Type: Cause and Effect Essays
Sample donated: Florence Shaw
Last updated: September 12, 2019
There are many views on climate change and how we should approach the issue. According to some skeptics, global warming is not relevant since it is not a prominent issue. Those supporting this view agree that the lives on Earth will not be affected anytime soon, yet there already are higher sea levels, warmer temperatures, and more extreme weather events. On the other hand, most scientists disagree with these skeptics.
These scientists have studies that prove that climate change is going to drastically affect us in the near future. “By 2050, average global temperatures could rise by two degrees Celsius, and this is already unavoidable” (Sutter). Rising temperatures and other changes will increase at a faster rate if we continue to do nothing about global warming. ?Despite the seemingly inevitable future of climate change there are actions that if taken now can make a real difference, and slow it down. Many articles and studies show that action should of been taken to reduce climate change decades ago. The Earth has drastically changed already, and one of the main reasons is the release of carbon dioxide from burning coal, oil, and natural gas. Once the carbon dioxide stored in the fossil fuels we burn is set free, it accumulates in and moves among the atmosphere, the oceans, the land and the plants and animals of the biosphere (Rood). The carbon dioxide will remain in the atmosphere for thousands of years, and this is irreversible.
Another reason that actions should have been taken many years ago is the “delay in air-temperature increase as the atmosphere catches up with all the heat that the Earth has accumulated. After maybe 40 more years, scientists hypothesize the climate will stabilize at a temperature higher than what was normal for previous generations”(Richard). This decade’s delay between cause and effect is because of the long time it takes to heat up the ocean’s huge mass. Compared to air, it’s harder to raise the temperature of water and it takes as long as decades. However, once the ocean temperature is elevated, it will release heat back to the air, and result in surface heating. Even though the people living on Earth will not be able to return to the climate of their elders, it is still necessary to start preparing for the future. According to a 2011 report from the International Energy Agency, “if we don’t get off our current path, then we’re looking at an Earth 6? warmer”(Rood).
The trajectory of the global temperature is essentially the same even after the Paris Agreement, and is going to stay on this track if there is no progress in eliminating carbon emissions.Having a President that views climate change as a “hoax” can cause negative impacts for the future of our environment. The Democratic and Republican parties are constantly debating on the importance of taking action. The Democratic party agrees with most Climate Scientists that “climate change poses a real and urgent threat to our economy, our national security, and our children’s health and futures” (Democratic Party Platform). On the contrary, most Republicans, including our President, believe that climate change is completely a hoax or not affecting us enough to take action. In a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, “No more than about two-in-ten conservative Republicans consider any potential harms to be ‘very likely’; about half say each is either “not too” or “not at all” likely to occur”(Cary). Opinions like this trickle down from the top of the Political chain. If climate denial is going to be the default position of the White House, then it will also be the default position of the American people.
Another issue is the lack of trust between climate scientists and climate deniers. Some Republicans do not think that scientific evidence is reliable. About fifty seven percent of Conservative Republicans agreed that climate research findings are influenced by the scientists’ desire to advance their own careers (Pew Research Center). In order to see change and action, this country needs to have both political parties on the same page as climate scientists.The remaining percentage of people that have little intelligence on the current state of Climate Change is too high. Those who do not have the basic knowledge of this topic will continue to blindly do harm to the environment.
For most Americans, the only education that they have regarding to this topic is through the media. Unfortunately, the media’s perception on global warming is not completely accurate and not covered enough. In a report published in April, the nonprofit group, the Union of Concerned Scientists, tried to study the accuracy of climate change coverage on the Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC. These television programs are the main source of news in many households. The organization found that Fox’s 50 segments on climate science in 2013 were accurate 28 percent of the time, CNN’s 43 segments were accurate 70 percent of the time, and MSNBC’s 132 segments were accurate 92 percent of the time (Bekiempis). The thousands that tune into these channels everyday expect to be told the truth about all the topics that are covered, but in reality, they are not. Climate change is a topic that should be taught in schools and spread throughout the media accurately because of how serious the results are. Those that want to fight for action need to get more people on board with the reality of the current state of the environment.
There are many different ways that the American populous can aid the degression of global climate change. These ways range from very drastic to minor changes in American citizens’ everyday lives. Reaching goals to alter the current path on climate change would be easier if more Americans contributed.
In order to stop the accumulation of heat, there needs to be progress in eliminating not just carbon dioxide emissions, but all greenhouse gases, such as methane and nitrous oxide. According to a study in the Journal Environmental Research Letters, the four main actions that could help emission reduction the most are having fewer children, living without a car, avoiding transatlantic flights, and eating a plant-based (mostly vegetarian) diet (Wynes). Of course, the chance of the majority being able to follow this advice is slim to none.
Seth Wynes takes the average life of an American into consideration when he emphasizes that “for some people, those lifestyle changes aren’t going to be possible without relocating, and so there are other options that could be chosen”(Wynes). These other options include lowering excessive collective meat consumption, carpooling, and using less home heating and cooling. By lowering meat consumption and buying locally-manufactured products, transportation will be lowered. Reduced transportation results in a reduced amount of fossil fuels being burned and released into the atmosphere.
Advocating for changes in local neighborhoods is another vital contribution. Those that can contribute drastic changes, like replacing their gas powered car with a solar powered one, should still do so because mixing larger interventions with smaller ones will benefit the Earth no matter what.Although most people that are educated about climate change want action to be taken, a percentage of Republicans continue to disagree. Those that disagree with fighting against global warming believe that there are more important issues to worry about before addressing climate change. The GOP is hesitant to interfere with taking action because to them, it is a waste of money and time. Donald Trump, in response to a question about his views on climate change, implied that “the United States shouldn’t waste ‘financial resources’ on climate change and should instead use them to ensure the world has clean water, eliminate diseases like malaria, or increase food production”(Harrington).
The lack of clean water and diseases are issues that need to be taken seriously and urgently. However, Climate change can make these world wide problems even worse. The tragic events that occur due to Climate Change and global warming can elevate the amount of people affected by them. For example, many scientists believe that the hurricanes Irma, Harvey, and Maria were strengthened due to climate change. These increasingly destructive hurricanes are putting a growing number of people and structures at risk. After these hurricanes, thousands were left without food, a home, or proper drinking water.
As a result, the United States had to financially help out after the Puerto Rican hurricane that occurred on September 20th of 2017.The future of climate change is inevitable and the changes are happening rapidly. But if this pace is slowed, nature and human beings can adapt more readily.
If action is not taken soon, the future of the Earth’s climate will be helpless and unavoidable. The current global impacts of climate change include higher sea levels, warmer temperatures, and more extreme weather events. There is no doubt that these results of climate change are currently affecting the people living on Earth. Slowing down the global warming process is possible if more people were on the same page as climate scientists and believers of climate change. The main cause of global warming is the amount of fossil fuels released into our atmosphere.
However, by cutting out our carbon emissions today and using renewable energy sources, we can slow down the process of change for our grandchildren.