Kyra L. New York

Climate Change

I wrote a letter to the next president regarding the issue of climate change

Dear President,

I am writing to you today about a very important issue. Climate change is the most threatening matter facing our existence as we know it and we should doing everything possible to help stop, delay, reverse or prevent it from happening further. The temperature of earth is rapidly increasing due largely to human activity such as automobile emissions and heating and cooling systems. We need to start focusing in on areas where we can introduce renewable energy and places were we can eliminate the use of greenhouse gases. One of the most alarming facts presented about this issue is by the year 2040, during the summer you will be able to sail over the North Pole (Before the Flood). The United States needs to be a role model to other countries, we need to be the ones to start a movement that will be able to save our planet. Climate change could force more than 100 million people into extreme poverty by 2030. In September of 2009 G20 leaders committed to rationalising and to phase out over the medium term inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption. However it seems to be an empty promise because fossil fuels subsidies are still prevalent in many countries. This is an issue you cannot commit to and then not follow through. Without a planet to live on all other issues about terrorism and immigration laws and if abortion was morally correct or not. None of that will matter if we don't have a planet to live on.

Climate change is caused by multiple things, some due by human activity but also natural occurrences have lead to the global temperature changes. Earth’s vegetation releases and absorbs more than 200 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide each year and human activities such as burning of fossil fuels and it adds an extra 7 billion metric tons per year. Despite it looking like a small change over time the excess carbon dioxide has had a dramatic effect on the atmosphere. In the past 200 years concentration of carbon dioxide has increased more than 30%. Other causes by humans are various agricultural and industrial activity. Certain fertilizers produce nitrous oxide and methane emissions come from fossil fuel productions, landfills and livestock. These gases have an even greater impact on the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Methane is 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Humans have created and released greenhouse gases that do not occur in nature such as Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCS), Perfluorocarbons (PFCS) and Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6). These gases were released during industrial processes as aluminum production and electrical transmission. They have thousands of times the effect on Earth’s temperature than carbon dioxide(Global Warming). I'm excited to hear that there will be a conference held in Rwanda soon to discuss a deal on phasing out greenhouse gases in refrigerators and air conditioning systems however I find it extremely alarming to hear that the United States doesn’t want to think about eliminating HFCS not until 2021(Ozone talks head to Rwanda). That means we have another 5 years of HFCS being leaked into our atmosphere and even longer because India will be waiting until 2030 to start to figure out substitutes to HFCS. We can't afford another minute of HFCS being leaked into the atmosphere.

Not only does climate change have so many causes it has a great deal of effects on the environment and our world in general. It is causing a change in climate patterns such as the warming oceans and this could result in stronger more frequent hurricanes. As temperatures climb some regions could experience heat waves, devastating droughts and wildfires frequently. During the 90’s and first decade of the 21st century many areas in the United States endured record breaking heat and drought the may be related to climate change. If air and water temperatures increase, ice caps and glaciers will melt causing sea level to rise. Coastal areas could face flooding and eventually low lying islands in the Pacific ocean would become uninhabitable. Within the past century sea level has risen 4-8 inches worldwide. Experts estimate a 19 inch increase by 2100. Some of these effects were felt in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast of the United States. Areas well suited for farming may become to dry or to wet to be farmable. Long drought periods can turn fertile lands into deserts. The loss of farmland would cause disruptions in food supply bringing forth the issue of famine. Plants and animals may not be able to survive the rapid changes and could cause extinction. Over time Earth will lose its biodiversity and some ecosystems such as coral reefs and coastal mangroves swamps are likely to disappear losing all the organisms within them. Climate change could lead to an increase of infectious diseases such as malaria. As areas are being changed, the disease carrying mosquitos can find new suitable habitats that wouldn’t be available if the area’s climate wasn't changed. More frequent and intense heat waves could result in more heat-related deaths and changes in air quality that would endanger the human species. We need to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and put more money towards research for cheaper renewable energy and make it our primary source of energy.

Some people will say climate change is fake all together and that there is no worry about our planet’s future. Others will acknowledge that yes our climate is changing but it is not due to human activity. Or I believe the majority of people are thinking that yes climate change is happening maybe partly because of us but it is not an important issue at the moment. We have terrorism and our economy is failing. Yes that is true but if we don’t take care of our planet now we won’t have to worry about any other issues if there is nowhere for us to live. For those who believe human activity has no correlation to climate change It’s been scientifically proven that carbon dioxide emitted by humans has an impact on the environment specifically making the greenhouse effect stronger keeping in more heat.

There are many things that could be done to help prevent further environmental damage.Even small steps at home such as replacing light bulbs to ENERGY STAR products. Not only does this help the environment but it will save you money. Reduce, reuse and recycle. As cliche as it sounds it does help conserve energy and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions from resource extraction, manufacturing and disposal. Take advantage of recycling paper and beverage containers. One of the most important steps you could take is to limit the amount of water you use. It takes a lot of energy to pump, treat, and heat water. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, three percent of the nation’s energy consumption comes from the pumping and treating of water. It’s easy to limit water usage around the house such as taking shorter showers, not letting the water run while brushing your teeth. Only run your dishwasher when it’s completely full saving about 100 pounds of carbon dioxide and $40 per year (What you can do about climate change). On a bigger scale not only does the United States but worldwide everyone should be doing their best to change to renewable energy such as hydroelectric energy, wind and solar. Not only is it the cleanest way to produce energy in the end it would be cheaper and you would have “free” energy for eternity.

Overall not only do I but many other people believe climate change is a very important issue. climate change doesn’t only affect the environment but it is becoming an issue for national security, water scarcity, violent weather patterns and the devastations that could arise from the natural disasters. I hope you keep this information in mind when making decisions that could affect climate change even more and to think of ways to make renewable energy more affordable and more practical and to speak and advocate for a cleaner and brighter future.


         Kyra L