Climate change threatens to cause irreversible damage by 2040.
senior front page editor
As billionaires and millionaires rushed to donate to the Notre Dame Cathedral after its devastating fire, over $1 billion were raised in just two days. Imagine if this excitement to donate to a good cause was directed at keeping the climate from facing irreversible damage within the next 20 years.
Although the expense of solving climate change is high, the threat of destroying the home of 7.7 billion people and even more animals and other wildlife is higher. According to MIT’s Technology Review, “efforts to stabilize levels of greenhouse-gas emissions would require investments of about $13 trillion through 2030.”
Scientists from different countries around the world come together in the National Resource Defense Council and explain the severity of climate change. According to the NRDC, “If humans don’t take immediate, collective action to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2040, the consequences will effectively be baked into the natural systems of the planet.”
Glaciers are melting, animals are dying, and global sea levels are rising, “I don’t think people understand how serious it really is,” sophomore Helena Hong said.
As people continue to litter because they are too lazy to walk to a trashcan, forget to turn off the lights before they leave a room, or drive somewhere they could easily walk to, the planet is becoming weaker. Each individual across the globe leaves his or her own footprint. According to NASA, “The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century.”
Since industrialization, global temperatures have been rising steadily, but recently global temperatures have been increasing rapidly. According to the United Nations, “The last four years were the four hottest on record.”
However, not all of the Earth’s climate changes are from human actions. Volcanic eruptions variation in solar radiation and orbital shifts are a few natural causes of climate change. The movement of Earth’s crustal plates also contributes, and according to NASA’s Climate Science Investigations, “These changes affect global circulation patterns of air and ocean water and the climate of the continents.”
Some people do not believe in climate change or do not think that the actions of humans are that impactful, but when it comes to protecting the planet, everyone can make a difference. According to the NRDC, “The latest analysis shows that if we act now, we can reduce carbon emissions within 12 years and hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C.”
Individuals and nations can reverse the damage that has been done to the Earth. According to the NRDC, “we have not only the technology and the solutions to do it, but also the twin benefits of scientific foresight and historical hindsight at our disposal.”