From violent storms to raging wildfires and prolonged drought, climate change affects all of us. It threatens food production and public health and impacts water quality, plant communities, and animal life. Climate change threatens the delicate balance that has allowed human life on Earth to flourish.
The good news is that we have the know-how to address the challenge and build a brighter, clean energy future. But it’s going to take a major effort on both political and economic fronts to make the large-scale changes needed. Citizens pressuring elected officials to adopt new climate-friendly policies is essential to slow climate change. Individual action matters.
The theory of global warming goes back over 100 years. Today 97 percent of climate scientists agree that the burning of fossil fuels from human activity is the primary reason the planet is warming so dramatically.
Beginning with the Industrial Revolution in the early 1800s, people have burned fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas with limitless abandon. While the use of these resources brought unprecedented technological advances, the resulting carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and other greenhouse gas emissions have over time collected in the upper atmosphere, trapping in the Earth’s surface heat. As a result, 18 of the 19 warmest years recorded have all occurred since 2001 – with 2016 ranking as the warmest ever.