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The Future of Climate Change

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The Future of Climate Change

Sophie Davis, Staff Writer

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With the urgency of climate change on the rise, politicians and scientists alike fear the point of no return. The increasing global temperature has brought along with it concerns about ocean levels, energy production, and carbon emissions. Climate scientists have estimated that the tipping point is within the next twelve years. If gas and carbon emissions continue at this rate, the damage will become irreversible by the year 2031. This alarming realization has shocked climate researchers, leading to a rise of momentum for scientists on the Congress floor.

Passing adequate legislation is one of the fundamental challenges to end climate change. The undoing of American climate change concerns began when Trump withdrew from the Paris Agreement in mid-2017. Through the Paris Agreement, over 150 countries agreed to consciously reduce carbon and gas emissions, including Canada, Germany, Morocco, Mexico, along with North and South Korea. The effects of this withdrawal are farsighted, yet imminent. In recent years, the Trump administration has sought to reduce coal and natural gas emissions, although fossil fuel emissions are the most environmentally devastating. Fossil fuel emissions are centralized around carbon dioxide pollutants, formed through energy production, transport, and industry.  The United Nations emphasizes that carbon dioxide comprises of about two-thirds of global greenhouse gases.

The rise for concern regarding climate change can furthermore be attributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s special report on the permanent effects of rising temperatures on the Earth. Published in late 2018, this report emphasizes the collateral effects of climate change in relation to rising temperatures. The report shares that if the global temperature were to raise one-degree Celsius, coral reefs would begin to die off. The loss of coral reefs would lead to exceedingly acidic oceans, which would result in crop loss and damage, affecting our everyday lives and food sources.

The only way to combat our brutality towards our Earth is to flat-line gas emissions. This, of course, is evidently inconceivable. A step-by-step movement towards climate awareness and progressiveness is a reasonable move towards redemption, despite the fact that our negative impact on the Earth will haunt our descendants for centuries to come. An immediate reversal of environmental policy and action will only begin to counteract centuries of damage. Placing a necessity on climate change action will be the first step towards change, however, we will be forever unable to undermine the present-day damage.

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