The climate change debate is being pushed into the background by mainstream media until recently, when Charles Krauthammer said he was not a believer or a denier, but that people are trying to silence him on the topic.
There is a 97% consensus among scientific experts that humans are causing global warming. But still according to Anthony Leiserowitz, the director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication only 16% of Americans are alarmed regarding climate change.
Its frustrating because we’ve had some very extreme weather the last two seasons. You would think that people, through experiencing climate change directly, would realize its existence and join in the fight for their own safety and preservation of our Earth. According to Gordon Gauchat, an associate professor of sociology from the University of Wisconsin, just 42% of adults in the U.S. have a great deal of confidence in the scientific community. Its shocking.
President Obama is finally realizing the necessity of protecting our Earth. He just announced a new executive order that will be drafted by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department by March 2015 and completed a year later so they are in place before Mr. Obama leaves office. The limits on greenhouse gas pollution from trucks would combine with previous rules requiring passenger cars and light trucks to burn fuel more efficiently and pending rules to limit the carbon emissions of power plants. Cumulatively, experts said the à la carte approach should enable Mr. Obama to meet his target of cutting carbon pollution in the United States by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020. But they said he would still be far short of his goal of an 80 percent reduction by 2050. So we still have a long way to go to protect our Earth.
These are the ways we impact climate change, which primarily occur by two actions: Burning fossil fuels, with a smaller contribution from clear cutting forests, known as deforestation.
Greenhouse gases trap heat. When we extract and burn fossil fuels such as coal or petroleum, we cause the release of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other heat-trapping “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere. Though natural amounts of CO2 have varied from 180 to 300 parts per million (ppm), today’s CO2 levels are around 400 ppm. That’s 40% more than the highest natural levels over the past 800,000 years. We also can tell that the additional CO2 in the atmosphere comes mainly from coal and oil because the chemical composition of the CO2 contains a unique fingerprint.
Every time you drive your car, heat your house, support a business or company that burns fossil fuels, your having an impact on climate change. Flying in airplanes,
Losing forests makes it worse. Clearing forests also releases large amounts of CO2. On top of that, plants and trees use CO2 to grow. Worldwide deforestation means we don’t have as many trees to absorb the extra CO2. This means more CO2 stays in the atmosphere, trapping more heat.
Why does this matter? Well have you noticed the extreme weather lately? This is one of the effects of global warming. The EPA says that because of climate change we will experience heat waves, extreme weather, reduced air quality, changes in respiratory and allergy health, an increase in food and water born diseases, and many more impacts.
To see the full effects follow the link to the EPA website: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/impacts-adaptation/health.html
That 15% that does not believe in climate change has been created due to large financial powers using their big bucks to influence the message on climate change. A recent study by Drexel University found that conservative foundations and others have bankrolled climate denial to the tune of $558 million between 2003 and 2010. Following the money will show you the truth that is trying to be covered up. If corporations are spending millions to cover it up, what do you really think the truth is?
You are responsible for creating this problem, and we will be the victims. But we can stop it, if we change our ways and respect our Earth we can stay healthy and preserve our home for many future generations.