Lisa Judd | July 22 2013 11:28 EDT
ForexTV.com (New York) by Lisa Judd
The effects of Global Warming can be seen around the world. The U.S. is the leading cause of global warming, but is the last to do anything about it. Americans make up 4% of the world’s population but create 25% of the CO2 pollution. This is more CO2 than China, India, and Japan combined.
President Obama has started a campaign on Clean Air in 2012 which limits CO2 emissions from newer power plants. The administration’s efforts are to redirect energy from fossil fuels towards clean, renewable energy. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on March 27, 2012 proposed the nation’s first standard, the Clean Air Act. Prior to the new proposal the U.S. had no standards on the amount of CO2 a power plant could produce. ‘That will change with enactment of the EPA’s Clean Air Act pollution standard, which, while raising the cost of building new coal-fired power plants, will reduce the numerous and sizable health, safety and environmental costs that aren’t being factored into their cost.” “Today we’re taking a common sense step to reduce pollution in our air, protect the planet for our children, and move us into a new era of American energy,” EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson stated.
Signs of Global Warming can be seen around the world. The news is inundated with horror stories about uncontrollable wild fires, droughts, floods, and extreme heat which have caused over 20,000 deaths in Europe. The Polar ice caps are declining at a rate of 9% per decade leading to rising sea levels and increased flooding. The Ocean temperatures are rising killing our ocean life and the worlds beautiful coral reefs; causing stronger Hurricanes, earthquakes and storms. President Obama stated, “We can choose to believe that super-storm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence, or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late.”
Global Warming is caused by Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and air pollution. This acts as a blanket which traps in the sun’s heat causing the planet to heat up. The primary cause is the burning of fossil fuels which are our primary energy source. The rising temperatures can be catastrophic to humans and other species on the planet. Scientists expect the basic temperature to increase about three to nine degrees Celsius by the end of the century. The level of CO2 in the air has almost doubled since the Industrial Revolution and the signing of the Kyoto Protocol.
The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty that set a binding obligation on industrialized countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases started in 1997. The level of CO2 then was 280 parts per million and today it is 400 parts per million. The temperature has risen two degrees Celsius in the past twenty years. Over the past 50 years the average global temperature has increased at the fastest rate in history.
International action to decrease the use of fossil fuels and transfer energy sources to clean alternatives needs to happen now. The smallest changes will show an immediate decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. Why is it that the countries leadership knows what needs to be done to save the future of the planet yet so few are willing to make the necessary changes and sacrifices? Norway, Denmark, and Germany are some of the few countries that have made a notable change. The United States and China, the industrial leaders of the world need to act.
China is becoming the largest greenhouse gas emitter, behind the U.S. China having become the global manufacturing Mecca, relies heavily on their ample supply of coal China did recently announce a plan that would place a cap on its emissions over the next five years.
The worlds industrial countries need to take action now to reduce the amount of fossil fuels used, change to clean energy sources to reduce greenhouse emissions, reduce the amount of car emissions and the nations need to act soon.
There are small things that we can do to conserve energy and reduce the amount of CO2 such as change to fluorescent light bulbs and purchase energy efficient products with energy star labels showing at least 15% less energy use than federal requirements. Join the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC).