The last 3 decades have been the warmest period in history. This is mainly because of human activities that prompted the steep spike of carbon emission in the air. The result is, the air gets warmer, the weather patterns change drastically, and the natural cycle of the environment is disrupted. Rolled into one, this is called, global warming.
Global warming has sparked debates for the last 20 years, but not recently, when we can all experience first-hand the effects of this phenomenon, are we beginning to take actions.
In 2007, an event called Earth Hour was inaugurated in Sydney, Australia. Sponsored by the WWF (World Wildlife Fund), Earth hour is held every last Saturday of March asking every household and establishments to turn off non-essential lights and other appliances for 60 minutes. This is intended to raise the consciousness of the people to the effects of climate change and the realities of global warming. Several nations have followed Sydney’s lead, making Earth Hour an annual event.
The first full production hybrid car, the Honda Insight, was first unveiled in December 1999, which is then followed by the production of Toyota Prius in 2000. Since then, the automotive industry continues to develop more fuel efficient vehicles. This, however, is not entirely because of the direct response to global warming, but as an effort to keep the industry afloat and to answer consumers’ demands for high-mileage cars. As frontrunners, Japanese manufacturers, Honda and Toyota, have released several hybrid cars to their line-up. American brands later followed. In 2008, there were 11 new hybrid cars. In 2009, there were 10 new additions. However, the price of hybrid cars are still higher and the production figures are not enough to replace even at least 10% of the total number of vehicles in the world today.
The Scientific Community
Several scientific studies have been made to fully understand the effects of global warming to the earth people. At the same time, scientists are developing new technologies to counter the effects of climate change. Many scientists, engineers, and environmentalists tackle the issue in their own hands, making their home or even their communities, greener, more energy efficient, and less energy dependent.
The United Nations
There are several talks and more future talks to come to address the issue of climate change. The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia was just one of the several events held to promote awareness and provide definitive actions against global warming.
The United States
President Obama actively participates in addressing the effects of climate change. Different states also create environmental policies and new environmental rules and regulations to reduce carbon emission. The Federal Government provides incentives to greener households and companies.
Is it enough?
The United States is the number one contributor of greenhouse gases in the world, hence, it is only fair that the government should be the first to act on reducing carbon emissions. And there have been many actions made for the last years. But despite of these, 3 of 4 American believe that the government is not doing enough to address this issue (based on the survey conducted by the nonpartisan Civil Society Institute). There is still a long way to go to achieve sustainable plans to seriously fight global warming, let us just all hope that when that time comes, it is not too late.