We Have a Moral Responsibility to Stop Climate Change

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Climate Change and Business as Usual
Scientists have shown that over the past 150 years, since the start of the Industrial Revolution, human activities have been a substantial contributing factor to climate change. Emissions from carbon dioxide (CO2) and other heat-trapping gases, also referred to as greenhouse gases, have increased the greenhouse effect that causes the atmosphere to retain heat. This in turn has caused the earth’s surface temperature to rise. This is known as climate change, and the primary human activity causing it is the burning of fossil fuels. Although CO2 is absorbed and emitted naturally through animal and plant respiration, volcanic eruptions, and ocean-atmosphere exchange, atmospheric CO2 emissions have increased nearly 40% from pre-industrial times. The increase is largely due to human activities that include the burning of fossil fuels and changes in land use that require deforestation (EPA).
The effects of global climate change on the environment are very real and already observable. In the past, some of the things scientists had predicted that global climate change would cause were loss of sea ice, accelerated sea level rise and longer, more intense heat waves. We are witnessing those changes now. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which includes more than 1,300 scientists from the United States and other countries, we can expect to see a temperature rise of 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century. The impact of these temperature rises will be beneficial in some regions and harmful in others, with the extent of climate change effects on individual regions varying over time. The IPCC predicts that net annual costs will increase over time as glo...

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