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Americans need to act before 2020

When 99 percent of climate scientists agree that global warming is a problem, that’s a sign that there’s a problem, man-made or not.

Last month, President Donald Trump finally acknowledged that global warming wasn’t the hoax that he claimed it to be 2012.

“I think something’s happening. Something’s changing and it’ll change back again,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a hoax. I think there’s probably a difference. But I don’t know that it’s manmade. I will say this: I don’t want to give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don’t want to lose millions and millions of jobs.”

While we all want jobs, the Earth’s climate doesn’t appear to be following a natural cooling pattern, so man-made issue or not we should probably be doing something.

According to Time, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows that the Earth hasn’t had a cooler-than-average year since 1976 or a cooler-than-average month since 1985.

It’s 2018, and temperatures and weather seem to be getting crazier than ever, with Hurricane Michael as the latest example.

According to, 95 percent of scientists have linked global warming to the last century of human activities expanding the atmosphere’s natural greenhouse effect.

This has and will continue to cause warmer temperatures, weather conditions leading to flooding or droughts, higher sea levels, and problems with crop growing and plant ecosystems.
Human activities such as deforestation, land use changes, and burning fossil fuels are the major man-made contributors to increased CO2 in the atmosphere. However, other human activities also contribute to the increase in the other greenhouse gases.

One natural cause for global warming is solar irradiance, which is caused by changes in the sun’s energy output. However, this cannot be blamed for global warming because recent analysis shows solar irradiance can only account for 10 percent of the increase in global warming in the 20th century.

Therefore, it sounds like there’s some changes that can be made on the human side of global warming.

According to the Scientific American website, in order to prevent runaway climate change the world needs to make radical changes in how climate change is approached by 2020.

One way the world is and the United States was working on doing so was through the Paris Accords, which was an agreement between 196 countries to cut their carbon emission levels down to safer levels, such as 2C, as well as to provide aid to the poorer countries that need assistance meeting the guidelines and countries that need climate disaster relief, according to The Guardian.

The agreement was made by President Barack Obama in 2015. However, Trump decided to pull out of the Paris Accords in June 2017, leaving China, India, and the European Union to lead the global fight against climate change, according to Business Insider.

According to, the United States is the country or group of countries with the second-highest carbon emissions, with China first, the European Union third, and India fourth.
The United States has less people than all three. It is unacceptable for our country to be such a large contributor to global warming and then take zero responsibility on an issue that could irreversibly effect the whole world.

It is time that Americans take responsibility for their actions contributing to global warming before it becomes too late.

The first step is acknowledging that global warming is a problem and then electing people into office that also consider it a problem. Therefore, elected officials will actually consider the issue when making decisions.

According to a 2017 Gallup poll, a record high of 71 percent of Americans believe scientists that say global warming is real, 68 percent agree that it is a result of human activities, 62 percent believe global warming is occurring, 45 percent are seriously worried about global warming, and 42 percent believe global warming will cause a serious threat in their lifetime.
With more than half of Americans believing global warming is caused by human activities and just under half of Americans seriously concerned about the issue, it’s time to look at our individual actions, whether our government is on board or not.

According to The Guardian, some ways people can reduce their carbon emissions are by limiting their traveling or traveling in groups or using more environmentally friendly vehicles; eating less cow and lamb meat; reducing home heating through better insulation; changing to LED light bulbs; reducing consumption by going for quality over quantity; investing in renewable energy; buying from companies that support low-carbon production or renewable energy; and being vocal about backing out of the fossil fuel industry.

It can be as simple as eating less cow and lamb meat, changing all your lightbulbs to LED, and not getting the newest iPhone until your old one doesn’t work anymore.

The increased carbon emissions have been building since the Industrial Revolution and action has been put off. In order to continue to have a livable Earth, we need to act now before it’s too late. Jobs and money aren’t going to matter if we have nowhere to use them.

Americans need to take action to reduce their carbon emissions before 2020. President Donald Trump acknowledged global warming, but said it isn’t worth sacrificing jobs or money.
Cartoon by Hannah Onder
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Americans need to act before 2020