By Katherine Lee ‘22

Human-caused climate change is definitely one of the most serious issues in the world since the early 1800s. The emission of CO2 started during the Industrial era, where humans built an immense amount of factories. Climate change is a topic that the United Nations and many scientists in different countries are dealing with. Climate change includes the rise of the sea level, the melt of the glaciers, the warming of the temperature, the ozone’s hole (this is caused by human activities and pollution) and many other situations. The only solution known to put an end to climate change is to decrease the amount of CO2 discharged.

The emission of CO2 had not increased in 4 years, until the year 2017. The emissions gap report points out that economic growth is the cause of the CO2 increase. As the amount of CO2 gas discharged from factories and other places increased, the GDP (gross domestic product) increased in amount comparing to the past four years. Many nations are working on protecting the environment. The reason why many nations do so is that they wanted to protect the environment and also because they signed the Paris Agreement in the end of 2015. The goals of the Paris Agreement were to be able to limit the temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius (35.6 degrees Fahrenheit), or even limit it in just 1.5 degrees Celsius (34.7 degrees Fahrenheit). But because of this rise in the emission of CO2, the analysts say it will not be likely to achieve that goal by 2030.

The United States and China form 40% of the carbon dioxide emission on the world. Both countries are members of the United Nations, thus they both signed the Paris agreement. Soon after President Trump was elected President of the United States, he decided not to participate in coping with climate change along with other countries in June of 2018. This year, President Trump read the climate change report, which 13 federal agencies and over 300 scientists worked on to prove that planet Earth is getting warmer. After President Trump read some part of it, he said he does not believe it. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said, “We think this is the most extreme version and it’s not based on facts. It’s based on—it’s not data-driven. We’d like to see something that is more data-driven.” Just because the facts do not match the long existing beliefs of President Trump that climate change does not exist does not mean that he can ignore the facts and what is actually happening in the world.

In my point of view on what happened recently, I think economic growth and climate change are issues that are equally significant to the world. Without good economies, countries would not have enough money to protect or improve the environment. Finding a way to balance climate change and economy would be a very hard task for the countries and scientists. It is also our job to protect our environment. If everyone does one simple act, people can do a huge favor to planet Earth. I am looking forward for a day where the animals’ natural habitat will not be affected by the temperature, and the temperature will be stable; that is a day where the change will happen.