From every breath of fresh air to every sip of water, from the waters that rinse your body after long days to the bodies of water covering earths surface, from me to you; climate change is negatively affecting each item listed and so many more. It is an issue that is caused primarily by humans, due to our modern and somewhat selfish lifestyles. Unfortunately with the world we live in, spreading awareness on issues like this is challenging especially when the human race is the reliant variable in this situation. However, many authors and specialists give their best efforts to explain climate change whilst also providing different tactics for improvement that every person can implement into their lifestyles to improve our environment. From past statistics to future demographics on the ways human life on earth could improve it is undeniable that life to mankind will be permanently altered and eventually destroyed if change is not made.
“Global warming,” when typed into a Google search bar, is defined as: “a gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and other pollutants.” This definition is very accurate however, it does not at all stress the importance of the catastrophic damage that will be done if awareness and prevention methods aren’t spread amongst society. Global warming is the cause behind hotter days, higher sea water levels, and warmer temperatures amongst large bodies of water. Many people somehow still question the certainty of global warming existing, “Currently, 54% of Americans say the effects of global warming have already begun to happen, with 3% saying they will begin in a few years and 8% saying they will happen during their lifetimes. Another 16% expect that global warming’s effects will not start in their own lifetimes but will affect future generations. This leaves 18% saying the effects will never happen, double the 9% who said this in 1997” (Jones). Well as of now, February 2020, there has been observable effects/damage caused by global warming already, “Glaciers have shrunk, ice on rivers and lakes is breaking up earlier, plant and animal ranges have shifted and trees are flowering sooner.” (https://climate.nasa.gov/effects/)Now, the real question lies upon society and what we are willing to do to fight this issue at hand before it is too late.
There are various ways that global warming could be prevented and there are various areas within “economics, sociology, and poltics” (Nunez) that can be targeted for global warming environmental harm reduction. One of the most advantageous tactic discussed appeared to be using energy alternatives. “Electricity generation provides 18,000 terawatt-hours of energy a year, around 40% of humanity’s total energy use. In doing so it produces more than 10 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide every year, the largest sectoral contribution of humanity’s fossil-fuel derived emissions.”(Nunez) The carbon that is released is what is causing the damage and increasing global warming but, if methods of wind/solar power were to be implemented amongst society the issue we are facing would begin to be withheld. Using natural resources, like wind, would not only combat the greenhouse gasses being released but it would also be cost effective, seeing as poverty is also an issue amongst the U.S. Our higher standard of living and advanced technology has only caused the problems to increase. Nearly 87% of our energy is generated by fossil fuels (bose), therefore, a sufficient method for recovery and prevention would be to use our resources to our advantage and fuel the energy we consume..
Now although this could really benefit the conditions of the U.S., it would not solve this issue entirely. Another method discussed by Nunez was, “working on ways to sustainably produce hydrogen, most of which is currently derived from natural gas, to feed zero-emission fuel cells for transportation and electricity.” If it were possible to make hydrogen it would be expected to have that material substitute oil and natural gasses which would improve our economical way of life. This ideology has been practiced by the creation of electric cars, and has benefited us already however not everyone is capable of purchasing a car with a minimum value of $60k, which was a recent decrease(Coren). Every time a tablet screen is powered, every time a text is sent, and every time a light is turned on, greenhouse gasses are emitted due to the radiation and because of that our Earth is suffering. This topic is discussed to encourage readers to do as little as turning off more switches and opening more windows yet some simply don’t understand how their “little” change could affect the lives surrounding.
Out of an entire economy of people, it is hard to see how changing small steps in basic ways of life of just one persons routine could make a difference. Only one routine changing will not solve it but every change made is a step closer, this issue is discussed and perceived as a personal claim towards citizens when it is not. Awareness is spread with intentions of protecting the lives around us and in order to do that more than one change is required but change only comes with awareness of the issue to begin with. If it were realistic to have every motorized vehicle replaced with a tesla we would see immediate results however, those chances are very unlikely and what is important is what we can do. Acting individually in a group effort is a method to resolve global warming and save the earth, or what remains of it. The U.S. has been ranked as the second largest greenhouse gas emitter and because of that it is important for today’s youth to realize the future they’re facing(or not) if lifestyles aren’t altered in everyone’s favor. Whether it takes tape on your light switch or the purchase of an electric motorized vehicle, the change is right here.
Jones, Jefferey M. 2014. “In U.S., Most Do Not See Global Warming as Serious Threat.” https://climateaccess.org/system/files/Gallup_Threat%20March%202014.pdf
Houghton, John., Global Warming: The Complete Briefing. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=oUbWnWfnaJ4C&oi=fnd&pg=PR17&dq=global+warming+&ots=0NZeaC3WdX&sig=-5hbXOOaOY71SMidg4oM50ra6uM#v=onepage&q=global%20warming&f=false
Tony Scully, et al, 2008. Energy alternatives: Electricity without carbon
Nunez, Christina., 2019. Global Warming Solutions, Explained.