Global Warming Should Be Top Priority

The World on Fire

On Saturday, November 13th, world leaders and diplomats from nearly two hundred countries gathered to form an agreement on a better solution in combating global warming and a better plan to stop climate change.

More and more countries have realized the importance of protecting the planet from human emissions; more and more countries have recognized the existence of global warming. Admitting existence is the first step needed in fighting for a change. And trust me, global warming very well exists, and it has been happening ever since the pre-industrial age. The most direct cause of global warming is human activity. We have abused the earth as a garbage can for our waste products, which includes greenhouse gases that have been left in the atmosphere. These gases have the potential to raise the temperature by trapping heat in the atmosphere. Other factors like burning fossil fuels also contribute to global warming. These actions resulted in not only the heat level rising but also a loss of ice, a rise in sea level and so much more. These losses might seem insignificant, but when cumulative they will lead to natural catastrophes.

In the past, there have been governments that refuse to believe that global warming is caused by human activities. Even though the US is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas, a certain American president had denied this accusation in 2018 with, “I don’t believe it. No, no, I don’t believe it.” It is truly sad and unsettling that people may be prone to believe that climate change does not exist, or that humans play no role in it. The sea level has risen eight inches since the 1900s; over half of that is over the last three decades. It just so happens that the peak of human activity and development took place over the last three decades. Coincidence? I think not.

That is not to say that anything that we do now would be too late to save the planet. Even though 2020 was the second warmest year according to NOAA’s temperature data, it does not mean there is nothing we can do to stop the further rise in temperature.

There are larger things the governments can do, like passing The Clean Air Act in the US. With some kind of regulation that keeps companies from too many harmful emissions, we can reduce the amount of carbon that is released into the air. The chain of events from temperature rising to ocean acidification would not be as bad. There is a lot that we as individuals can do as well. Choosing to carpool instead of driving can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the air. During Covid, when the travel restrictions were enforced, LA’s sky was clearer than ever.

There have been many complaints about the government’s action and larger companies’ actions, but there have not been enough talks on the effects that we as individuals have on the environment. While it is true that the government and large companies have substantial negative impact on the environment by dumping tons of waste products into the oceans and rivers. They caused many disasters from oceanic life dying to mass deforestation. However, we are to be blamed for these results too. No companies would undergo mass production unless there are requests for the materials being produced. While we complain about how meat plants is causing global warming, we should look down at our own plates and see how much beef we are consuming. If everyone can turn into vegetarians, meat plants would be gone. Stopping global warming is our job.

Danielle Liu ’22

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