The rise of global warming: A plea for change

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), if we continue on the path we are on, the atmosphere will raise 2.7 degrees above pre-industrial levels in as little as twelve years.

To put this into perspective, the effects of this change will include more extreme weather, not unlike the recent Hurricane Michael, and the death of coral reefs such as the Great Barrier Reef.  

According to a National Geographic Article by Lauren James, half of the Great Barrier Reef has already died.With the melting of the polar ice caps, you can expect flooding of coastal cities, enough to displace residents.

At this rate, the extreme effects of global warming will be seen in your lifetime. We must start putting in the effort to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale. The IPCC believes this would take a revamping of entire economies.

To an individual, reducing global greenhouse gas emissions may seem impossible, but there are some things you can do. The most important thing is to reach out to government officials to change policy on emissions. This can be done as simply as voting in the midterm elections or as substantially as speaking directly with government officials and joining interest groups.  

On an even smaller scale, you can reduce your own emissions by carpooling, unplugging your electronics, recycling, and implementing alternative forms of energy in your homes. The decision to make the environment a top priority is up to us.

In the words of former president Barack Obama, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”