carbon emmissions

Earth to Dana

Climate change is an extremely important issue and as time goes on we are quickly approaching a deadline where it will be impossible to reverse the damage we have done to our planet.

The overarching issue within climate change is the rising carbon dioxide levels within Earth’s atmosphere. Currently, our carbon dioxide levels have been rising at about 414 parts per million every year. While there has been a natural increase and decrease of carbon dioxide levels throughout Earth’s history, the current rate at which it is increasing is unprecedented and is not sustainable for Earth. This means that the planet will no longer be hospitable if change is not instigated. Once we reach that point of irreversible damage the question is no longer what can we do to help Earth but rather which planet can sustain human life. 

the global temperature has gone up 2 °F since 1880, the ice sheets have gone down 427 billion metric tons per year, the sea level has risen 3.3 millimeters per year and the arctic ice minimum has gone down 13.1% per decade.

Source: NASA

This rise in carbon dioxide has had a large role in global warming because carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas which traps heat. According to NASA, as a result of this heat being trapped, the global temperature has gone up 2 °F since 1880, the ice sheets have gone down 427 billion metric tons per year, the sea level has risen 3.3 millimeters per year and the arctic ice minimum has gone down 13.1% per decade. All of these averages have and will continue to rise if action is not taken.

Climate change is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately and the push to make change no longer be reliant on the governments of the world because the policies they have implemented have not created enough beneficial change for the environment. The largest contributor to excess carbon dioxide within the atmosphere are fossil fuels, and the unfortunate truth is that our world today is extremely reliant on fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are a highly lucrative business and large corporations within this business typically play a role within governments around the world because they have such a large effect on the economy. 

Take the Strait of Hormuz for example. It has about $1.2 billion worth of oil passing through it every day, the strait is also an area of great conflict as Iran controls the strait and passage of the ships. Should Iran ever close the straits the economic impact would be catastrophic. The world’s economy is heavily reliant on fossil fuels and in order for that to change a sustainable replacement needs to be made.  

Due to fossil fuels being so deeply rooted within the world’s economy and the uncertainty that comes with making a change to that industry, it is unlikely that governments will make any alterations that would prevent climate change in any major way.  While most European countries have made larger moves to help improve the environment for any real change to occur, the top contributors, China and the United States, need to make more substantial policy changes. As citizens of the world, it is important that we vote for these measures and incorporate changes within our daily lives to help stop climate change so our planet can sustain human life for many generations to come. 

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