climate change?

Climate change is affecting today and the future; there are many ways to prevent it and it’s devastating effects. Some orthodox paths of action are to cut down less trees, use bio-degradable products, support legislation for stricter climate laws, find replacements for fossil fuels and create more eco-friendly power plants. As David Biello, a writer for Scientific American says, “The first challenge is eliminating the burning of coal, oil and, eventually, natural gas. This is perhaps the most daunting challenge as denizens of richer nations literally eat, wear, work, play and even sleep on the products made from such fossilized sunshine.” The burning of fossil fuels is heavily relied upon in most countries and this is something that must change in order for the climate to remain as it is. In order to get rid of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, better alternatives must be found and it must be supported through the world's governments and world leaders for the changes to actually happen. Taking action to help the climate would improve the U.S. economy and actually does more for it than standing idly by and doing nothing. Cost of Climate Change: What We’ll Pay if Global Warming Continues Unchecked, shows that doing nothing on global warming could cost the U.S. economy more than 3.6% of GDP (or $3.8 trillion) annually by 2100. This shows that environmental restrictions are needed and laws must be passed so that the conditions don’t continue to get increasingly worse.

Do more laws need to be passed to prevent climate change?

World leaders need to support climate change laws that should be approved to regulate small and large corporation’s carbon footprints to better the air and environment for the world. In order for the world temperature to lower, all leaders must reach an agreement that they must do everything they can to prevent it including setting restrictions and strict policies about greenhouse gas emissions from big factories to the smallest businesses.As the New York Times says about President Obama,”He enacted rules to cut planet-heating emissions across much of the United States economy, from cars to coal plants. He was a central broker of the Paris climate agreement, the first accord committing nearly every country to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” These are actions being taken right now to help better the world, but more laws must be passed to curb stomp the rise in world temperature and prevent the warming of the planet and mass extinction of many wildlife species. The New Republic says,”If the United States were serious about curbing carbon emissions, it would be willing to cede some clean-energy-factory jobs to countries that can make certain clean-energy products more cheaply—countries such as China.” This is a valid point and proves that more laws need to be passed. In a capitalists country all everyone works for is money, so the government has to do everything it can to be in the best interest of the people and the environment. A big reason why businesses oppose regulations like these is because they have large carbon footprints which can be very costly and stymie business.

The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020. The language of the agreement was negotiated by representatives of 195 countries at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Paris and adopted by consensus on 12 December 2015.

What is a carbon footprint and how can each individual seek to reduce the size of their own?

A carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide emitted due to the amount of fossil fuels consumed by an individual or a group. Large carbon footprints are bad for the environment and everyone should do whatever they can to reduce their own. Many things increase the size of someone's carbon footprint such as driving a vehicle with low gas milage, flying often, and having the thermostat set too high or too low. In order to lower your carbon footprint, Justin Gillis, a writer for the New York Times, says, “Perhaps the biggest single thing individuals can do on their own is to fly less; just one or two fewer airplane rides per year can save as much in emissions as all of these other actions combined. If you want to be at the cutting edge, you can look at buying an electric or hybrid car, putting solar panels on your roof, or both.” All of these things would require sacrifice but many deem it necessary to stop the global impacts of climate change. It will take a large effort from everybody to make this change as made apparent by facts from John D. Sutter, a journalist at CNN, ”Each of the following activities add 1 kg of CO2 to your personal carbon footprint: travel by public transportation (train or bus) a distance of 10 to 12 km (6.5 to 7 miles); drive with your car a distance of 6 km or 3.75 miles (assuming 7.3 litres petrol per 100 km or 39 mpg); fly with a plane a distance of 2.2 km or 1.375 miles; operate your computer for 32 hours (60 Watt consumption assumed); production of 5 plastic bags; production of 2 plastic bottles; production of 1/3 of an American cheeseburger.” This goes to show how every activity adds up. With such large populations doing these, it would take a large amount of people to band together and make the lifestyle change to keep the climate in check. It will take more than just some citizens to make a difference.

How can the government help in the fight against climate change?

Given the amount of sacrifice it would take of everyday citizens: the government must have an even bigger role in the prevention of global warming. They must do what is good not only for the United States, but what is good for the planet. There are several ways the government can contribute as Daniel Stone from National Geographic suggests, “Invest federal stimulus money in nuclear power. It's hardly a perfect fuel, as accidents like Japan's Fukushima fallout have shown, but with safety precautions new nuclear plants can meaningfully offset dirtier types of energy, supporters say.” There is still much to be known about nuclear power and new methods can only be more efficient. They would replace dirtier power types such as coal and natural gas. Another good strategy that Greening Forward states is that,“A Carbon tax is one strategy that has seen success. A Carbon tax is essentially a tax on carbon, though sometimes other forms of greenhouse gases as well. It puts a price on each ton of GHG (greenhouse gas) emitted, in hope of eventually bringing about a market response across the economy and result in an overall reduction of emissions.” This would force the change and in the long run even benefit the companies making the change. They would be eligible for possible tax refunds and create a cleaner environment. Both of these ideas would work extremely well and would look well with politicians who support them. Climate change is a problem that is only growing bigger and it will take more than just your neighbor treehugger to prevent any long standing damage from occurring.

Credits:

Created with images by Unsplash - "person walking pipeline" • WikiImages - "earth soil creep moon" • WikiImages - "tropical cyclone hurricane isabel" • torbakhopper - "STOP global warming : san francisco (2013)" • imo.un - "UN Secretary-General visits IMO" • allispossible.org.uk - "Carbon footprint"

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