Climate Change and Global Warming: Humanity’s Greatest Challenge
Climate change is the most serious environmental and public health problem facing humanity. The average temperature of the world continues to rise due to increasing levels of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel emissions. We are now witnessing more weather extremes with more drought and floods, more intense hurricanes, massive fires, melting glaciers, and rising sea levels. Unless major actions are undertaken to reduce greenhouse gases within the next two decades, the impacts to life on our planet, including ourselves, will be irreversible.
Over the past 25 years, Dr. Clark has provided dozens of talks on climate change and energy solutions at the U.S. EPA, universities, and a range of audiences. He believes that public education on climate is critically important and is available to provide talks upon request.
Small changes in carbon dioxide have large impacts on earth’s climate. Carbon dioxide levels are 25% higher than observed in 800,000 years and the temperature is higher and accelerating faster than in the past 2,000 years. The best scientific assessments, published, and extensively peer reviewed, indicate that ecosystems and agriculture will be irreversibly damaged if average temperatures rise more than about 3 degrees Centigrade. To stay within a 2 degree rise, projections show that net carbon emissions must be decreased by nearly 100% in just the next 30 years. Yet world fossil fuel consumption continues to rise. Temperatures already have risen one degree since 1990 and the planet is on track to equal or exceed the 2-3 degree maximum target by 2050.
Polls show that the majority of the public believes human induced global warming is real and they want action. We only have a decade or two to move away from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Realistic economic and political solutions to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, such as a carbon tax that would be given to Americans as a tax credit, must be promoted. Time is not on our side.
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