The Causes of Climate Change


Harris G. and Annelie T.

     The Arctic is melting, sea levels are rising, and natural disasters are becoming more frequent and extreme. The harsh truth is that human-caused climate change is drastically harming our planet. Deforestation, unethical and short-sighted agriculture, and, most of all, the burning of fossil fuels are all causing rapid climate change.

     Greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide, are the largest cause of climate change. Fortunately, plant life makes a major contribution to reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by absorbing it. The Amazon rainforest alone absorbs 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide yearly. However, at the same time, humans deforest millions of hectares worth of land. “Between August 2020 and July 2021, the rainforest lost 10,476 square kilometers,” says The Guardian. People have deforested so much of the Amazon that some sections of it have started to emit more carbon dioxide than they absorb. The Amazon is not the only area facing this crisis. Every day, all over the world, companies burn down large areas of forests for agriculture that only lasts a few years. Much more profit and much less damage could be made over a long period of time by using the forest’s natural resources instead. And while companies will always choose quick profit over the environment, government regulation could prevent them from doing this and help moderate climate change.

     But even if our forests are restored and protected, the use of fossil fuels will still emit more carbon dioxide than plant life can absorb. In fact, fossil fuels account for 87 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions. This harmful method is responsible for most of our energy production, making it clear that in order to halt climate change, we need to find an alternative source. Currently, the most common renewable energy sources are solar, wind, hydro, tidal, geothermal, and biomass. Nuclear energy — while not renewable — is also a viable alternative, and would be a faster substitute for fossil fuels compared to other options. Despite the stigma surrounding it, nuclear energy is surprisingly both safe and clean, making it an apt short-term solution. However, this is a highly controversial topic, so all that can be said for sure is that we need to switch over to clean energy sources as soon as possible.

     As climate change becomes more of a critical issue, the preservation of forests and use of clean energy necessitates. Because of this, people must prioritize the well-being of our environment over personal economic profit, and governments must enforce regulations on corporations in order to achieve this. To learn more about this topic, you can visit “Climate Change’s Consequences for  Critters… And More” by Kelsie Victor and Tessa Hill here on The Talon to learn more about how Earth’s species are negatively affected by these issues.