Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperature or weather patterns. The causes of climate change shifts can be natural or, in our case, sped up by human activities. Human activities that have influence on climate change include burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas. In fact, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), human activities have been the main driver of climate change. When we burn fossil fuels, we emit greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide and methane. When we emit greenhouse gasses, they act like a blanket being wrapped around the earth. The blanket slowly raises temperatures over time. Climate change is not just about rising temperatures, however. Since the Earth is an interconnected system, changes in one area will influence others. These can result in disasters such as drought, severe storms, flooding, and other events.
What are the Main Factors that Influence Climate Change?
Climate change is a natural process on a small, gradual scale. Natural processes like volcanic eruptions and changes in the sun’s energy affect the climate. However, the rate at which it is occurring is highly unnatural and caused by human activity. Since the start of the industrial revolution, there has been a severe increase in greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions have caused temperatures to rise steadily over time. We have already seen an increase of 1.1° C since 1850-1900. Over the next 20 years, global temperatures are expected to rise or exceed 1.5° C of warming. The high emission rates of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide produced by manufacturing and corporate growth create the greenhouse effect.
Can We Stop or Fix It?
Yes, we can! Although, we cannot stop it overnight; it is a long process that will take years of policy and lifestyle changes. If all emissions were to stop today, Earth’s temperature would still rise for a few decades before leveling out. This is due to excess heat stored in our oceans that would surface and radiate out. However, once this heat is released, Earth’s temperature would begin to stabilize. This theoretical approach is not currently reasonable, however, as we cannot immediately stop all our emissions across the globe. This would likely cause a global economic and societal collapse as much of our society relies on fossil fuels to function.
However, there are steps to take that can limit our emissions slowly to help slow the rate of climate change. One of the best steps to take for individuals is to walk, bike, or use public transportation to travel. Our roadways are clogged with vehicles that emit intense amounts of greenhouse gasses. Having one less car on the road can make a big impact nationwide.
Though individual steps are important, the vast majority of gas emissions are created by global corporations as they make and transport goods. Regulations on these entities can help reduce emissions more quickly.
Resisting Climate Change Through National Environmental Advocacy
Taking steps to fight climate change is no small task. It will take decades of coordination and collaboration to help combat the effects. MLG attorneys are bringing attention to any bad actors that negatively impact our environment through greedy corporate practices. Our team of Environmental attorneys recognize the impact we have right now and are taking steps towards positive change. The fight against climate change is not just ours; it will affect generations to come.
If you need legal representation in an environmental matter, call (909) 345-8110 today for a free consultation with our professional Environmental matters team.