The atmosphere around the topic of global warming resembles somewhat that of an impending sense of doom. The sudden call to a climate change deal by President Obama and the recent stories about rising sea levels definitely give off a sense of urgency.
The public attitude is often one of the two: “a solution is too difficult to implement, or it is nothing to worry about since it is such a small difference in temperature.” Gisela Factora, the Paw Print’s opinions editor, wrote a story here (https://www.wrpawprint.com/opinions/2015/11/05/climate-change-more-than-just-a-sunburn/), explaining that even a small change, 2º Fahrenheit, has a large effect on the environment but people choose to ignore it.
Now we move onto the people who believe there is solution to global warming. Fossil fuels have been necessary to fuel industrial activities, which in turn promotes the economy. Without fossil fuels, economy will slow down as a result. Yet, we
This explains why the Paris summit meeting is being held. This two-week meeting will decide the global course of action that will hopefully avert the looming disaster. This plan will change the economy of the 21st century in order to reduce carbon emissions.
Here are the possible outcomes of global warming. The worst-case scenario resembles something that of the collapse of food production leading to mass starvation. The melting polar ice sheets would lead to many of the world’s advanced cities being abandoned and leading to massive losses in assets and properties. There are also possibilities of the destabilization of weather patterns, leading to less reliable monsoons. Farming would thus become difficult with less land and unstable raining seasons. Soon, this cycle would spiral downwards into various wars for the control of food supply. This scenario should be avoided at all costs.
On the other hand, the best-case scenario would be that Earth is less sensitive to greenhouses gases than predicted and the warming would not be as drastic. There could also be the alternative scenario that society develops motivation to prevent this. As long as the problem is not threatening enough, people would not be willing to take action. Yet this is a time where everyone will need to help.
The two spectrums lie very far apart, and the the few solutions we hope for are limited. Some people hope that there would be a major technological breakthrough, somehow allowing the economy to continuously use fossil fuels yet prevent global warming. However, even Bill Gates stated that such a chance is unlikely and not a feasible strategy.
For a long time, the answer was declared to be “in the hands of the people”. This ambiguous statement is often taken with a grain of salt. Yet, the solution is created by the people. Governments cannot continuously use funds on big projects to solve the climate change if their citizens do not act.
Individual contribution, even as little as using eco-friendly lightbulbs, eating organic food, which lowers the production of processed food, or recycling can lessen greenhouses gases; it becomes a better alternative than a government project such as constructing more windmills. There is evidence that if a fraction of the United States population, even as small as 10 percent, recycles every other can or bottle, the United States carbon footprint would be reduced to 7.6 percent. (whitehouse.gov)
The 21st century has been deemed the last century where the world’s climate change can take a turn for the better. Our decisions will affect generations not too far ahead of us, so we must make the right choices.