What Can We Do About Climate Change? 5 Solutions

Scientists no longer doubt about human influence on global warming. Human-made activities that include the development of industries boost the effects of climate change. The incredible amount of greenhouse gas emissions accumulating in the atmosphere are responsible for a massive increase in temperatures and sea level rise. What can we do about climate change?

Even if we are aware of all the factors that cause climate change, we still scratch our heads thinking what we can do to stop it. Researchers indicate that if we were to think again about the goals established via the Paris agreement, we might find it even more difficult to achieve them. Current reviews show that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has already exceeded scientists’ previous predictions.

What can we do about climate change?

If we really want a secure and healthy environment, we need use the most important factors to plan our future, namely politics, sociology, and economics. Even if we start diminishing the use of fossil fuels today and the levels of greenhouse gases will drop, we’d still face an increase in temperatures by one degree Fahrenheit. However, this must not discourage us because all our efforts to improve will count. Everything we do for the environment will make a big difference someday.

Diminish GHGs

Scientists indicate that it all depends on our efforts and the fate of this planet and future generations lies in our hands. If we do not boost our efforts to protect the environment, stop pollution and recycle, then the temperatures may increase somewhere between 2.5 degrees and 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Many policymakers have underlined as a primary goal the stabilization of greenhouse gases.

The purpose is to stabilize the concentrations of GHGs around 450-550 parts per million. In this way, at this level, numerous harmful impacts of climate change will slowly vanish. At the moment, experts indicate that the GHGs concentrations measure 380 parts per million. Soon, we will surpass 450 ppm before we know it if we do not set a limit. The IPCC claims that we should reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% to 80%.

Robert Socolow and Stephen Pacala are researchers at Princeton University. They have developed a study suggesting that we should adopt an approach called “stabilization wedges”. This approach indicates that we should diminish GHGs from different sources using advanced technologies instead of just relying on a massive change in a certain area.

A polar bear on the shore near water

Climate change causes massive glaciers meltdown, causing sea levels to rise.

Renewable energy

Instead of using fossil fuels that produce dangerous greenhouse gases through the process of burning, we should use more renewable energy. Hydropower, wind power and solar panels are all eco-friendly sources of energy that use infinite resources like sunlight, wind, and water. Renewable sources such as solar and wind power represent decentralized systems because they use solar arrays and wind turbines.

Hence, they are less vulnerable when it comes to large-scale disruption compared to centralized utilities like gas or oil refineries. They are very useful since they provide an inexhaustible supply of energy. Furthermore, they do not emit pollutants or greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable energy is clean and, therefore, it protects our environment. Furthermore, it also offers energy independence, no longer relying on the global supply of fossil fuels.

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Carbon capture and storage

Carbon capture and storage refers to capturing all CO2 emissions coming from coal-fired power plants. Then, specialists would process and transport it to a secure place to store it. Usually, they would store it somewhere underground, so it does not leak. Experts indicate that they can capture carbon from fossil fuels power plants before the fossil fuel gets burnt via a gasification process. After the process of combustion, specialists separate the CO2 from the flue gas.

They use a filter which absorbs carbon dioxide. After they capture it, experts compress the CO2 and transport it through pipes deep down to a storage site. At the moment, only gas oil companies use geological sequestration or underground storage sites. Nevertheless, the great majority of commercial efforts regarding carbon capture and storage faced numerous challenges, like billions in cost overruns and years of delay.

Carbon pricing

Countries all over the world subsidize fossil fuel because taxpayers pay for the true costs of the impacts emerging from the carbon dioxide emissions they trigger. Hence, the International Monetary Fund indicates that fossil fuels receive $5.3 trillion of subsidies at a global level. This amount of money is due to taxpayers and governments which pay for the impacts of storms, droughts, floods and air pollution.

Specialists indicate that the most effective way to diminish carbon dioxide emissions is to establish a price for carbon. Hence, The Climate Leadership Council developed The Conservative Case for Carbon Dividends. This represents a proposal for a tax on carbon. Many international businesses and politicians support this idea.

Hence, under this proposal, many companies and power plants would pay a tax of about $40 per ton of carbon that gets released into the atmosphere. Governments would collect the tax where fossil fuels enter the economy and be deducted on imports for countries that do not price carbon. Hence, this tax could help raise about $200 to $300 billion per year.

Energy efficiency

This is the most cost-effective method to diminish the use of energy. Furthermore, it does not pollute the atmosphere, it is inexhaustible, reliable and it presents untapped potential. Scientists indicate that buildings represent 32% of all the energy use at a global level. Furthermore, almost 80% of that energy is wasted because of poor insulation or electronics and lights left on.

Energy efficient buildings can cost more than other buildings, but you will pay less money to operate them. Usually, they have higher occupancy rates due to the fact that everyone wants a building with lower utility rates. In this way, energy efficiency prevents the development of new power plants and substations to provide energy.

Summing up

Wondering what can we do about climate change can help us come up with plenty of solutions. First, we need to start diminishing greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, we could also implement the use of renewable energy to reduce air pollution and ozone layer depletion. We should all fight together to achieve the goals established via the Paris agreement.

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William E. Eubanks
 

I'm one of the main writers on the site; mostly dealing with environmental news and ways to live green. My goal is to educate others about this great planet, and the ways we can help to protect it.

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