Our planet is warming up, and not in a good way! The last 20 years were the hottest in 400 years, according to several studies. An upsurge in the amount of extreme weather events, such as wildfires, heat waves, and strong tropical storms, is also attributed in part to climate change by some experts.
Between 1970 and 2004, global greenhouse gases (GHGs) have increased 70 per cent due to human activities. You don’t have to be an environmentalist to know that’s a massive jump in pollutants and a big problem for the effect it has on the planet’s natural temperature. It’s even worse for carbon dioxide; its annual emissions grew by about 80 per cent between the same period. Our society is pouring carbon dioxide into the atmosphere much faster than plants and oceans can absorb it.
According to e! Science News, atmospheric CO2 is currently 385 parts per million (PPM) and is increasing by about two PPM each year from the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) and from the burning of forests. Experts predict the point of no return is 450-500 PPM — so that leaves us around 30 years before it will be very uncomfortable to breathe natural air. That may sound a long way off … but it’s probably in most people’s lifetime.
Paul Krugman, internationally renowned economist and author, painted precisely the current situation in his column for New York Times - "And as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet." It’s a basic fact that the Earth’s natural temperature is not going to stabilize itself unless we join our forces and start making a difference!
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