We Are Running out of Chances to Stop Climate Change

Charles Pasqualoni , Contributor

As we hopefully start putting the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic behind us and start returning to life as we knew it before the pandemic, we need to be reminded of the current climate crisis that didn’t stop just because many were at home. Many people seem to have just forgotten about the problem because it is convenient when we need to be putting all of our effort towards saving the planet. 

After hundreds of years of abusing the planet without a second thought, we are finally starting to see the effects of that abuse coming back. Greenhouse gasses are building up in the atmosphere and heating the planet to levels that we have not seen since the last of the five mass extinctions. 429 billion metric tons of ice sheet is melting in the poles each year which is causing the sea level to rise 3.3 millimeters each year according to NASA. That melting ice is adding up to 13.1% of all arctic ice melting each decade at this rate. These numbers will only increase if we don’t do something drastic to counteract global warming. 

The Biden administration needs to set a new standard for presidents by doing the most of any other administration in the history of the country. They need to take action right now and sign laws that take effect in the coming years instead of 20 years down the road. Ten of the warmest years ever recorded have taken place since 2005; clearly, we need to do more to save the planet. President Biden has signed a greenhouse gas pollution reduction target for 2030 that is in place with what we need to save the planet but we need more small goals in the time in between.  

The United Nations needs to unify its members from around the world and make them understand that reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years is not just a suggestion but a necessity. Even if individual nations follow the targets that they had set for themselves, the average global temperature would still rise by more than 2 Celsius. Because of this, the UN needs to set standards that each and every country has to follow without exception. Many less developed countries have argued that countries like those in Western Europe and North America were able to have their industrial era where they polluted the environment so they should be able to do so as well. While this may be true, the planet does not care about what state a country is in financially. Instead of just telling the less developed countries that they need to change without any solutions to how they can still improve financially, the UN should offer monetary incentives to these countries where they can get money and trading goods for meeting climate incentives that the UN sets beforehand. 

Countries from all across the world need to work together and find solutions to global warming that will drastically slow down global warming. These solutions can’t just be suggestions that countries can choose to follow or not; they have to be concrete rules which have major consequences in the form of tariffs and other trade punishments.

The only way that we can get past this major roadblock which could end life as we know it is to work together and follow the set rules strictly.