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Opinion: Why we need climate action now

The International Panel on Climate Change has been studying the effects climate change will have on our planet since 1988. They have produced four carefully researched studies that have been warning us about what will happen to our planet should we heat up by 1.5, 2, 3 or more degrees centigrade. 

The panel consists of 200 scientists from all over the world. Their goal has always been that we must keep the warming of the planet to 1.5 degrees. Unfortunately, we are already at 1 degree, and they anticipate we may be at 1.5 before 2050.

A 1.5 degree heating will bring catastrophic climate events to our planet. In fact, as you can easily see because of recent events and all summer around the world, it is already happening. We can’t stop these changes now they but it can eventually can be slowed with careful planning. Scientists have determined that carbon emissions created by man are what is causing the planet to heat up and change our climate.

Unfortunately, we still have climate deniers that say that although the planet is warming it is natural. Or they say it can be stopped by capturing carbon dioxide and storing it. But slowing climate change is going to take an approach that contains many different solutions.

Many of our leaders say other countries have to step in and use China as an example. But we must remember that China has 1.4 billion people and we have 3.3 million. So yes, they have more coal plants. But they also have created more solar than any other country. 

Wind and solar provided 20% of total electricity production in the Europe Union in the first six months of 2021, according to a report from Ember. In the U.S. in 2020, wind and solar made up about 11% of U.S. electricity generation, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. 

We must enact a carbon tax and dividend plan.

Here are a few of the most devasting events happening now:

The Greenland Ice pack has almost completely melted allowing methane gas to seep into 

our air.

The glaciers are melting faster than expected causing a more rapid rise in oceans.

There are droughts that are drying up our water resources and our forests. This causes rivers and reservoirs to dry up such as the Colorado River and the Lake Powell reservoir in the U.S.

The heat is causing devastating wildfires destroying forests and cities and destroying food crops.

Storms like hurricane Ida and the tropical storm that devasted the Northeast will become more frequents and more devastating.

So, what are we going to do? We must work together! But basically, we must work toward supplying energy for our world through renewable energy such as solar and wind, and we must be close to 100% renewable by 2050. We must do away with all coal plants. We must stop using natural gas. We must personally take steps to cut carbon emission in our daily life. We must pass legislation that helps us move in that direction! Contact your congressman and senators and demand action!

Bette Holland