Scientists tell us that stopping global warming is urgent we have just a few years to turn around the growth of greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid the worst effects. The good news is that we can achieve these emissions reductions with effective national policies and international treaties. We must insist that businesses and governments join individuals around the world to greatly increase energy efficiency, widely adopt renewable energy, and commit to stopping climate change. Success is possible, but we need your help. Not human challenge is so potentially uniting as the climate crisis. Our human drive to invent and build has led to extraordinary advances and great technological promise. It s also had serious, unintended consequences. And unless we face the climate crisis with ingenuity, resolve, and a sense of urgency, much of the world as we know it will begin to unravel before our eyes.
The warning signs are plain to see. The 10 work years on record have all occurred since 1990. Mountain glaciers are fading on every continent and the sea ice is melting. The seas have begun to slow but menacing rise. The science behind global warming is often portrayed as enormously complex, but some of it is quite simple. It begins with a ray of light, shot through space from the inferno staggering of our sun.
That sunbeam delivers energy to earth, giving us light and warmth and life. As some of this energy radiates back toward space as heat, a portion is absorbed by a delicate balance of heat-trapping (or greenhouse) gases in the atmosphere that create an insulating layer. Without the temperature control of this greenhouse effect, the Earth s average surface temperature would be 0 F (- 18 C), a temperature so low that the Earth would be frozen and could not sustain human life as we know it.