Climate Change Solution?

Ashleen Chen and Scarlett Tran

During the Labor Day heat wave communities throughout LA County saw temperatures rise to 110 degrees for about a week, causing power outages and great discomfort. Many scientists today attribute these dramatic weather patterns to climate change. Humans can affect the planet’s climate simply through transportation, electricity usage, and food disposal. By changing how we commute (use public transportation, carpool, bike), use energy at home, and throw food out, we can take greater steps toward ending climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Some practical things people can do at home is use LED light bulbs and turn off the lights when they are not needed. Using an electric heat pump instead of a gas furnace can reduce one’s carbon footprint by up to 900 kilograms (1,984 lbs) of CO2e. According to the Cleaning Institute, 90% of the washing machine’s energy heats the water. Using cold water to wash clothes can eliminate 1,600 lbs of carbon dioxide a year. Hang drying clothes outside can also reduce one’s carbon footprint.

Food disposal is another activity that contributes to climate change. Disposed food is sent to landfills where it rots and creates methane, a greenhouse gas. Andrew Benedek, CEO of Anaergia, stated that CA lawmakers have proposed to compost or anaerobically digest 75% of organic waste produced by Californians by 2025. Composting is when food waste is used as fertilizer. Anaerobic digestion uses bacteria to break down food waste to be reused as fertilizer, natural gas, vehicle fuel, and electricity.

Russian president Vladimir Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping did not attend the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) on October 31, 2021. China produces 28% of the world’s global emissions and Russia produces 5% of the global CO2 output. In February 2021 Tesla CEO Elon Musk proposed imposing a carbon tax to cut greenhouse gas emissions. When coal and gas are burned, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. Scientists believe that excess carbon dioxide causes global warming. America’s “normal temperature” has changed from 51.5F (1901) to 53.3F (2021) according to the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

A carbon tax would benefit Tesla, which produces electric vehicles (EV). Musk argues that people should use clean energy and move away from fossil fuels.

Provided by USA Today (AP)