Why Climate Change is THE Issue of Our Time
October 22, 2014.
When thousands of highly trained scientists raise concerns about climate change - we listen.
Study after study has shown that the planet is warming at an unprecedented rate and that the primary cause is human use of fossil fuels.
Since the discovery of the coal, oil, and natural gas we have been burning the stuff as fast as we can dig and pump it out of the ground. We're so used to the convenience of using fossil fuels for energy that we don't even notice it anymore. You can add 10 gallons of gasoline to your car in about three minutes – enough to drive a one ton car 230+ miles. This is more energy than our great grandparents ever dreamed of!
The problem is, that through our smokestacks, home chimneys and tailpipes we have been polluting the atmosphere a minimal cost....until now.
Fact Not Fiction
It is unequivocal that human emitted “greenhouse” gasses are steeply warming the earth. And those emissions have increased the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere to levels that haven't been seen on the planet for ~800,000 years! We reached 400 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere in 2013 - roughly 50% more than what it was from the 1880’s - and are tracking to hit 500ppm by mid to late century.
It’s also clear we need to take action quickly if we want to secure a world for ourselves, children, and grandchildren that was like the one we and prior generations enjoyed.
The forecasts are daunting. If we don’t reduce our global consumption of fossil fuels by 80 to 90% by the year 2050, there is a strong chance we will create a permanent shift in the Earth's climate.
Good News - There is Still Time to Act
But fortunately, there is good news.
There is still time to act. Despite the emissions released to date, there is still a window of opportunity to secure a good, safe climate for generations to come. If we start today, we can, over time, reduce our energy use and shift to renewable fuels at a manageable pace. But we need to get started. It’s time for all of us to take personal action. And the ideas and information we need to achieve this lower carbon future is part of what this blog is all about!
Looking for more information on the science and forecast impacts of climate change? Check out our learn section and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page, and check back on ClimateAction often for the latest news and ideas.