Within the last thirty years, climate grown to be one of the most pressing political, economic, and social issues of our time. However, many are still in defiance of it's existence, even when presented with extensive amounts of evidence. If global warming is real, how come it is still very cold in some areas? One of the most basic arguments, also one of the weakest. Those who look to day to day weather patterns as evidence of global warming, do not understand what the term means. Climate change is measured on a long-term climate trends. There is an immense difference between weather and climate, and in order to truly understand climate change one must look at the long term effects and patterns recorded by scientists.
A common misconception people make is that the earth is constantly changing temperatures and this time is no different. This is true, however, they do not take into consideration the rapid spike in C02 and temperature. These truths hold to be self evident as they are clearly man made. Carbon in our atmosphere has increased by 42% since the Industrial Revolution and continues to skyrocket unless we do something about it.
Governor Bentley of Alabama has issued a state of emergency in light of a recent pipeline burst. The broken Pipeline released around 250,000 gallons of gasoline into the surrounding environment.The pipeline that usually ships around 1.3 million barrels per day of refined gasoline is now closed. Luckily, the EPA assured the public that no residents are in danger, however, surrounding wildlife and rivers might be.No matter where they take place, oil spills are disastrous. Our reliance on fossil fuels proves to be detrimental not only to our atmosphere, but the plants and animals in which we share this earth with. It is true that with new EPA plans, instituted by Obama, we are expected to reduce our reliance on oil and usage of carbon, however this does not solve for the damage we are doing right now. Hopefully we won't go past the point of no return.
While the media has been freaking out about China not giving Obama his normal red stairs to dismount Air Force One from, the US has made substantial progress in getting China on board with reducing Climate Change. Last Sunday, Obama met with China's president, Xi Jinping, to talk about reducing carbon outputs. The US and China are the two largest polluters, contributing to about 38% of the worlds Carbon emissions. Both countries agreed they need to cut emissions, and set goals for themselves. The US plans to cut emissions by 26% in the next 15 years, while China plans to stop its rising rate of carbon discharge by 2030. The US has already started to implement measures of reduction, such as a cap and trade system in California and a carbon tax in Boulder Colorado. Two of the worlds most potent leaders coming together to address such an important issue is truly amazing and will reap everlasting benefits for our planet.
Thursday morning Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church announced that harming the environment is now considered a sin. He declared "caring for the environment" to the list of traditional seven works of mercy that all Christians are called upon to follow. With the Pope being one of the most influential persons around the globe, many should listen and hopefully follow his proposal. Having Pope Francis acknowledge the growing issue of climate change and more importantly addressing it and asking for change, is a huge step forward for not only climate change activists, but the world. Calling for us humans to repay our debt to the earth, the Pope exclaims, “Economics and politics, society and culture cannot be dominated by thinking only of the short-term and immediate financial or electoral gains”, which is completely true. As climate change worsens, it's heartwarming to see such well known influential people, call for a change.