Earth’s temperature reached a record high in 2016.
We have the power to give kids growing up today a livable future, so Lisa McCormick is calling for a nationwide commitment to 100% renewable energy. Burning oil, gas and coal has not only polluted our air, water and land for decades. Now it’s changing our climate even faster than scientists feared it would.
“Imagine being able to power your life without harming the environment. Imagine our country producing and consuming energy while we enjoy healthy, livable communities,” said Lisa McCormick. “These are not science fiction fantasies, but immediately achievable realities. They make sense from every vantage including economics, environmental science, and equity.”
“We can have healthier communities right now and promote a livable future for kids growing up today,” said Lisa McCormick. “But to get there, we need to transform the way we produce and consume energy.”
Our Earth is warming. Earth’s average temperature has risen by 1.5°F over the past century, and is projected to rise another 0.5 to 8.6°F over the next hundred years. Small changes in the average temperature of the planet can translate to large and potentially dangerous shifts in climate and weather.
The evidence is clear. Rising global temperatures have been accompanied by changes in weather and climate. Many places have seen changes in rainfall, resulting in more floods, droughts, or intense rain, as well as more frequent and severe heat waves.
The planet’s oceans and glaciers have also experienced some big changes – oceans are warming and becoming more acidic, ice caps are melting, and sea levels are rising. As these and other changes become more pronounced in the coming decades, they will likely present challenges to our society and our environment.
Rising sea levels due to the melting of the polar ice caps, caused by climate change, contribute to greater storm damage; warming ocean temperatures are associated with stronger and more frequent storms; additional rainfall, particularly during severe weather events, leads to flooding and other damage; an increase in the incidence and severity of wildfires threatens habitats, homes, and lives; and heat waves contribute to human deaths and other consequences.
Humans are responsible for climate change. Over the past century, human activities have released large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The majority of greenhouse gases come from burning fossil fuels to produce energy, although deforestation, industrial processes, and some agricultural practices also emit gases into the atmosphere.
We can make a difference
You can take action. You can take steps at home, on the road, and in your office to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the risks associated with climate change. Many of these steps can save you money; some, such as walking or biking to work, can even improve your health! You can also get involved on a local or state level to support energy efficiency, clean energy programs, or other climate programs.