Can you reverse climate change?

Can you reverse climate change?

Yes. While we won't be able to stop global warming immediately or even over the next several decades, we can reduce the rate and limit the amount of warming by lowering human emissions of heat-trapping gases and soot ("black carbon").

The best way to do this is through policies that promote clean energy and protect the atmosphere. For example, a tax on carbon pollution would raise money for research into renewable energy technologies and protection plans for vulnerable areas. Such measures could drive the transition away from fossil fuels and help us stop climate change before it's too late.

Of course, nothing can ever be done in total isolation from politics or society. The choice of policy will have an enormous impact on how fast we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and what kind of future we want for ourselves. But no matter what decision is made at the national level, individuals can still take action to reduce their own personal impact on climate change.

Here are some ways you can contribute:

Reduce your consumption. Switch off appliances when they're not in use and turn off lights when you leave a room. This will help save energy and cut down on your heating/cooling costs.

Change your habits. Use public transport more, walk more or bike more - all of these things will help combat climate change without you even thinking about it!

Can we slow climate change?

The Earth's temperature would normalize after the extra heat was dissipated into space.

The best way to do this is by reducing the number of flights taken by airplanes around the world. They release large amounts of CO2 when they fly and their passengers don't always realize it costs money to travel by plane. A single round-trip flight between New York City and London typically produces 7m grams of CO2 (the equivalent of heating a home for four months), which is more than most people's annual contributions to greenhouse gases.

The science and technology are already there to make flying less polluting. We just need governments to take action.

Here in the United States, we have a president who does not believe in man-made climate change or environmental protection. He has removed EPA officials who were trying to protect our environment and has opened up public lands to fossil fuel development. It's a serious problem that needs to be fixed before it's too late.

What will it take to stop climate change?

Reduce your carbon footprint. The major causes of global warming are carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases. To avert the worst effects of climate change, we must achieve "net zero" carbon emissions by 2050, if not sooner. Net zero signifies that no more carbon is emitted into the atmosphere than is removed. There are many ways you can contribute toward reducing carbon emissions, such as switching off appliances when they're not in use, recycling, reusing batteries, choosing energy-efficient devices, and planting trees.

Switch to renewable energy sources. Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power are becoming more efficient and less expensive to produce. It makes sense economically to switch to these resources instead of fossil fuels. If all solar panels were taken off of homes in America today, it would still be enough to meet all our electricity needs.

Build more high-rise buildings. The more people who live in high-rise buildings, the more traffic there will be on the streets and the more fuel it takes to get them from place to place. Build more low-rise communities, with houses set back from the roads and sidewalks. This will help reduce the number of trips needed to get from place to place.

Improve public transportation. More people living in cities means more traffic and more pollution. Make sure everyone has reliable access to public transportation, so they don't have to rely on cars. Invest in buses and light rail systems that connect distant suburbs with downtown areas.

About Article Author

Nelda Eberheart

Nelda Eberheart is a biologist from the University of California, Irvine. She has been doing research on how to save endangered species for over five years and in that time she has published many journal articles and given many presentations about her work.

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