Dear Next President,
Climate change has been a topic overlooked for decades. As it’s been ignored, we’ve allowed it to get worse and worse. Up until the 1990s, when climate change became a political issue, no action was taken to stop or slow it. Since then, scientists have been researching ways to ensure that it does not ruin our environment. Human activity is the main contributor to climate change. Changes in the environment are projected to have detrimental effects if climate change continues at its current rate. We have created climate change, which is why it must be up to us to stop it. One or few people can’t fight it alone. We must all come together to put an end to climate change and save the environment.
Climate change as we know it all started in the industrial era. During the industrial age, new machines were created, these machines needed fuel sources. Fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and gasoline were burned to make these new machines work. The burning of these fossil fuels created carbon dioxide and other natural gases, which were emitted into the atmosphere. This caused heat from the sun to be trapped on earth, resulting in global warming. According to a group of scientific experts- with support from the United Nations- “there is a 90 percent chance that the recent spikes of climate change were caused by human activities (NASA).” These activities include things such as transportation and the production of energy. Lowering carbon emissions across the country must be the first step taken into stopping climate change. Making transportation vehicles more fuel efficient and eliminating coal power plants across the country are two big ways to accomplish this.
Some believe that global warming is not a problem. They think this because global temperatures have fluctuated in the past. Temperatures do fluctuate naturally, but the recent rise in global temperature is much quicker than in the past. From 1880-2012, Earth experienced a rise of one and a half degrees Fahrenheit (Henrik Selin, Global Warming, Britannica School Encyclopedia). Two-thirds of this, however, occurred post-1975 (Michael Carlowicz, Global Temperatures, NASA). “In the past century alone, the temperature has climbed 0.7 degrees Celsius, roughly ten times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming (NASA).” This is an astounding number and is why the recent rise in temperature is not at all normal. This data shows why climate change is a very big problem and must be acted upon.
Climate change has brought on changes in our surrounding environment as well. These changes include rising sea levels and melting of the polar ice caps. Rising sea levels all starts with the melting of the polar ice caps. “The ice caps have melted faster in the last 20 years than in the last 10,000 (Irene Quaile, Polar Ice Sheets Melting Faster Than Ever, DW.com).” The ice is melting and turning into water, adding more water to the oceans and seas; thereby raising sea levels. According to an article written by National Geographic, the Global Mean Sea Level over the past century has risen by four to eight feet. By 2100, it’s projected to rise by another one to four feet (NASA). Rising sea levels and melting ice caps can and have had multiple consequences. These include the destruction of habitats for polar bears, penguins, walrus, etc. Also, if sea levels continue to rise, some cities and towns close to sea level may even be submerged at some point in the future. All of these are unacceptable and must be prevented.
My mother works in the business of energy efficiency. She goes around to local businesses and talks to them about switching to more energy efficient practices. She also works on getting our family to be more eco-friendly and energy efficient as well. This is why I think the topic of climate change is extremely important. Things we do as a family have made me realize that people across the world can help prevent climate change themselves. They can do the simplest things, such as recycle, compost, and use less energy. You don’t have to become a scientist or activist to help. This is one of the things that you, as the president, could help accomplish. Set out a green initiative for families across the United States to get them to become more eco-friendly.
So, Mr. or Madame President, I ask that you take matters into your own hands and make preventing climate change one of your main focuses. As humans, we depend on our surrounding environment for survival. With global warming throwing its natural system out of balance, we won’t be able to depend on it. These changes will not be able to reverse. However, the future isn’t set in stone. If we take action now, we can stop these consequences from ever happening, and restore our planet to its normal state. After all, it’s the only place we have to live, right?
St. Paul, Minnesota