Climate Change in Our Community

Climate change is the number one issue facing us today, yet we do not fully recognize the consequences of climate change and how to take it seriously. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, a large majority of actively publishing climate scientists, around 97 percent, agree that individuals are creating global warming and climate change. The devastating aspect of all of this is the fact that greenhouse gas emission in cities is becoming larger than ever. This grievously shows that “A small number of large and or affluent cities drive a significant share of national total emissions.” The pollution will affect us significantly if we keep walking this destructive path, with zero regards to the planet.

Climate Change in the Cities

Although some readers may argue otherwise, the truth remains that cities account for 70 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions while consuming two-thirds of the world’s energy. Supporting my argument is United States News, which states that the United States has a large carbon footprint that emits above average CO2 into the atmosphere thanks to the utilization of fossil fuels. Further proving my point is the fact that Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York have some of the highest footprints in the world. If we keep going at this rate, we will not have a planet to call home. Considering a significant proportion of energy used by most people comes from the burning of fossil fuels, one may question, does urban form and spatial structure affect greenhouse gas (GHG) emission in the same way they affect mobility and residential energy consumption? An essay by Ivan Muniz and Carolina Alejandra Rojas indicates that population density does not apply a noteworthy effect on GHG emanations in portability and lodging.

Data Shows Us the Truth

Demonstrating my argument, I present you with factual evidence, not a shred of anecdotal evidence, that the 100 highest urban areas account for 18 percent of the global carbon footprint. In most countries, the rich and poor had the highest total emissions. The cities that had the highest emission tend to be the wealthiest nations. This leads to higher emissions in cities like New York or Chicago, which are overpopulated. Therefore, they require more resources like transportation, more consumption of goods, and due to the large scale of people, more development of resources. However, hope is not lost because urban density can, in a way, create the possibility for change. Hear me out, according to C40 Cities, urban cities can reduce their carbon footprint; for example, cities aligned with C40 are undertaking climate actions and even planning to expand on their current efforts.

Ways We Can Help Reduce Climate Change

There are multiple ways we can help reduce climate change as a community. First, we would need to stand together to get climate change regulation that makes sense, such as The Clean Air Act, which calls for states and the EPA to “solve multiple air pollution problems through programs based on the latest science and technology information.” This regulation alone can help prevent hundreds of thousands of cases of serious health effects each year. Another way to reduce climate change could be electing governments that support stronger climate change regulations. One great legislation is the Green New Deal that can help tackle the serious effects of climate change. In addition to its positive effect on climate change, it is proposed to guarantee new jobs in the clean energy industry.

How Do We Solve Climate Change?

Solving climate change requires energy and work, meaning it requires attention and people willing to change for the better of the world. We will not be able to solve climate change without finding common ground with those who might not share the same perspective as we do. Since people, in most cases, trust peers and family, it is easier when loved ones tell the importance of how climate change affects our lives. People tend to trust people closer to them than environmental organizations and scientists.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and/or student and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of United 4 Social Change Inc., its board members, or officers.
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