Global Warming: Our Home is Burning

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The effects of climate change are evident today. From the wildfires in California and Australia to the significant increase in the number of hurricanes experienced worldwide. 

Everyone will or has experienced climate change and the effects it creates. 

“I had family and friends trapped in Florida during hurricane Ian. They are okay, but things could have been a lot worse,” said Elizabeth Ryan, a woman from the Raleigh/Durham area. 

The fossil fuels humans use to accommodate our lifestyle are a limited resource. We as a world community are going to inevitably switch to renewable energy. The main thing keeping the global economy from that switch is the oil companies and countries whose economy relies on fossil fuels. 

The problem with fossil fuels is we are not looking towards the future of our planet. As a global community, we are going to have to take steps to reduce our carbon emissions. If we do not, the effects of global warming may be irreversible.

Since the Industrial Revolution our earth has risen in temperature by about two degrees fahrenheit. This has detrimental effects, some that will continue throughout our lifetimes.

Global warming directly affects our oceans. About Ninety one percent of coral reefs are bleached around the world. This is a giant problem. Oceans and especially the coral reefs are a major contributor to taking carbon dioxide out of the air and turning it back into oxygen. The dying of coral reefs and rising of sea levels are both an effect and a contributor to global warming. The heating of the earth causes glaciers to melt and in turn raises the water level of the ocean. The higher the ocean level is, the less light reaches aquatic plants. The cycle is created by the overconsumption of fossil fuels.

Around the world people are having to relocate. Places in Africa are experiencing record droughts that are wiping out their food and water supply. Australia and California are having numerous wildfires destroying miles of land. Coastal states and countries are being slammed with tropical storm after tropical storm. An example of this is Hurricane Ian that recently slammed the state of Florida, which left 119 people dead. 

The damage to our planet may be irreversible. We need to start protecting our home and hope nature can revive itself. Nature is extremely resilient, it overcomes battles everyday, but the heating of the earth has never been seen to this degree. Since the Industrial Revolution the earth has warmed by about 2.05 degrees fahrenheit. 

There are some steps we can take to make our planet cleaner and healthier. The most obvious way is to separate ourselves from our dependence on fossil fuels. This is easier said than done. It would be a giant fight with corporations and independent owners. 

Not only would we face problems with corporations, but we cannot take the whole world off fossil fuels, at least not as fast as we may think. The switch would be a gradual process over many, many years.

While fossil fuels are generally seen as something bad, the world’s economy and many people’s lives depend on fossil fuels. The gas they use to get to work, the heating of their home, and their electricity all come from fossil fuels. Taking away fossil fuels would also leave millions of people without a job since almost eleven million people work in the fossil fuel industry. The contrary is by switching to renewable resources we will create more jobs than were lost. Engineering, STEM, and manufacturing jobs would all see an increase in the number of jobs available. 

The little things add up. Doing your part can have a greater impact than you may think. Cutting consumption, lowering your intake of meat and dairy products, and reducing your energy usage are all ways you can help with global warming.

Leesville Road High School recycles its paper and plastics. It also has a school compost bin. If every school implemented these simple things, we would have a cleaner planet. 

“When I can, I try to recycle and use less energy. Not only does it cost my family less, but it is a great feeling knowing I’m contributing to slow the rate of global warming,” said Will Coste, a student at Leesville Road High School. 

Global warming is a real problem, a problem we cannot ignore. It is our responsibility as humans to protect our planet and the life on it. We are not the only beings who call this planet home. Real change has to happen now, everyone around the world needs to work together to fix this global problem.

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