Climate change needs more than government recognition

Courtesy of Creative Commons said that one of the most dire effects of climate change is the rising of sea levels.

Vaughn Battista

Global warming is one of the most pressing issues of our planet today. The general consensus is that it exists, and people contribute to it. NASA reports that 97 percent of peer-reviewed articles about climate change claim that humans play a significant role in the impact of climate change.

Yet a majority of activists only talk about whether climate change is real or not. Celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio donated a $3.6 million grant to combat climate change according to Fox News, and organizations like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and NASA have done a lot of climate change activism. But most of this activism has been promoting the idea that climate change exists. While this discussion is important, there’s only so much it can do. Instead, climate scientists and activists should shift their focus from debating the existence of climate change to solutions to the problem, which could influence politicians to do more to combat it.

But because few solutions have been brought up, a majority of politicians have only tried to solve the problem with carbon emission limits. Carbon dioxide makes up 82 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, according to the EPA. While this is a good idea in theory, it has its flaws. For example, California has put a strict limit on carbon emissions, but analysts predict that most of the fossil fuel burning companies will move their businesses to areas with lighter regulations on emissions, meaning that most of the climate change reform would be ineffective, according to the Los Angeles Times.

On the other hand, alternative clean energy sources, such as wind and sunlight, are beginning to seem like viable competition for the fossil fuels that contribute to the growing climate change epidemic. The International Energy Agency reported that in 2013, renewable energy made up 22 percent of global electricity generation. There are also groups like the Nuclear Energy Institute that have suggested to reinvestigate the merits of nuclear energy as a clean energy source. But these voices are small in comparison to the majority of climate activists simply trying to convince the world that it exists.

Acknowledging the problem is a great first step, but it’s time to advance and tackle the solutions. If climate activists call for more solutions rather than just the fact that global warming exists, then more politicians would be able to respond and implement these ideas into the government and economy. Regardless of what the right solution is, climate change will not just stop when we say it exists.