For a short moment, pause, imagine the most fervent forest you can recall from memory. Envision the the air heavy with dew and alive with melody of birds and life pervading in the background. The grounds surrounding you blanketed in moss and leaves. Now take away the sound, take away all the shades of green hanging thick on every limb. Replace all of it with barren land scorched by hell fire. There are no birds to soothe the forest, nor any life for that matter. Slow decay of all things living is the only sure path we travel on with a heavy carbon footprint.
World leaders, representing over 170 countries, gathered in Paris on November 30, 2015 at the Climate Change Summit. All with the mutual intention to come up with an agreement to cut each country’s CO2 emissions. The reality of it is, as Rachel Kyte Vice Presidents of World Bank and climate change activist , “We happen to be the last generation that can end climate change”. The matter of the fact is just beginning to resonate with the world. If the world continues on the same path its decline is inevitable. The result if these ways continue will only result in extreme drought, natural disaster, famine, and food shortages. What may seem exponential to corporate heads now, will make growth impossible in a few years.
In the past century alone, the temperature has climbed 0.7 degrees Celsius, roughly ten times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming. If temperature increases continue at this pace the subtle changes will have perilous effects. Similar to Mad Max, the drought that lasted 4 years in California, the change in temperature will cause an amplified drought that could possibly last up to 20 years. The lack of water will then cause rampant wildfires to spread across the West Coast to the mid-West. The main cause of this dramatic rise in temperature is Carbon Dioxide build up in the atmosphere, which leaders at the Climate Summit are aiming to reduce drastically. CO2 acts a greenhouse gas, blanketing the world, and trapping heat.
The change in climate will not only cause natural disaster, but it will also contribute to a huge rise in sea levels. When carbon dioxide is combined with water, it creates carbonic acid, meaning that the supply of clean water on Earth will decline. The world will be facing calamity. There will be extinction of many species due to their habitats changing and famine amongst the masses caused by lack of supplies. Children, the elderly, and the poor are most vulnerable to a range of climate-related health effects, including those related to heat stress, air pollution, extreme weather events, and diseases carried by food, water, and insects
2014 was the hottest year on record globally, and 2015 is on track to break that record (white house . gov). With the world on the line it’s clear that the future of mankind is in the hand of the 30,000 delegates attending the conference. “We are on the brink. We are on the brink of a suicide, to use a strong word, and I am sure that most of those at the COP have this conscience, and want to do something,” Pope Francis says regarding the changes that must be enacted immediately.
So what do these delegates actually plan on doing to save the world? The Summit’s main focus was on China and the U.S., two of the biggest contributors to the carbon footprint, both of whom are very agreeable on cutting back. Obama already has a Clean Power Plan that works around creating clean energy to substitute for electricity and petroleum. China agreed to lower carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 60-65 from 2005 levels with similar tactics to the U.S’s.
The Summits has already suggested putting a large tax on energy use such as electricity and gasoline, which will show economic for the government, but perilous for the citizens of every country – who will have the same access as they do currently to alternative energy, causing them to have to pay the huge tax. The plan is to increase agriculture in attempts to recycle more carbon and create more oxygen. What should be accomplished at the Climate Summit is a mutual agreement to fund facilities that will harvest clean energy. The aspect of corporate profit needs to be neglected, and the focus should solely be on helping the environment, so future generations will have the opportunity to flourish.
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