Human and society at fault for global warming

The controversial topic of global warming has risen to the attention of the public yet again. This time, however, it’s not a matter of whether it’s real (if you don’t believe in global warming, I suggest you stop reading now).

Protestors warn of global warming’s threats. (AP Photo)

Climate change is precarious and everyone will suffer the consequences of Earth’s rising temperatures if nothing is done to prevent it. There has been much deliberation about the gravity of the situation and even more dispute concerning the cause of it all. Scientists never cease their research in discovering the source of the problem, and recent reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stake the claim that humans are indeed the cause of global warming.

The IPCC is 95 percent certain that humans are the source of the planet’s rising temperatures, sea levels and rate of deterioration. Although this may seem like old news, there is now scientific evidence pointing to the seven billion people inhabiting this planet as the problem.

The biggest contributor to the decay of the ozone layers, and ultimately global warming, is the emission of greenhouse gases — primarily, carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide goes essentially unrecognized by the sun. Its invisibility allows sunlight to pass through and heat the planet.

CO2 also traps Earth’s natural heat as it attempts to surpass the ozone layers. The excess amount of greenhouse gases occupying Earth’s atmosphere is causing the planet’s climate to escalate at a detrimental rate.

CO2 emissions are byproducts of burning fossil fuels, so to delay global warming, people need to take advantage of other resources and limit the amount of fossil fuels used.

The solution seems simple enough, but the problem is that no alternative option is as fiscally resourceful. Fossil fuels are used to provide energy in a variety of ways. From creating gas for public transportation to powering up factories to produce goods, they are indeed beneficial to many economies around the world. The versatility and convenience of the energy source makes it difficult for many industries to seek substitutions. The truth of the matter is: If the level of carbon dioxide emissions does not decrease, global warming will prove harmful for all.

Many effects of climate change, such as rising sea levels, extreme weather patterns, melting sea ice and increases in temperature, are already evident and have been for years. From melting ice forcing polar bears to make their way onto the endangered species list to recurring droughts causing crop failures in agriculture, many ecosystems and organisms are already experiencing the consequences. In order to prevent more catastrophes from occurring in reaction to climate change, people need to recognize that they are causing global warming and then take the first steps toward reversing it.

Making a difference can be as easy as carpooling, using public transportation, or even opting to ride a bike or walk. Recycling, using resources like water and electricity sparingly, and choosing items produced in an environmentally cautious way are steps that can be taken to slow down global warming. If we want mankind to continue to live on this planet, we need to stop killing it and start taking care of it.