April 22 is Earth Day across the world, a day where awareness is brought to the Earth’s state. Events are held to demonstrate support for environmental conservation and protection, and general awareness is brought to pressing issues and to remind people to do their part. Global warming and climate change are concepts widely known, global warming being just one aspect of climate change as a whole. NASA states that the global temperature has increased 1 degree Fahrenheit in the twentieth century, which may not sound like a large alarming change but with the history of global change embedded in tree rings, coral reefs and ice rings it’s clear that it was stable for a long time, and this change is drastic compared to past change. The ice age was only 5-9 degrees cooler than it is now. According to NASA, by 2017 glaciers have already begun to shrink, sea levels have risen as well as there being less sea ice, the ice on rivers and lakes is breaking up sooner, trees are flowering sooner, there are more intense heat waves, droughts in the Southwest are more severe, and there is a hole in the ozone layer which is needed to protect the Earth from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Those are just the current effects, more are to come such as hurricanes becoming stronger, changes in precipitation patterns, growing season lengthening, the Arctic Ocean being ice-free by mid-century, and the sea level rising 1-4 feet by 2100. These facts may not scare you if you are older than 30, but young people of today, and those of the future, will have to deal with these changes for the rest of our lives, and it’ll only get worse.
Doubters of climate change, those who ignore scientific reasoning with the excuse of, “Well, of course, the Earth is changing, it’s 4.5 billion years old.” or the, “Global warming? It was cold outside so there’s obviously no actual global warming.” That excuse, that argument, is just like saying,”Well I didn’t go hungry today so obviously starvation isn’t a problem.” The issue may not be present for you, may not be prominent where you live because you happen to live in a snow-ridden town or you can’t tell the difference between the seasons of your childhood compared to now, but the issues still exist to others. Humanity is meant to help one another, and animals, and to sustain life on this planet because we’ve only been here for around 6 million years, and Live Science says we could live for 1.75 billion more if we do not destroy the entire planet.
The United States are one of the worst contributors to climate change as a whole. But the United States government are not currently stopping these changes, and don’t believe in doing so. President Donald Trump tweeted in November of 2012, pre-presidency, that global warming was created by the Chinese.
On Nov. 22, 2016, Donald Trump also claimed that he would think about the U.S. involvement with the Paris Agreement with an open mind, and then during his electoral campaign, he said he would “cancel” the Agreement. The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to deal with greenhouse gas emissions and finance starting in 2020. It would take 4 years for the United States to withdraw if President Trump were to do so legally, right up to the end of his term. Leaving the Agreement though poses risks: U.S. isolation on the diplomatic stage as the withdrawal could leave room for China to get ahead, and victims of climate change in the United States could initiate lawsuits against the federal government.
Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative, BERC, online said in 2014 that the United States were the leaders in not only greenhouse gas emissions but overall contribution to global warming. In the 0.7-degree celsius (C) increase since pre-industrial times, the United States makes up 20% (15 degrees C) with the top seven contributors only accounting for 63%, and the top 20 countries accounting for 82%. China is not making this up, we as humans are creating this. Science has proven multiple times that there is global warming, there is drastic climate change and it is affecting us and it will kill. Whether it’s the bees, the trees, the polar bears and penguins in the arctic and antarctic, or humans, climate change is not kind.
The way to change this future of destroying our one planet the living generations can inhabit is to change your daily habits. Turn off the lights when you leave a room, replace standard light bulbs with energy-efficient ones, walk or bike to most locations to reduce your carbon footprint or carpool, insulate your home, hang your clothes to dry instead of using a dryer machine, recycle, plant flowers and trees wherever you can. And call your state representatives to tell them the government needs to do something; whether it’s a carbon tax, cap-and-trade on greenhouse gas emissions, or divesting holding from fossil fuel companies.
Mr. President, these issues are very real and very much not a hoax. Scientists have proved countless times that climate change is happening and that it is dangerous. Mr. President, the future of our planet matters, the way we leave it matters. The environment future generations grow up in has the possibility of being horrifying – toxic and impacting their quality of life negatively. Your sky was blue growing up, your time was spent outdoors, science classes talked about the beauties of the earth. Your child and your grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s classes are talking of imminent threat and will be for decades if there isn’t any aid. The government is who needs to implement changes across the nation to save our Earth, after all, there is no “planet B”.