Climate Change is at a Stalemate

Christian Topinio ‘23

Solar energy is absorbed by our lands and continents as it reaches our planet. This heat naturally tries to go into space, but some of that heat is absorbed by greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, etc). This allows Earth to have enough heat to sustain life; however, there are too many of these gases. Through human interference, our climate’s temperature is slowly going up and up. At this rate, our environment is failing and we and future generations may soon be in danger.

This is a simple, common, and effective argument of why we need to stop climate change (and that it exists). What most people do not think about is how to prevent its spreading. Some would say words such as recycling, reduce carbon footprint, or plant trees. These methods are very effective. Recycling preserves energy and conserves natural resources, reducing our carbon footprint reduces our use of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, and planting trees absorbs carbon dioxide and helps restore some natural environments.

Yet this is not enough. In 2017, the world produced nearly ten billion metric tons of carbon dioxide. Furthermore, this number is certainly expected to rise. Climate change will raise temperatures by 2 degrees. Although this number may seem small, this would heavily change weather patterns, environments, and organic life. The world has acknowledged this in the Paris Agreement. The agreement states that the world should keep this increase at a maximum of 1.5 degrees. However, the United States, a country that has emitted many greenhouse gases, pulled out of the agreement with many other top emitters not even signing it.

The problem is worsened when one takes into account deniers and even some protestors. Some state that temperatures are cooling, it is over exaggerated and natural, or even that humans have survived stuff like this before. These people use inaccurate science and are blinded by biased perceptions of those who believe in climate change. Many perceptions are against youth activists, yet some of these are true. Massive events and protests have inconvenienced and disrupted everyday life for others. These events also may have used a lot of fossil fuels and may contribute to the overall problem just by organizing it. To see bias and hatred on both sides for yourself, check out any comment section of a video having to do with climate change protests. Y ou would see the terms snowflakes,” “baby boomers,” “China,” and maybe even an argument or two.

However, the main reason why people are doing very little to combat the change is this: our way of life would radically change if we stop using greenhouse gases. The cities we live in, the factories that make our goods, and the technology we use all emit these gases. It is hard to imagine sacrificing these things, and it is even more difficult to imagine it when we have to do this quickly. The IPCC states that we will be facing the harshest climate conditions ever if we do not achieve net zero (no gain or loss of greenhouse gas emissions) by 2050. This would take rapid change and extreme cooperation. Now, if you had not noticed, people right now are extremely divided in their beliefs. As a result, it looks as if climate change is inevitable. Our situation right now seems desperate, yet if we act directly, hope will arise.