Feb 18
Brooke.agricola's picture

Issue challenge - climate change

“The planet's average surface temperature has risen about 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit (0.9 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century”(NASA). Climate change has been going on for a long time but people have only become very aware of it in recent years. It started during the Industrial Revolution when fossil fuels became a big source of energy for us and it’s mainly caused by greenhouse gasses. Greenhouse gasses are warming the earth by trapping heat in our atmosphere, the greenhouse effect. Carbon dioxide is the greenhouse gas that people are most familiar with and it mostly comes from the burning of fossil fuels, which we have been doing since the 1800’s. 

There are so many impacts from climate change but most people don’t even know what they are. Most people know global warming is “happening” and we need to reduce our carbon footprint (whatever that means). Well, that’s not all of it. Since the earth is warming, ice sheets and glaciers are melting. This might not seem like a big deal but it is. It’s causing sea levels to rise more and more every year which can cause problems for people who live on or close to coasts or use coasts as a source of various resources or work. In addition to oceans rising, another one of the many problems is the amount/extremity of natural disasters. Climate change is causing natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, droughts, and earthquakes, to be more extreme and much worse for people that experience them. Climate change is affecting people’s quality of life and most people don’t even know it.

Although we do need to reduce our carbon footprint, we also need to reduce the damage we’ve already done. Most people only know about the warming of the earth and they know it’s bad, but don’t really know why. So, the first thing we need to do is make sure everyone is educated. According to the New York Times, Italy requires all public school students to learn about climate change in every grade. I think that is a great step forward and the rest of the world should follow. It can be taught in science class and then at least everyone will know what’s going on in the world. Another thing we can do is plant more trees and stop cutting so many down. Trees can help to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air by doing photosynthesis but we have to have quite a lot to do anything. So if we reduce the amount we cut down and we plant more, they may be able to slowly help to reduce. Lastly, we can simply reduce the amount of carbon we produce by using cars less, use sustainable, clean energy, composting/recycling, etc. If everyone tried to reduce their carbon footprint by even a little bit it would help. No matter how it’s done, changes need to be made, and they need to be made soon.
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