Dear Mr/Mrs President,
In our country today there are many problems that need to be addressed. One of the more pressing questions is that of global warming and climate change, as this will affect the US for many more years to come. In order to put a stop to this problem, we must reduce waste, find a cleaner source of energy, and reduce CO2 emissions, as well as other greenhouse gases.
To begin addressing this pressing problem, we must first find ways to reduce waste. Each year, the US generates, “220 million tons of waste...55% ends up in one of the over 3500 landfills” (Duke University). These landfills produce, according to the EESI, 103 metric tonnes of methane , which is a greenhouse gas. If we could eliminate even a little bit of this by recycling or using less wasteful products, it would be great for our environment and help to slow climate change. With the steady rise in population, leaving this situation untouched could prove to be catastrophic in future years. The more people we have producing waste, the more methane released into the atmosphere, meaning higher global temperatures.
In addition to reducing waste, we must pick one of the many options that will be a cleaner source of energy and take the large step in that direction. According to the EIA, almost 70% of energy in the US comes from coal and natural gas. When these are burned to produce energy, they emit CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which are responsible for trapping heat and holding it close to earth. In order to put a halt to global warming, we must first address the energy issue. Switching over to nuclear, solar, and/or wind power would drastically cut the emissions of CO2 and other heat trapping gases, leading to lower temperatures. Although it would take a large amount of funding in order to switch to a new source of energy, it is well worth it in the long run.
In order to undo the damage that has already been done, we must find ways to filter CO2 out of the atmosphere. The easiest and most obvious way to achieve this is through trees. According to the RAN, 3-6 billion trees are cut down each year, while only 1.6 billion are planted. This means a minimum of 1.4 billion trees are lost each year, and that much filtration is lost with it. If we want to eliminate climate change, we must address this issue first, as we won’t see the results of the other changes until we take this step. The extra CO2 not absorbed constantly sits in the atmosphere, collecting heat and raising global temperatures.
Yet some readers may challenge my view and say that our climate naturally varies in temperature, and the steady rise in heat is normal. I agree that the climate of our planet does have variation in temperature, but today's rise in heat is much faster, much higher, and lasting much longer than any normal heat surge in our planet's history. According to the NOAA, CO2 levels are the highest they have ever been, and the temperature is sure to rise with it.
Ultimately, what is at stake is human survival. If we continue to pollute the air with these heat trapping gases, eventually our planet will be uninhabitable and we will destroy our own race. The more greenhouse gases we put into the atmosphere, and the more we cut down trees which filter these out, the higher the temperatures will get until we can’t survive. Global warming is a lasting problem, and if we don’t do something to stop it now, it may end up being catastrophic in the long run.
Ran, Brant. "Rainforest Action Network." Rainforest Action Network. Rainforest Action Network, n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
"Center for Sustainability & Commerce." How Much Do We Waste Daily? Duke University, n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
Dorsey, Inc. Piccirilli. "Fact Sheet: Landfill Methane." Environmental and Energy Study Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
"U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis." What Is U.S. Electricity Generation by Energy Source? N.p., 1 Apr. 2016. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
"Temperature Change and Carbon Dioxide Change." NOAA Paleoclimatology Global Warming. NOAA, 2008. Web. 26 Oct. 2016. <http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/globalwarming/temperature-change.html>.