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Climate change is an incredibly controversial topic that has divided our country. While some see it as a natural occurrence and others see it as a man made catastrophe, the fact is simple that the world climate is changing. Climate change is and will always be man made and there are very few things we can do now to stop it. Pollution is changing the world’s air quality every day and is becoming an issue on every political debate. Natural resource depletion is also an environmental issue that is becoming very important for politicians around the world. Each of these topics is becoming more and more relevant each day and rightfully so. While some people may see these as issues to put on the backburner, the truth is easy that the world is having environmental problems that need long term solutions.
“Nobody really knows if it [climate change] is real,” President Donald J. Trump made this statement on December 11, 2016, before he had taken office. This is untrue as according to a New York Times survey, over 97% of scientists agreed that climate change was mostly if not all man made. The average global temperature has grown about 2 degrees since 1900. This is due in part to CO2 emissions, among other things like greenhouse gasses.
The Climate Reality Project, founded by Al Gore is a non profit organization that really wants to get information out to anyone and everyone. “Informing the world of the dangers of climate change” (Gore). Al Gore has worked tirelessly to bring change and has done this very well since 2005. Gore and the Climate Reality Project are making climate change a very important issue with the people of America.
The Paris Agreement, an agreement which is trying to bridge the gap between today’s policies and climate-neutrality before the end of the century (2100). The four main goals of the Paris Agreement were created to help win the fight against global warming. These goals are to one, a long-term goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. The second is to aim to limit the increase to 1.5°C, since this would significantly reduce risks and the impacts of climate change. Third, on the need for global emissions to peak as soon as possible, recognising that this will take longer for developing countries. Lastly, to undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with the best available science. 194 countries have signed the Paris Agreement, and 123 countries have ratified it. This is really good progress for the Paris Agreement.
Right now the more developed countries have a lot of the load on them, according to the European Union’s website, “The EU and other developed countries will continue to support climate action to reduce emissions and build resilience to climate change impacts in developing countries. Other countries are encouraged to provide or continue to provide such support voluntarily.” This is putting a huge burden on more developed countries to help get less developed countries over the hump. More developed countries are tasked with the obligation of giving financial aid and other support to the less developed countries to help them help fight climate change.
Now that Donald J. Trump has taken office for the position of president of the United States of America, former President Barack Obama’s efforts to piece together a truly well thought out way to limit global warming in the United States of America. Realizing early on that there was little he could accomplish through legislation while Republicans held both houses of Congress, Obama pieced together a large number of initiatives to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel consumption, largely through regulation. This means President Trump can just as easily put in regulations to stop enforcing president Obama’s regulations.
The Clean Power Plan, which seeks to reduce carbon pollution from power plants, primarily coal-fired units, is starting the fight against pollution. The plan leaves it up to states to decide exactly how they will cut emissions from plants by 32 percent by 2030. President Trump, however, has pledged to one hundred percent stop and repeal the Clean Power Plan. This could have monstrous effects on the world’s pollution, as the United States of America is one of the highest producers of pollution.
Pollution is possibly the biggest problem in less developed countries. These countries are not big players in the world economy and do not have an excess of commerce to address pollution issues. Countries like China and India, which have industrialized to a great extent are emitting a crazy ton of pollution into the air and it is halting the growth of a lot of clean air projects headed by the likes of the United Nations and the European Union. These supranational organizations are creating these plans to help out the less developed countries have a way of dealing with pollution and air quality problems. “Today we’re dumping 70 million tons of global-warming pollution into the environment, and tomorrow we will dump more, and there is no effective worldwide response. Until we start sharply reducing global-warming pollution, I will feel that I have failed.” This quote by Al Gore sums up the problem with global warming and pollution in a nutshell.
Pollution is mentioned in 4 of the United Nations global issues, and remains an active duty of all more developed countries. Pollution does a lot to this world. Pollution may muddy landscapes, poison soils and waterways, or kill plants and animals. Humans are also regularly harmed by pollution. For example, long-term exposure to air pollution can lead to chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer and other diseases. Toxic chemicals that accumulate in top predators can make some species unsafe to eat. Over one billion people lack access to clean water and 2.4 billion do not have adequate sanitation, putting them at risk of contracting deadly diseases.
Natural resource depletion is a very simple topic. People are using the natural resources more than they can be replenished. This is causing people to wonder and assume that natural resources will one day run out completely. This is why the need for a renewable energy source is higher than ever. The way we’re living, we are already using two or three times more of the Earth’s natural resources than what is sustainable. If we do not act now, we will see the consequences of depletion of natural resources and it’s not going to be pretty. A desolate, dry Earth is not a fun place to live.
There are three big natural resources that are running out as we speak. The first is water, which is one of the basic needs for survival. The reasons for this are increased irrigation, increased use in agriculture, roads and infrastructure prevent water seepage in the soil, and rising temperatures. The consequences of not having enough water could be brutal. These may include a drinking water shortage, food shortage, and famine. The second is oil. The cause of the depletion of oil are the industrial boom, an increased population, and wastage. The consequences of the depletion of oil could include less transportation, much smaller economies, and higher prices. Lastly, the third big natural resource that could cause massive consequences is forests, or lumber. The causes of this include urbanization, Illegal logging, agriculture, and subsistence farming. The consequences of the loss of forests and deforestation are soil erosion, global warming caused by the rise of greenhouse gases, extinction of species and loss of biodiversity, as well as flooding and drought. These resources are life sustaining and are needed for the prosperity of humans.
The easiest and fastest way to stop or limit climate change is to simply stop emitting as many greenhouse gasses. The easiest way to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions is simply to buy less stuff. Whether by forgoing an automobile or employing a reusable grocery sack, cutting back on consumption results in fewer fossil fuels being burned to extract, produce and ship products around the globe. Think green when making purchases. For instance, if you are in the market for a new car, buy one that will last the longest and have the least impact on the environment. Thus, a used vehicle with a hybrid engine offers superior fuel efficiency over the long haul while saving the environmental impact of new car manufacture. Climate change is a horrible catastrophe that needs to be stopped.
Natural resource depletion, as well as pollution can mostly be stopped by thinking before acting. You can commute smart by walking or riding to work or the shops instead of driving. Motor vehicle emissions remain the most significant source of most common air pollutants. That is only one way, there are many ways that you can and should help stop pollution. Natural resource depletion can be solved by finding a cleaner renewable energy source, like solar. These can avoid oil depletion and the stopping of deforestation can drastically improve the climate, air quality, and the overall usefulness of our natural resources. Better management of resources could help protect against many environmental problems, such as shrinking forests, disappearing lakes and rivers, empty seas, and overgrazed pastures, together with their aftermath of poverty, conflict and hostilities.
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