Shraddha H. California

Global Warming: Before it Happens

An essay discussing the importance of global warming as an issue, as well as some possible solutions

Dear Future President,

“Global warming isn’t a prediction. It’s a happening,” said James Hansen, a scientist. Global warming is one of the most colossal issues our country, our world, and our planet faces. We all know it is happening. Then why is there hesitation to change? Global warming is responsible for an increase in severity as well as frequency of storms and other weather events. If it remains ignored, global warming has the potential to permanently negatively affect the world we live in today. The future of your children will be drastically different from the world you know today, and not in a good way. After research and knowledge gained from my experiences, I have come to the conclusion that America can slow global warming by investing in renewable energy, as well as public transportation.

Our Earth’s atmosphere consists of greenhouse gases. This includes gases such as Carbon dioxide. The atmosphere traps the sun’s heat and blocks out harmful radiation from the sun. But with the excess of human driven CO2 production, and a lack of trees and plants to process it, the atmosphere grows thicker and traps more heat. The result is global warming. Climate change is a result of global warming. It will affect food production, freshwater sources, wind and rain patterns, and most importantly, change the ratio of oxygen to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.If humans continue to consume oxygen and produce excess carbon dioxide, it could potentially produce an atmosphere that is unsafe for humans to live in. Not only that, but it can and has resulted in severe weather such as flooding, thunderstorms, drought, forest fires, as well as the melting of polar ice. It is decimating communities all over the world and if not taken care of, it just might be the end of us. This is happening now.

America is one of the world’s biggest producers of CO2. Before we blame other countries, we have to fix the problem ourselves. What some leaders don’t realize is that a lot of developing countries look up to America as an example. If we fix it, chances are they will too. One possible solution is investing in public transportation. Just the fact that almost every citizen has to own a car or get a taxi in itself contributes to the growing problem. If we invested in placing more subway stations around cities, travel would become more efficient and less harmful to the environment. For example, in Germany, every city has a central station (hauptbahnof) and several stations surrounding it. There are two train networks, the subway and the underground, each with so many stations, you can go to work, home or anywhere because the stations are at a walking distance from most locations. Trolleys and buses are an equally efficient alternative, because some locations can be far from stations, and too long to walk. With fewer drivers on the road, CO2 production will also reduce remarkably.

Another alternative is investing in renewable energy. Solar power, for example. I am aware that the Obama administration had invested in a solar company called Solyndra, and it had gone rather badly. But, we should not give up there and try and ask other countries to do it. The Solar industry is very close to gaining business and importance. But they need more funding and support from the government. My father works in the solar industry, and companies like his need more support financially and politically. Another form of energy is nuclear power. It is my understanding that right now, a majority of electrical energy comes from coal. This actually releases large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. If we were to switch to nuclear power, or power generated from the splitting of uranium and plutonium nuclei, it would only release steam into our atmosphere, working just as efficiently as coal and without damage.

In conclusion global warming is a problem. It is real and it is happening now, slowly affecting all of us and our lives. Before we blame it on other countries, we need to stop and acknowledge whatever we have contributed, and fix the problem before it gets worse. We know it is happening. Then why not put it to a stop? By switching to alternatives like solar and nuclear power, and investing in public transportation, we can save our planet.