By 2040, we may see severe climate conditions. Unbridled carbon emissions are projected to cause an overwhelming rise in global temperatures, resulting in the destruction of all coral reefs, significant rise in sea levels, and irreversible damage to many ecosystems and social environments. Not only can a technological fix be implemented to help combat the CO2 levels in the atmosphere, one may be necessary. New technologies including electric cars, efficient and cost-effective solar panels, and new ways to store energy are being developed every day. Widespread implementation of these innovations could help to reduce our impact on climate change. However, a successful shift to a more sustainable world requires commitment at the personal, governmental, and global levels. To reduce emissions in such a short time period, there needs to a massive shift in the collective efforts to fight climate change. It is hard to imagine that the world will turn on a dime to face the issue head on. It may even take us until 2040 to convince everybody that global warming is real. Barring a large-scale, effective campaign to raise awareness and implement new programs the world over, I unfortunately do not see us meeting the goals detailed in the Paris Agreement.
John Tyndall described what would become known as the greenhouse effect as early as 1861 (Reidy). Despite what climate contrarians may say, global warming is an issue that has, at the very least, been considered for over 100 years. The idea that global warming may actually affect us is the idea in its infancy. It is only recently that we have been able to examine the extreme effects of climate change and confirm that we have caused the Earth to heat up since the start of the industrial age.