Five Feet High and Rising

What’s the difference between 1.5 and 2.0 degrees Celsius? Nearly 1.0 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s it. That’s what it takes for sea level rise to decrease 10 cm by 2100. To lower the impact of damage terrestrial, freshwater, and coastal ecosystems. To save species from extinction. In order to prevent this 0.5 degree increase, technological, or socio-technological fixes must take place, and fast. As we’ve learned so far, technological fixes rarely, if ever, fix the problem without any backlash. But as we know based on the three types of fixes, that problems will eventually arise elsewhere or be delayed. If you ask me, that’s fine. Preventing climate change from increasing to 2.0 degrees Celsius is unarguably the most important issue right now. The Paris Agreement is a good first step. The agreement is meant to “accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future” (United Nations). Carbon dioxide is the worlds most emitted greenhouse gas. The places emitted the most are the United States and China. This gas is mainly released from things like coal and fuel. It seems to me that the best technological fix for this is to reduce, or eliminate, the coal industry as well as mandating emissions testings for vehicles throughout the nation. Renewable energy can opt for coal. Trump says, “The coal industry is back.” Eliminating the coal industry would take many people’s jobs away. That’s where the “socio” part will come in to play. Just as many jobs could be gained through emissions testings as well as renewable energy.

It can be argued that the first “Climate Scientist” was Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier. He observed and calculated that something the size of Earth with respect to the distance of the Sun should not be as warm as it is. So he determined that something must be keeping the heat inside the atmosphere, or at least slowing down the heat from bouncing back. This was nearly two hundred years ago. Other scientists that followed were people like John Tyndall, whom Reidy mentions about his discoveries and submissions to the Royal Society. Another was Svante Arrhenius, a scientist who concluded Tyndall’s discovery of the Ice Ages. Climate contrarians are ignorant. Tyndall defended science and its roots, but contrarians bend and misuse the science. Climate science has been studied for centuries, and to say that it’s in its infancy is not true. Time may have had its limitations due to technology, but you can’t argue the facts of true, empirical science.



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