Most of us hear about the affects of global warming over the radio, television, or news all the time. We all believe global warming is occurring, right? Well recent polls show a large amount of people, even at UCAS, either don’t believe global warming exists, or don’t see it as a problem. As per slate.com, only about 40% of Americans think that Global warming exists. Global warming is in fact real, and not a conspiracy by the Chinese (looking at you Trump). The Earth’s temperature has been steadily rising since the Industrial Age, and ever since we started burning fossil fuels, the rate of increase has sky rocketed, and we don’t have a plan to deal with it.
So, first of all, what is global warming, and why is it so bad for us? Well, global warming is the average temperature of the Earth slowly increasing. The average temperature has grown by an entire 2.9 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, and on the current rate, we will have melted almost 10% of our ice caps. 10% does not sound like much, but we need to understand just how big our ice caps are. If just 10% of our ice caps melt, it will raise the Ocean by about 6.7 feet. Doesn’t sound like much? Well it is. If the oceans rise by 6.7 feet, it will have to flatten out by taking over land in coastal cities. The entire city of Manhattan will, quite literally, be submerged under a 3-4 foot layer of water. Not to mention, that almost every coastal city around the world will have to make major changes, or face abandonment. Let me remind you, this is only if 10% of our caps melt.
But what is causing the heat to go up? We hear it is the fault of green houses gases, such as Co2, but why is it causing a problem? Well, the sun emits light on various levels, ranging from our visible light to ultraviolet and infrared. Green house gases float in the atmosphere trap and infrared light, causing it to keep bouncing around in the atmosphere. As more and more infrared light bounces around, it acts as a thicker and thicker blanket, which then traps more and more heat in. It is an exponential problem, which needs to be solved before it gets even more out of hand.
What are we going to do to deal with this problem? I asked people around UCAS, if they think it should be us as citizens, or if it should be the government’s job to figure out ways to reduce global warming. Almost everyone I talked to said that it should be the job of the individual to stop global climate change. Most people did not even think the government should have any say in the way that we reduce green house gases. Likewise, UCAS students said we should all be looking to reduce our waste, and try to do things such as carpool, use solar energy, electric cars, and use clean energy transportation.