Global Warming – Consequences and Solutions

I am seeking to draw attention to dangerous environmental hazards as more people release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in the coming years. Global Warming will have devastating impacts on Florida coasts if human causes are not curtailed.

RisingTempsThankfully I believe a majority of people now acknowledge humans are responsible for increasing global temperatures as a result of our CO2 emissions. NASA and NOAA confirm that the hottest years on record each occurred in the last ten years and that 2015, the year previous to this letter, was the hottest year since records began in the 1800s. CO2 levels are also higher than they have ever been in the last 600,000 years. The spike we are experiencing now began around 1950.

The consequences of Global Warming receive less press than the fact that temperatures are on a constant rise because of unchecked human activity but please let me share what the worst consequence will be.

KilamanjaroThe Gulf Stream is powered by a difference in water temperature called the Thermohaline Circulation which oxygenates the oceans through its steady current. A slowdown of this current in the Atlantic has already been detected and a significant slowdown, or complete shutdown of this current because of water temperature increase could lead to a collapse of plankton stocks which will create a chain reaction of mass extinction in the oceans. It may interest you that scientists also predict this slow down in ocean circulation will lead to increased storms and floods and El Nino, which are all happening now in January 2016 as this letter is being written.

While addressed but underrated in media coverage Global Warming is the most dangerous threat to our society and to our continued survival as a species we have ever faced. I do not wish to sound hyperbolic but straight talking is necessary to inspire the appropriate action to deal with this threat.

GlobalWarmingTo stabilize temperatures we must take action to reduce CO2 emissions. Residential and commercial buildings account for 72% of all electric use in the United States. Electricity generation in turn accounts for 31% of United States’ man-made emissions.

Germany now generates more than 27% of its electricity consumption from renewable sources. The Renewable Energy bill that has encouraged this rapid transition in Germany is known as the Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz (EEG). The bill establishes gauranteed feed-in tariffs and utility connection requirements to renewable generation sites: (solar electric panels, wind, biomass, geothermal and hydro-power etc.). The bill also gives renewable generators a preferable electric rate. Feed-in tariffs decrease on a schedule to assert cost pressure on renewable generators for higher efficiency over time.

We must also mandate builders to conform to a policy like the International Energy Construction Code to ensure that new construction will consume as little energy as possible to further reduce emissions.

American Solar Jacksonville FloridaWill you write your state and city representatives to establish these laws? Their emails can be found on city, state and congressional websites. Ignoring Global Warming for a decade has already lead to negative trends around the world. If we do not take bold and decisive action now to reduce our CO2 emissions the result will be global catastrophe, mass extinction and societal instability. This will occur in the near future. We will certainly lose our standard of living and many of us will not survive the irreversible environmental consequences of this threat.

References

  1. “Electricity Sector Emissions,”

United States Environmental Protection Agency, available at

http://www3.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/sources/electricity.html

  1. “Shutdown of Thermohaline Circulation,”

Wikipedia, available at

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shutdown_of_thermohaline_circulation

  1. “Gloal Climate Change – Vital Signs of our Planet,”

NASA articles, available at

http://climate.nasa.gov/

  1. “German Renewable Energy Act,”

Wikipedia, available at

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Renewable_Energy_Act

  1. Steve, Ginsburg and Sanacory, Anthony. “It Ain’t Easy Building Green Part 2, Sustainable Practices for Sustainable building.” Available at

http://www.duanemorris.com/articles/static/ginsburg_sanacory_buildingprofits_0213.pdf.

  1. “International Green Construction Code,”

International Code Council, available at

http://www.iccsafe.org/codes-tech-support/international-green-construction-code-igcc/international-green-construction-code/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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