It’s Getting Hot In Here

Serena Hoost

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On December 12, 2015, 186 countries published plans of action against global warming. At a
historical summit of the United Nations in Paris, participating principalities targeted to review
these plans each lustrum.
The world’s biggest problem today is climate change. Since I was born in 1999, our global
annual temperature has risen by an alarming 0.83°F as part of an exponential trend. Since the
late 18th century, humans have been pumping greenhouse gases into the air through the
combustion of fossil fuels like coal, petroleum and natural gas. Our clime is already changing,
and scientific evidence shows that the Human Pest is culpable. Certain regions have already
experienced early springs, which have harmful implications for many ecosystems. Incidences of
extreme weather have increased and are frequently in the news. Moreover, many large cities
currently suffer from smog, which causes respiratory issues.
Compared to the predicted results of climate change, what we are experiencing now is relatively
minor. If business as usual continues, the earth’s temperature is expected to climb by another
7.8°F in only 100 years, causing sea levels to rise enough to submerge many island nations.
The question is, are the Paris milieu measures really meaningful? In spite of these grand
resolutions, some argue that climate change reduction initiatives will hinder the economies of
nations around the globe. Still others ignore the existence of climate change to protect large
businesses built on fossil fuels. Notwithstanding, there are various energy alternatives already
available, including biomass, renewable alcohol fuels, wind turbines and solar panels. There are
even several carbon neutral fuels with the potential to abate carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Further research on these fuels creates jobs. In the U.S., switching to alternative fuels will
diminish our energy dependence on foreign countries, which will stabilize gas and food prices.
Finally, cleaning up our air will ease our healthcare costs. The truth is, we are technologically
and economically able to save our planet. But will the planet prevail?
It all depends on the choices we collectively make. Chiefly, we must not continue to sacrifice the
future of our world and our posterity for short-term economic gains. With true determination and
innovation of governments, businesses, environmental groups and passionate individuals, we
can avert this arid, existential threat that we ourselves are perpetrating.
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