Individual Impacts Letter

Dear father with a new baby and executive at a petroleum company,

As you may or may not know, there has been a rise in carbon dioxide levels over the many years. At this moment in time you may not care about the effect that this has on our world or you don’t believe that the carbon dioxide increase has nothing to do with the increase of global temperatures. I’m here to inform you about why it is so important to be concerned about this change, a plan to fix this, how it might affect you, and how you can help.

There has been a drastic change in carbon dioxide emissions over time. This contributes to the amount of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, producing more gases. (If you do not know what a greenhouse gas is, it is something that absorbs infrared radiation from the sun, otherwise known as heat.) Here is a NASA graph that shows how much green carbon dioxide has been emitted:This graph, based on the comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ice cores and more recent direct  measurements, provides evidence that atmospheric CO2 has increased  since the Industrial Revolution.  (Source: [[LINK||http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/icecore/||NOAA]])

The more infrared absorbed, the more that the temperatures go up. This eventually causes the climate to change, (climate is long-term weather conditions in an area) which could change the weather in a town/city/state. For instance, lets say there is an agricultural town that relies on farming as the economy profit and balance. If the weather and climate were to start to change, (there isn’t enough rain and the temperatures are too high for any specific crop to grow) their economy will suffer and many people will lose their jobs. This problem could eventually reach you, new jobs might become stricter and there could be less pay. Also, the temperatures might become unbearable and there could be so much greenhouse gases that there is no oxygen left. (Just because there is one cold/snowy year doesn’t mean that the rest of the warm ones don’t count.)

Another problem with increasing temperatures is that inevitably it will cause the glaciers to melt. Here is an example:Image result for before and after glacier melt

This of course will cause the sea level to rise. An island called Maldives has an elevation as high as eight feet above sea level and said to be going underwater in at least 30 years, maybe even less if there is a sudden increase in temperature. Some more evidence of recorded global sea level rise:Image result for sea level rise graph NASA

Many other islands face the same, even our own country is at risk. 77% is predicted to be gone by the end of the century. Other countries also have the same issue:

Image result for world's sea level rise

Luckily, there is a mitigation plan that the UN created that could stop this. Mitigation is reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emissions. Using an eight wedge strategy, it could cause the amount to decrease and even go below the original amount. Our first plan is to use forest storage which is saving and preserving trees/forests (which stores carbon in its soil and leaves). Second, we propose fuel switching, which will allow for renewable natural gas to be used instead of releasing so much fuel based gases. Another we could do is wind electricity (wind mills) and solar (solar panels). Both would allow for an abundance of energy that is clean and renewable. Other ideas like efficiency buildings, conservation transport, and soil storage are cheap and somewhat easy to do. The only challenges that stand is that money needs to be earned, there needs to be enough supplies for everything, and finally, we need you to be on board and willing to help.

However, there are some cons and pros to be acknowledged. Individually, there are some issues for both of you. Fuel switching could cause your company to lose money, executive, as petroleum won’t be needed as much for cars. As for the father, job hiring could be more stricter (not many petroleum-based jobs). But, imagine if everyone were to drive a green car, or even ride their bike, how that could affect our world. The carbon dioxide levels would decrease dramatically, and we can continue to enjoy and respect our earth once more. Surely the car companies would lower the prices of their vehicles as everyone would need one, even people who couldn’t afford the original price. Wouldn’t it be great not to pay for gas? A con for transportation could be that it might be harder and more expensive to get around. However, same as fuel switching, it would be greener and won’t cause future issues with the earth that later generations won’t have to suffer with. Something like electricity switching won’t really affect either of you in a negative way because you both won’t have to pay those annoying electricity bills and there are many people who can apply¬† those in your home. Plus, if the energy-efficient power goes out, you can always use keep regular electricity just in case. Another thing like storage of soil/forestry doesn’t necessarily affect you either. It may offer fewer jobs, but it will make so much of a difference emission wise if not as many young forests are cut down.

Both of you might be asking, “how can I help?” Well, just spreading the word about our plan can contribute. Donating just even a penny can assist in making our ideas come to life even more than they have already. Getting involved by educating others can help too. Also, ¬†taking the advise given and investing a little effort to actually install solar panels or etc can really improve the situation and shows that you care about our earth and respect the forthcoming generations. If we keep continuing down this path and destroying the earth, the earth will eventually destroy us. I hope that you consider something mentioned above and that you are educated now on this real issue in our world. Thank you for reading.

Sincerely,

This random high school kid

Sources:

my brain

my notes

http://www.ecowatch.com/which-country-will-be-first-to-go-completely-underwater-due-to-climate-1882044955.html

http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/traveler-magazine/tales-from-the-frontier/maldives/

http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

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