Thus, since we are a major contributor to the problem, we need to be the first to step up with global solutions.
In addition, the country (and the world) needs to start to encourage the development of alternative energies on a large scale. Homes that utilize solar, geothermal, and/or wind power should receive tax breaks, and there should be significant incentives to build "green" in the future. In addition, we need to stop our dependence on foreign oil NOW, as the recent spike in oil prices clearly indicates. We need to develop alternative fuel sources, alternative power sources, and much more environmentally friendly ways of generating the power we need for our homes, schools, and businesses, and we need to do it as soon as possible.
There is mounting evidence that extreme weather events that have recently occurred are at least partly due to global warming. There have been studies that indicate with climate change, there will be more high-level tornadoes and hurricanes, and their seasons will last longer. A journalist notes, "The conclusion would seem to be that, with global warming, hurricanes are becoming not only more severe but also more frequent. And the mainstream media is paying attention" (Jordan). In addition, the EPA states, "...greenhouse warming and other human alterations of the Earth system may increase the possibility of large, abrupt, and unwelcome regional or global climatic events" (Editors). In addition, many of the worldwide heat waves that have killed so many people are usually blamed on global warming.
Ecosystems can adapt to climate change if they are given enough time. In the past, climate change has happened very gradually, and the planet has had no trouble adapting. However, now, the climate is changing much more rapidly, and the planet does not have time to readjust and adapt to these changes that are happening so fast. We are losing ecosystems like coral reefs, jungles, and agricultural land at a much more rapid rate, and we do not have time to wait for the Earth to adjust and replenish naturally.
The U.S. has several policies designed to help reduce greenhouse gases and help stop climate change, mostly that affect the country between 2002 and 2012. Yet, many of these policies, such as reducing greenhouse emissions and gas-reduction initiatives do not seem to be making much of a difference in people's habits, or in the energy use across the country. Perhaps the biggest push toward gas saving has been the recent spike in oil prices to over $110 per barrel. Many people are using public transportation and curtailing their trips, both by car and other transportation, because of the expense of gas, and this may ultimately lead to greater public demand for gas-saving measures and development of alternative fuels.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an organization created by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations (UN). It does not research climate change or monitor the weather, but it does provide information on global climate change to governments and the private sector ("About"). The organization was created in an attempt to provide impartial information that could be utilized by a variety of governments and nations around the world in an effort to mutually solve the problem of global warming and climate change.
It is quite clear that a temperature increase of several degrees could really be significant to the global climate. The EPA states, "Records from land stations and ships indicate that the global mean surface temperature warmed by between 1.0 and 1.7°F since 1850" (Editors). This seems like a miniscule amount, but it is already having significant affects on the planet, from rising sea levels due to ice melt (ocean levels have risen anywhere between 4.8 to 8.8 inches in the last one hundred years) (Editors), to major changes in weather and in many ecosystems. A bigger rise in temperature would only add to the problems we are already experiencing, and if the temperature rises too high, it could eventually mean the end of life on the planet, as we know it.
In conclusion, global warming or climate change is a reality. Scientists have proven it, and many people are also experiencing the results of this climate change in their day-to-day lives. There are many who believe global warming does not exist, that it does not pose a threat, and that man is not the cause of this climate change. If they continue to perpetuate these beliefs, the planet and her people could suffer great, irreparable damage. Global warming is not a political issue, although many people are making it one. It is a survival issue, and if something radical is not done soon, our generation will not be the one to suffer the most. That will be the generations that follow us, and if we wait too long, there may not be a generation or more after them to tell us the 20th century scientists were right.
Author not Available. "About the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change." IPCC.ch. 2008. 14 March 2008. http://www.ipcc.ch/about/index.htm
Editors. "Climate Change." EPA.gov. 2008. 14 March 2008. http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/
Johansen, Bruce E. The Global Warming Desk Reference. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002.
Jordan, Stuart. "The Global Warming Crisis." The Humanist Nov.-Dec.…