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In search of worldwide solutions to climate emergency



Published: 3/10/2020 2:10:48 PM

We have been in a state of a climate emergency for too long, and we must act now to make our future generations lives more sustainable. We currently burn fossil fuels to power our cars, light our homes and power our businesses.

However, the effects from years of this cycle are becoming detrimental to the environment. Our overuse of burning fossil fuels has created mass quantities of air pollution, water pollution and global warming.

An extremely pressing issue involving the burning of fossil fuels is ocean acidification. When we burn oil, gas and coal, the ocean absorbs up to a quarter of the carbon-emissions. As the ocean’s acidity increases, the amount of calcium carbonate decreases. Calcium carbonate is a substance that is crucial to the development of organisms such as lobsters, crabs and oysters. The decrease in this substance is extremely damaging to the marine life food chain because it stunts the growth of many aquatic organisms.

The Natural Resources Defense Council released an article about the harmful effects of burning fossil fuels, and how it’s contributed to mass air pollution. Coal-fired power plants, in particular, generate about 42% of mercury emissions in the U.S, as well as two-thirds of sulfur dioxide which contributes to acid rain (and the majority of soot in the air).

Likewise, poisonous carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide are produced by fuel-powered trucks, cars and boats. These poisonous gases produce large amounts of smog, which leads to many respiratory illnesses such as asthma.

The solution to this worldwide issue is much simpler than we think. We need to act right now if we want to make dramatic progress for our future generations. To achieve our goals of cutting out fossil fueled emissions, we need political efforts to support these changes.

Isabelle Jardin

MASSPIRG Students



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