Accomplishments regarding climate change so far

People need to work harder to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and promote the use of clean energy for a safer, more secure world


Graphic Created by Emilie James

Is There Still Hope? The effects of climate change are severe. There are some organizations, however, that have been working to keep the world a little safer. “The EPA’s partners have reduced over 345 million tons of greenhouse gases in 2010 alone – equivalent to the emissions of 81 million vehicles – and saving consumers and businesses about $21 billion,” the EPA said.

Climate change and global warming has become more apparent around the world in the past decade. It is a serious issue, and according to a study in February 2020, approximately one-third of the world’s species could go extinct by 2070 due to these changes. What exactly is the cause of this?

There are five main causes of global warming, with the primary cause being greenhouse gases; variations of the sun’s intensity on Earth, industrial and agricultural activity, deforestation and the Earth’s “feedback loop” (a process that can either increase or decrease the effects of climate forces) are all strong contributors to the crisis. Humans are sadly responsible for most of these, if not the amplification and intensity of them.

Considering how bad climate change is for our future, people are left wondering what our government and other countries are doing to help.

The United States’ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been tracking and recording greenhouse gas emissions and temperatures to try and promote a future clean energy economy. In 2010 alone, they reduced the equivalent of 345 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere.

Burning fossil fuels (which is responsible for many of the greenhouse gas emissions) is still all around us- cars, electricity and heating are all really bad for the environment.

Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla Motors) has focused on providing vehicles that run on electric energy, and producing them in ways that use little to no fossil fuels. Supposedly, there isn’t even a gas line connected to what Musk is calling Tesla’s Gigafactory.

Tesla’s mission is to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” They have so far reduced the amount of greenhouse gases by 5 million metric tons.

The government has been doing really all they could do about climate change for now. If you think about it, they are not solely in control of the solutions- the people are. They cannot force people to change how they live their lives to weaken climate change.

We have to do it ourselves before it’s too late. That’s the problem: not nearly enough people are going out of their way to burn less fossil fuels, recycle, use less electricity and heating, etc.

There are some students, however, who see it differently. Junior Tyler Jones says the government is “absolutely not” doing enough to help solve climate change.

“Undeniable evidence comes out [that the] planet is dying and will have severe irreversible effects within 30 years, and you’re still doing absolutely nothing as in regards to green energy or anything in the matter,” Jones said.

There are a number of observable changes happening to the world.

“We’ve already started to see all sorts of things like oceans becoming more acidic, and things like the just overall more extreme weather especially around hurricane season. Within the next ten years, I imagine it’s just gonna be similar, just more of that, but, predictions I’ve seen for just 30 years shows irreversible damage to [the ozone layer] and oceans, stuff like that. Coral reefs dying off,” Jones said.

He continues to say that essentially nobody is doing enough, not just the government, but the general people of this country as well.

Both Jones and junior Aeryn Entz say that many things the government or other organizations can do about the climate change crisis are all being used as a way for them to make money.

“While electric vehicles are good, there’s the issue of just majorly corporatizing all of that, corporatizing the solutions and then, you know, prices of Teslas and stuff like that are so skyrocketed high, that it becomes more of, like, a status symbol, than anything else,” Jones said.

“It makes them money. These major corporations are the reason for climate change, but they’re the ones bringing in all the money towards the government,” says Entz.

Can companies like Tesla solve climate change in the future?

“With the state of how much electric cars are costing people, it’s not viable right now,” Entz said.

We still have time to make a change. There have already been irreversible effects of the crisis, but we have some powerful organizations willing – and trying- to make a change.

You can make a change too, by using less energy at home, like turning off the lights you aren’t using, or turning the heat off in your home, especially now that winter is reaching its end. You can take public transport, recycle, and so much more to try and create a safer world for future generations.