Climate Change As Simply As Possible

As Simply As Possible

(Please note: This is my attempt to summarise my understanding of the problems surrounding climate change, as well as propose solutions to those problem. Please take everything with a big grain of salt, because I am not climate change researcher/expert. I have only read books/researched/seen a lot of people talk about it to form my understanding.)

  • Humans have always needed energy. For much of modern history, our needs were modest, and our means of extraction primitive. Recently, we started burning fossil fuels. These released heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere. Because of this, worldwide temperatures steadily rose. This was known as global warming. 
  • Global warming lead to the melting of ice in the Arctic, which is leading to rising sea levels. It also threatens to cause the extinction of endangered species, and increase the likelihood of extreme weather events.
  • There are three parts to solving this problem:
    1. Reducing emissions – The best way to ensure that this takes place is to 1) tax fossil fuels, and 2) subsidize renewable sources of energy. This is an ideal solution, since it targets the disease rather than the symptom. When oil companies extract fossil fuel from the earth and sell it, they do not pay for the damage done to the environment. The carbon tax ensures this happens. On the other hand, when renewable energy companies build solar panels, or when people buy electric cars, no-one pays them back for the good they do to the environment. The subsidy ensures this happens.
    2. Preparing ourselves- This means if a natural disaster happens tomorrow because of climate change, we should be prepared. This can be done through as reducing the population density around coastal areas, and improving the infrastructure of our cities.
    3. Modifying our environment artificially (geo-engineering)– This is the worst-case apocalypse scenario which involves either reducing the sunlight hitting the earth (thereby making it less warm), or reducing the amount of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere (thereby making it less warm again)
  • Finally, society has spent enough time debating the validity and severity of climate change. It is time the scientific and political discourse changes to solutions to tackle this global problem.

Yes, it’s that simple!

PS: Now that the serious stuff is done, here are some random protest signs I found when I was looking for an image to feature for this post:

Protesters carry signs during the Peoples Climate March in front of the statue of Lafayette at the White House in Washington

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